Sunday’s for Dreamers

This morning, it being Sunday, I lounged about in bed browsing the news. And stumbled on an article from last Tuesday’s New York Times about the recent raft of MacArthur Foundation Awardees. I always find these stories incredibly uplifting, and this one feels like the best: 24 creative people are given a huge amount of […]

Literature Ambassador: Poetic Doors

Saturday at The Stove there is this* Go! Forgotten Doors October 14 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm Seven of Dumfries’ long-lost buildings will be brought back to life in a day of poetry and art, plus an eighth ‘Future Door’. Large, free-standing representations of the forgotten doors will appear around the town in their former homes. […]

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 […]

Literature Ambassador: Wigtown Book Festival

Look what just landed in my inbox! This is the nineteenth year of the Wigtown Book Festival, and it gets better every year. If you love reading, and all things book, this is the festival for you. It’s not so huge it feels impossible to do it justice, it may even be called ’boutique’ by […]

One Billion Worlds

I’ve been asked by the local nature reserve to run a poetry event in early September as a kind of precursor to National Poetry Day on the 28. So I’m deep in research trying to learn a little about all the species we’re likely to encounter. The idea is to walk round the reserve as […]

Call & Response: the Joy of Collaboration

I’ve long been interested in artistic collaborations, and indulge in daily call and response play by typing out 2 poems each of 5 poets, and then writing a poem of my own. This is an extension of an exercise I’ve been doing on and off for a few years, whereby, in a notebook, I write […]

Mixed Media

The holiday is over, we’ve returned from possibly the most poetic place in the world to, possibly, the least. OK, not the least, but this town with its sheep chewed hills and Tory ethos is a Disney movie in comparison, a faded shortbread tin full of broken toys, a plastic sequinned party dress made in […]