ON POETRY, WRITING AND RANDOM CULTURAL MATTERS

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Paris Lit Up - Magazine launch

It was stupendous, wonderful and fanastic! Our launch party ripped and roared its way into the Paris night. Details here and please, please, please, if you are in Paris, buy a copy of the magazine and if you are not please, please, please buy an ebook copy.

Thank you for supporting all our literary adventures.

Friday, 11 October 2013

PLU Writing Workshop

My next workshop will be: 'NO IDEAS BUT IN THINGS.'

Explore William Carlos Williams' famous dictat with me and find new ways to make poems, prose, flash fiction, texts from and into Objects and Memories. 

Please bring with you one object of any kind that is particularly precious, but not necessarily in the monetary sense. Details of location, time, cost etc. here.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Maddaddam - Atwood Trilogy ends

Much sadness last night at 3am when, disturbed and restless I woke unable to get back to sleep, so I finished the final chapters of Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake trilogy.

It's been a ten year read on and off waiting for the books to appear. The first was in the early noughties when I was living in California and lucky enough to have one inscribed by the great lady herself. in person (not by the remote pen she invented for the task, just to be clear).

She's the only novelist whose books I buy in hard back the minute they are published and this is why:  a) she's the queen of distopian fiction,  b) she mashes up point of view and narrative voice and sophistication, and  c) it's a darn good tale.

Pity she didn't win the Nobel today, but hats off to Alice Munro, Atwood's countrywoman and another cracking storyteller. Whoever said subsidising a nation's creative writing wouldn't produce work of merit was wrong, very wrong.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Prole Poetry Competition

I have the honour of judging this year's Prole poetry competition. If you have a winning poem, please enter. Details here.

Berlin in two hours

Got a couple of hours in Berlin?

  Here's my crash course in seeing as much as possible in that time. No going into things, it's all about looking at buildings and walking quickly. Sturdy footwear recommended.






Start outside the Pergamon Museum. Enjoy the sculpture in the gardens and Alte National Gallery. Walk to the National Gallery. Sculpture outside there ditto.










Turn around and take a good long look at the Berliner Dom and the Telefunken in the distance.







Cross the Spee and walk down Under den Linden (speed up passed the boring bits) to the Humbolt University. Check out statues, sculpture and books in its forecourt.








Cross the road and stand outside the other part of the University in the square where the Nazi's burnt the books in May 1933. Find the perspex covered underground memorial of empty bookshelves for the same. Contemplate history for a bit.





Walk the rest of Under den Linden as quickly as you can until you get to the Brandenburg Gate. Avoid street artists dressed variously as Russian soldiers, German ditto, bears and statues etc.




Pass through the Gate to the Reichtstag. Note new dome to visit another time. Turn back passed the Brandenburg Gate and first left to the Holocaust Memorial. Wander in the rows of various sized concrete boxes. Try to avoid screaming children mistaking the hummocky ground for an amusement park. Contemplate history a bit more. Check view of the Memorial towards the Reichstag.



Cross the road and find the bunker-like memorial to the gay victims of the Holocaust. Contemplate history some more. And that's it. Two hours well spent in the company of beautiful architecture old and new. Enjoy.