Tag Archives: Andrew Philip

I’ve missed you. I’ve missed you a lot.

1 Apr


You’ve not heard from me in a while, and for that I am truly sorry.  As some of you will know I separated from my husband at the beginning of the year, and the silence has been generally through moving home, being incapacitated with emotional pain, and having no internet connection.  But all three are pretty much sorted now!  I have been busy though so here is a list of Stuff What I Have Done.

  1. I have a smashing new flat in Comely Bank, and found out there are some smashing writers living near-by.  I’m going to be setting up a wee informal group which people can attend for a bit of a chat about writing and tea and cake.  If you’re in the area, or around (I’m not too fussy on geography) and your interested send me a message.
  2. I have got a poem in Under the Radar.  Which I am very pleased about.  It’s a great magazine to get in.  They had rejected me once before but told me to re-submit, so it just goes to show it’s worth trying more than once.
  3. The erotic anthology I am in Bedtime Stories 2 has been published.  I’ll hopefully be getting my copy next week, and will blog more about it then.
  4. I’m also in the Small Stones project anthology Pay Attentions:  A River of Stones, in lovely hard, paperback and download.
  5. I attended the This Collection Friendly Slam.  My aim was to get through to round two and I was successful.  Both Andy Philip and Russell Jones have blogged about the slam and I think they can do it better justice than me.  All I can say is that I’m really pleased to see how Scottish poets are taking something that didn’t necessarily fit well with the prevailing culture and are being creative and adaptive with it.
  6. I went to hear poet Jacq Kelly read.  I’m always nervous when I hear people I know read for the first time, but pleasantly I didn’t have to lie about how much I enjoyed it.
  7. I have also guest blogged at Burdz Eye View, although this is mainly about breasts.
  8. I have suffered from hypergaphia and have written most of a second pamphlet in the last month.  The only down side of this amazing amount of energy is my brain sometimes breaks down and has a migraine.
  9. I had Bibliotherpay book art style and it was utterly brilliant.  I would recommend you catch this woman and get her to write you a prescription.
  10. I went to the Literature Salon and meet some new people.
  11. Gillian and I are planning to move again with Marvelou – I know we’re being very tardy – and spend a whole day binding, probably here.
  12. I may have identified some new work for Marvelou.
  13. I’ve had a breakthrough with my writing, which is just amazing – not sure if this is the cause or the effect of the hypergraphia.
  14. And I may have more exciting news to come soon…

Not bad for a month and a half.


Today IS the day

9 Jul

Regular readers of my bog will know that over the past few weeks I have been orchestrating a simultaneous blogging project, among my fellow poetry bloggers.  Well, today is the day and all the posts should be up on my colleagues blogs.  I am heartily looking forward to reading what each blogger has written.  And theme that everyone has been writing to?


In choosing this theme I was, in part, giving in to my more mischievous side.  I, of course, love swearing.  A well placed swear can be extremely cathartic and substitute swears such as shoot or sugar, don’t have the same impact.  Let’s face it, substitution is just not cool.  Either swear or don’t.  Don’t pretend.  You’re not Ned Flanders.  Grown-up adult people should be mature enough to make a judgment on weather to swear or hold back, without resorting to the attention seeking ploy of not really doing something but still trying to imply you are a little bit naughty.

On the other hand there is also the more serious side to swearing.  To swear allegiance, to swear an oath, to make a vow.  It appears this does not really happen much in modern life, outside of the courtroom or the marriage ceremony.  Perhaps the decline in marriage, is less to do with a lack of interest in commitment from couples, but more to do with the acknowledgment of the deep binding seriousness of the vows that we could choose to make?  I for one, refused to vow to obey my husband during our wedding – why make a vow you know you are going to break?

Those are just two of the aspects of the word, I am more than confident that my crew of trusty blogger mates will find many and varied permutations and tensions within the word.  I am really excited to read what they have posted.  I hope you will enjoy the experiment and also find some blogs and poets who you really enjoy.  Please feel free to let me know what you think about the project, your feedback will help me decide if its worth doing again.

