Caryatid

I have become a community councillor, and not only that, I have become the vice chair of the community council, which not too long ago would have sounded horribly Pillar of the Community to my No Gods No Masters ears. Lines from Lydia Davis’s piece A Position at the University keep floating in and out […]

Questions of Grammar: Ambiguity

I love ambiguity, it’s a very useful tool for creative writers; when used well it opens the portal to myriad fascinating possibilities of meaning, and gives the reader the opportunity to add her/his own meaning, so the work becomes a collaboration between writer and reader. Look, for example, at this line from ‘A Time Zone’ […]

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 […]

Literature Ambassador: Wigtown News

Wigtown Book Festival |  21 – 30 September 2018 No Images? Click here Join us for electric dreams this autumn Electricity is in the air in Scotland’s Book Town. This weekend sees the switching on of the Christmas lights and the annual Fire and Light celebrations, organised by the Association of Wigtown Booksellers. There is – literally – […]

Bracket of Manners

Today I combine Bernadette’s Mayer’s exhortation to: ‘Rewrite someone else’s writing. Experiment with theft and plagiarism,’ with the OULIPO formula N+7, thus: The Arrival of the Behaviour Bracket – a collaboration with Sylvia Plath I ordered this, this clean workforce bracket Square as a channel and almost too heavy to lift. I would say it […]

Spooked

I’m in a pickle with my days. For example today I was convinced I had a live webcast at 4 o’clock and was rushing to get organised for it until, having a pee, I realised it was only Monday (and not Wednesday). I can’t work out which is better: busy weeks, or free weeks. Free […]

Composing Instruction

You see above the Tristan Tzara poem, ‘To Make a Dadaist Poem’ and I thought I’d have a go, so I followed his instructions to the letter (smirk) found an article in the Centenary edition of Vogue (London) – I haven’t bought a newspaper for some time – chopped it up – didn’t have a […]

Practice: Pond Skating

I’m one of those people who wants to know everything about everything. I actively like going to meetings most people consider boring because of this. I enjoy the rhythms of blather (long winded, substance-light talk of a faintly self important nature), and the odd diamond that emerges from these Woolfean dust-heaps. But I can’t spend […]

Literature Ambassador: Countdown to Wigtown

Two days to go till the Wigtown Book Festival begins; here’s some more from the festival team about what’s going on this year, and it looks fab. Tickets are selling fast, out in some cases, so if something takes your fancy book it now! Memories are made of this Truth really is sometimes stranger than […]

Literature Ambassador: Poetic News

I first saw Stuart A. Paterson at a Southlight  launch about 3 or 4 years ago. He had just returned to Scotland after a long stint working away in Manchester, so I didn’t know he existed until he took to the floor, and what a surprise that was. He read a number poems from a […]