Libraries Week

Being scolded for gasping with joy at the sight of so many books rather put me off libraries as a child, which may well have been the old bat’s intention. It seemed she believed the edifying power of books teetered on the brink of weaponisation, and it was her job to ensure they didn’t get […]

Wigtown Odyssey

With three hours till my first event I expected to get to Wigtown in plenty of time for a leisurely lunch and maybe even get in a little bookshop browsing before kick off; it is, after all, only seventy five miles. What was I thinking? I know the road is narrow and winding, and a […]

Capitalisation

Tomorrow we leave for London*, where we will house-sit for three and a half weeks. Which feels like a gift from the gods, and I hope to use it wisely, thus, as well as the usual clothes, camera, and bathroom paraphernalia, I’ve packed these: and hope I haven’t missed anything crucial. My plan being to […]

News from Wigtown: A Gathering

Now in its fourth year, the Writers’ Gathering is an inspiring day of events aimed at writers in Dumfries & Galloway and beyond. Taking place on Saturday 19 May 2018 in Wigtown, it will be led by some of the liveliest figures in Scotland’s literary scene. This year’s keynote talk will be given by Lynsey Rogers of Scottish Book […]

Catalogical

I have been taking (making?) photographs since 1979 when I was given my first SLR camera for Christmas – actually, my father gave me a small Instamatic when I was ten because I kept wanting to use his camera, so I’ve been doing it since the early 70s really, but I suppose the SLR took […]

On Writing

One of my favourite things in the whole world is Bookworm, a radio show hosted by the disarmingly deep reader Michael Silverblatt. I listen to it to learn about writing, and luxuriate in the conversation about what makes writing worth reading (something I’d rather like to be able to do). Here is Zadie Smith talking […]

WordPress the App

I’ve had the WordPress app on my phone for years (and have barely used it) but I only discovered there’s one for computers today. Curious, I mean why might it be necessary? I downloaded it, and can’t see any difference between it, and the web version other than a nice white W in a blue […]

Writing Beyond the Sonnet (& Other Conventional Constraints)

I don’t have the resources (temporal, cognitive…) to write a post at the moment; things seem to have become hectic. But I’ve just listened to a Bookworm episode featuring some members from OULIPO and think it worth sharing. You can listen as you get on with other things, or while taking a tea break, whatever […]

Where’s the Smoke?

Today Bernadette Mayer, speaking through the Salt-Pig, told me to: write a poem that reflects another poem, as in a mirror. Turns out this is not an easy thing to do in an hour, so I flipped through a notebook, sure I’d attempted this exercise before and found I had with Norman MacCaig’s: That Journey […]

A Bruised Peach

The exercise for today* turned out to be: Make a pattern of repetitions. And this is what I got: A Pattern It’s not because she doesn’t want to leave the house; not because she doesn’t want to see the beech trees on Beach Way, she’d like to see the beech trees, the beech trees will […]