Tuesday, October 30, 2007


...is the name of an online literary zine that has just finished it's latest period of issue. qarrtsiluni was edited by Katherine Abbott and Rob MacKenzie; editors from this side of the ocean and that. This transatlantic editorial collaboration made for an interesting mix of works; visual and written.

I managed to get a poem into this issue which is themed around 'making sense.' I've been getting updates delivered to my mailbox, something I don't normally do, but the sheer quality of language and visual art has been breathtaking, throughout - you should go take a look.

Their back issues are also interesting browsing too - check out their sidebar - and look out for the etymology of qarrtsiluni as well - it's a lovely word.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mithering and Dithering

Our second assignment for the Research Methods module is due in about 2 and 1/2 weeks... and I am having a good old dither about it today. And yesterday.

I think it was the sheer scope of the task at hand. On the face of it, it looked simple: a 1000 word report evaluating the archival resources available in Northern Ireland - or near where you live - that's if you can winkle anything of 'literary worth' out of a provincial Local Authority Archive that specialises in water board records and minutes of meetings... you get the picture don't you?

A visit to Armagh is in the offing to look at the rather splendid sounding Armagh Public Library or Robinson Library, where they specialise in lots of interesting books, manuscripts and documents mostly before the 1800s. They have a first edition of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, with his own emendations there!

Meanwhile, back at the Kairos/poetry ranch, the two November readings have sort of snuck up on me. Galway and Over The Edge is next Thursday 1st November, in Galway City Library at 6.30pm. I am reading with two other poets, Megan Buckley and Jean Folan, both with tremendous literary credits to their names.

After a wee visit to some outlaws in Cahirciveen on Friday 2nd, it's back to Tralee, my adopted home for a good bit of the summer, for the big read on Saturday 3rd November, at Siamsa Tire. This time it's with the other Doghouse Pups from this year, Catherine Ann Cullen, Anatoly Kudryavitsky and Hugh O'Donnell. It's a nice way to meet up with Noel our editor again and the other three.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Shameless Lion Writing Circle

Well the developing story of Grace has stepped up a pace; side characters have been introduced and we are getting some back-story on what has led Grace to that initial taxi ride in New York.

The contributors are up to eight now and the logistics of people reading it and preparing their next installments are making it even more of a challenge. I am dreading being nominated for a contribution, there are so many threads to draw together... a bit like deciding when to start reducing stitches for the armholes when you're knitting the back of a jumper - this row or maybe two rows on...

I think they're going to need chapters at this rate of going!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A London Blogmeet... and a Launch!

Plans are afoot for a blogmeet for Bookarazzi members in central London. I thought I would go too, since it's nice to have faces to put to names and really talk books with everyone there... and then I thought about tucking copies of Kairos in my suitcase and erm, well, launching it there... and then I remembered that I'm 40 on the weekend in question...

It's the 1st of December, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate it... how about you?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pundy the Publishing Pundit!

Damn blogger won't let me post a picture, but Pundy has something to show for all the months of hibernation: A Half Life of One.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Fiddle dee dee!

I've so much to catch up on, this post will be in danger of sounding a little breathless... so here goes!

Firstly, the Shameless lions writing project has moved on apace - when I last checked in it was up to five writers already: Shameless, CB, Scarlett, Minx & Vanilla, with the next nominated writer being Verilion.

Grace the protagonist seems to be getting around a lot, and secondary characters are being developed. The initial potential of 'Grace' has widened out a great deal, and each writer has brought their own unique flavour and style to the proceedings.

Another thing I forgot to blog is that skint writer's Blagsite has gone live, with lots of interesting articles about writing, by writers and you should really check it out, if you've not already done so. I did a wee piece myself, on - well, it had to be poetry, really, didn't it? I've read all the other articles and can't wait to see how this one grows - fair play skint!


In case you were wondering, the Saturday Creative Writing class that I'm facilitating is going from strength to strength. Today was Week 3, (having had to do two readings last weekend) and we were critting the final pieces produced from the group - I was utterly astounded by the variety of writing and talent in the group! Each mini-story showed great potential and with some gentle suggestions made by the group could be made even better. We are hoping to produce some kind of publication next year, so these stories could be the seedbed from which we can grow a small anthology in the form of a chapbook.

Next week we move on to poetry and (rubs hands) that's where the fun will really start! I have some great ideas for workshops lined up and hope the group enjoys them as much as I have putting them together.


The MA is starting to feel settled for me, although I still have to pinch myself that I am going up to Belfast to Queen's every week for classes - the campus has some terrific old buildings, and in the quad there are some beautiful trees with a blaze of red leaves - sadly the day I that I see this, did I have my camera there to capture this..? Did I heck! Anyway, I think I have enough on my plate producing one new poem a week for twelve weeks for the workshop - which includes some mighty fine writers... keeping up is going to be challenging; but as August's Guardian Workshop as reinvented by Rob showed, I think I thrive on challenges ;)


Kairos is selling at a very steady pace. My publisher is absolutely delighted with the ongoing interest, as I was very much an untried and unknown quantity for his publishing outfit... and, it looks like there may be a Belfast launch in the offing, as well as perhaps a venture forth to the UK - more about this later on!


So there you have it - life after the madhouse is live!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Tagged for a book meme!

1. Total number of books owned - Erm, I really can't count them all - they're in every room of the house and the attic. Even the smallest room. Even the car. Even the garden shed. I have the inherited family 'book sickness.'

2. Last book bought - Hugh O'Donnell's Planting a Mouth; bought and signed at his wonderful launch in Dublin: really complete and beautiful poetry too.

3. Last book read - The Man With Night Sweats, Thom Gunn; The Truth of Poetry, Michael Hamburger (still reading this one); The Children of Hurin, Ed. Christopher Tolkien; Northern Lights, Philip Pullman (I read about four or five at a time and often re-read books that I've read before for comfort too). Okay, that might be cheating!

4. Five books which mean a lot to you.

Stranger Music by Leonard Cohen - a selected poetry and songs.

Gilgamesh, English version by Stephen Mitchell - a very contemporary, yet mythological account of the Epic of Gilgamesh.

The Song of Taliesin by John Matthews - oops does my interest in myths show.

The White Goddess by Robert Graves - without this I'd never have had all those poetic arguments in my head.

And John Toland's Christianity not Mysterious, a very precious book indeed for all the philosphical treatises that came from it and indeed for its rarity.

Taggees: Belle, Colin Will, and Cyberscribe - everyone else seems to have done it already!