For the Poets

The Rialto is one of those literary magazines that poets strive to get into, it’s the writer’s equivalent of the Royal Albert Hall. You know you’ve made it, if only for a season, if they accept your work. And they have a pamphlet competition which anyone can enter, all you need is about twenty (perfect) […]

London Notes #11

Today has been a quiet one: sitting in the garden, moving from sun to shade to sun as my temperature gauge determined; gorging on Primo Levi; a side of Frank O’Hara, like a Harissa dressed salad, to pick at idly. But yesterday was a different matter. Yesterday I ventured to the centre alone, as D […]

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: Poetry Competition

Enter Scotland’s international poetry competition Wigtown’s annual Poetry Competition, run in conjunction with the Saltire Society, Scottish Poetry Library and The Gaelic Books Council, launched this week.  Poets are invited to enter under three categories: Main Prize; Scottish Gaelic Prize; and Scots Prize, with a prize fund totalling more than £2,500. This year sees the introduction […]

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 […]

Performative

I’ve been meaning to write this post all week. Tomorrow the poet Hugh McMillan is coming to Moffat to share with us his sometimes dark; sometimes positive; always sharp, rhythmic and witty world view. The Mr’s band will set the tone with their transnational mix of blues, folk and rock & roll, and I will […]

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 […]

The Madeleine of Banality and Other Titles

The Cal Arts course I’m doing has provided two prompts this week; the first: write a still life poem – pick an object and render it in verbal images as vividly as possible; the second: create a title from the formula ‘The [concrete noun] of [abstract noun]’ then write a poem from that title. The […]

Book Stream

Back on the Bernadette Mayer track today she asked me to: write as you think, as close as you can come to this, that is, put pen to paper and don’t stop. Experiment writing fast and writing slow. So, having spent an hour idly browsing Pinterest, this is what came out of my head. I […]

On the Line

A day late with this, apologies, but here is the last post’s disarranged/rearranged poem as it was written: Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! […]