ON POETRY, WRITING AND RANDOM CULTURAL MATTERS

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Jo Shapcott wins the Costa

Great news - Jo Shapcott has won the overall Costa prize for her collection Of Mutability. Congratulations Jo! It's a fine read and I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Graffiti Project - 7


Some of the many examples of nineteenth century grafitti carved by Napoleon's soldiers, and British and other Grand Tourists in Egypt. These, along with later Christian attempt to remove 'idols', at Luxor temple. Others (below) at the Karnak temple complex.

Derek Walcott wins the T S Eliot Prize

Derek Walcott has won this year's lucrative prize with his collection White Egrets. Congratulations to him.
Commentary from the PBS here http://www.poetrybooks.co.uk/projects/4/


I confess to having not spent long enough reading this work in detail. There seemed to be something particularly dense about it. I suspect I need to try again and try harder.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Graffiti Project - 6


Doorway at Badi Fort (an ancient monument), Marrakesh. 

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Poets' Cafe - Last Hurrah

Very sadly, last night was my last appearance at Poets' Cafe in Reading for a few years. I will much miss the guest poets, fantastic open mic participants and charismatic mc, AF Harrold. It's acknowledged as the best open mic around for longevity, warmth of welcome and quality by local poets and visitors alike, one of whom said he'd never seen so many people at an open mic reading from their books.

If you can get to Reading on the third Friday of the month, find your way to South Street Arts Centre
http://www.readingarts.com/southstreet/ and sign up to read.

Thanks everyone for the kind send off and letting me break the one poem rule. I will miss you all.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

New Makar - Liz Lochhead

Great news - another female laureate. Liz Lochhead has been announced as the new National Poet for Scotland. So that makes it three women for each of Wales, England and Scotland. Who'd have thought that would have been possible. Girl power poets!


Graffiti Project - 5


Skate ramp-end, Christchurch meadows, Reading. Something illegibly grand and florid with added white tags. Summer 2009.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Graffiti Project - 4

The famous Banksy at the bottom of Park Street in Bristol after the blue paint incident and its (partial) clean up. Photo by Paul Robinson.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Graffiti Project - 3


Amazing face on the side of the skate ramps in Christchurch Meadows, Reading.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Ai WeiWei - Sunflower Seeds

I finally managed to see the fabulous installation at Tate Modern yesterday on a very grey London afternoon. Intriguing and eerie, the individual and the masses. Obviously it was disappointing not to be able to walk on them, or even handle them.  Our experience was far from the artist's intentions, but that's health and safety for you, more's the pity. Make sure you get there before 2 May or they'll be gone.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

The Poem Tree















can be found at Little Whittenham Nature Reserve, near Dorchester on Thames. The poem is a bit creaky, but etching it into a tree is kinda cool or so the Victorians thought. I think you might get an ASBO if you tried this in 2011.