To continue on with the project, please click on any of the blogs below, and read.

Floatsom, Sunny Dunny, Toungefire, desktopsallye, Cadwallander, One Night Stanzas, Russell Jones, Written in my Hand, Tony William’s Poetry Blog, de la poesia y otras disciplinas en palabras.

Report from Hidden Door

31 Jan

As my regular readers will know I appeared at Hidden Door this weekend.  An interdisciplinary arts festival.  I performed on Saturday, in the lounge area and the main performance space.

In my first set in the lounge I worked with novelist Hamish MacDonald.  Hamish was reading from his book Finitude, which is set in a world where climate change is further advanced than in this one.  Hamish read from a section that deals with “last flights day”.  As air travel is to be banned there is one last day when people are able to take flights, therefore having to decide where they will spend the rest of their lives.  Hamish ingeniously handed out boarding passes for these imaginary flights and the audience had to fill out their rest-of-life destination and their reason for choosing it.  Hamish will soon be posting the results on his website.

I read my numbered set.  The numbered set is basically a lazy way of avoiding the stress of having to create and arrange an actual set.  I have a folder, with my poems in and number them all.  I then ask the audience to shout out numbers between one and thirty-two (just happened that was the amount in my folder that day) and then read the corresponding poem.  I was very pleased some audience members asked me to re-read some poems because people enjoyed them and wanted to hear them again.  One of the benefits of increasing your audiences participation.

My second set was in the performance space in the middle of the maze.  Originally the idea had been to mic me up and I would read, luring people, siren like to the center.  However something technically went wrong and that was not possible.  I improvised.  The whole maze was full of artwork and therefore the people wandering through were looking at art, not expecting poetry.  So I wandered up to people, introduced myself, and asked them if they would like to hear a poem.  No one said no and some people stayed to hear more.

I found this an amazing performance experience.  When you perform on stage you are rather cut off and above your audience.  When you are face to face with them in a lit room it is possible to see their reaction, and work with them.  It was also lovely to enter dialog with audience members and get to know them.

In fact I enjoyed the experience so much I spent much of the night wander around asking complete strangers if they would like to hear some poetry, and hopefully enthusing them about the vibrancy of the poetry scene in Edinburgh at the moment.  However I did also take some time out to hear my fellow poets Rob A. Mackenzie, Andrew Philip, Colin Will and Kevin Cadwallender.

The Hidden Door experience was amazing, there was a genuine energy and buzz.  There were many opportunities to talk to other creative people from other disciplines.  I hope that we can see more interdisciplinary and collaborative work in the future in Edinburgh.

Published and performing

22 Jan

I have had a pretty good start to the new year.  At the beginng of January I was wondering if there would be enough going on for a regular once-a-week post.  Now I find I am inundated.

Firstly I have had my first ever print publication.  It was in Poetry Scotland, a broadsheet edited by Sally Evans.  It was a very small contribution, but pleasing for me none-the-less.

At the end of this month I will be performing at Hidden Door.  Hidden Door is an interdiscaplinary arts festival held in Edinburgh.  There will be musicians, artists, filmakers and poets.  I shall be performing on the Saturday at 4.00 – 4.30 in the lounge and then from 4.30 on the Main Stage – a bit scary but I’m sure the adrenaline rush from doing two slots back to back will leave me on a massive natural high for long afterward.  I shall also be helping poet Andrew Philip, and artist Geri Loup-Nolan with their planned raidal poem, which festival visitors can participate in.  Please come along and check things out.

Lastly I will also be performing next month at Poetry at the GRV.  As it is Valentines Day the organiser, Rob MacKenzie, has asked poets to write a response to a specific line from the Song of Songs, and ancient love poem.  The line I have been given is “Adjure, Oh daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved; tell him I am love-sick”.  So wether you celebrate Valentines Day or feel it is a load of rubbish drummed up to sell cards please come along, it will be a great night.