Sunday, 31 July 2016

Competition time

It's the last day of the month so far had a look at the Poetry Kit website's list of open competitions. There's a few going on in August, with more all the way through to the end of November.

I counted at least ten I would like to enter. Thinking about entering poetry competitions was something recommended to me as a means to get inspiration and work to deadlines. I may not enter all the competitions, in fact I guarantee I won't, but I will keep those ideas bubbling up under my writing process.

It is the same with magazine submissions and poetry/spoken word events. I have a slowly growing list of interesting items, and when I am going through my notes and completed work I often think whether I could/would/should submit my work.

This is all falls into my writing process. Though I write primarily for an audience of one, of me, once I have something I am satisfied with it is nice to show it off.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Not a poetry review

Not really, not possible. I'm not sure if I should review in the way that other bloggers review as I feel there tends to be too many spoilers and not enough actual personal reflection on the text in question.

Elsewhere I have wrote about online book reviewers that are around three quarters plot and press release recycle and one quarter actual response (if the reader is lucky). I know there's an audience out there as the writer of the book writes to someone, it's just I'm not in that audience. This then is not that type of review, this is reflection, and you know what Hesse said about reflection[1]. 

Since the start of the year and taking part in one of Jen Campbell's fantastic writing workshops I've been looking to develop my own poetry. Poetry, any writing, does not exist in isolation even when the writer is primarily looking to write for an audience of one; there are many influences, fuel for the flame, inspirations in awe-inspiring corners. All of these things feed into what will become my poetry, either as a direct reference of a indirect opposite reaction.

One of the new-to-me things about poetry is spoken word events. It's not new, there has always been readings and groups meeting in pubs to share there work, it is just that this idea is fascinating to me. What if I had known about them when I was in my twenties, I say to myself, though know that I would have been crippled by self-doubt that meant I probably won't have shown any work (it took some twenty seven years to do that, pop-pickers).

Spoken word events are wonderful. That people gather to share and support, speak and celebrate (mm, missed out on the 's' alliteration) is a great thing. I am making steps into learning about them and will join them, though I'm behind in doing so. Suddenly three and a half weeks off work watching Vinn Diesel films seems slightly unproductive...

One of the most fascinating groups I've found is Mouth Piece Poets of Lincoln, UK. Though I was born in Derby I consider myself 'from Lincoln', and for all the annoying things about the city, there is far much to love and cherish. A lot of my early writing is a reaction to many of the things Lincoln and Lincolnshire presented me with. This wasn't reactionary writing, it was a progressive examination of me, my thoughts and feelings, and my environment[2].

Anyway, back to the poets. They came together and thought about sharing their work (a read through of their website will give you a better run down than I could, without cutting and pasting text). What drew my attention was their event, they have had two nights in Lincoln's Drill Hall, and I thought I'd like to go along and see them when I can. From this I found their Volume 1 book, and in this I found Sam Harrison's We Have To Build A Bypass! 

Here is a poem that presented a Lincoln I was familiar with, though mine was twenty years ago. Poetry can allow for fantastic travels, in time and space and memory and thought, and with this poem I travelled. I enjoyed it a great deal, the whole volume is a good compilation of work, and I'm looking forward to rereading it soon.

Notes and references
1 - Actually, you don't, not here. While I was making notes for this blog post I was thinking a lot about Steppenwolf written in 1927, and how a great deal of Herman Hesse's novel easily applies today. One particular passage, about how nations who look to externalise their internal problems were quick to war, struck me a great deal in response to the reports of shootings in Munich. This in turn makes me think about Peter F Hamilton's solution to solving humanity's problems in the Night's Dawn trilogy.
2 - Oxford comma, ha, mature enough to vote and drink, immature enough to think, 'well done, James' every time I use an Oxford comma.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Laughs in a book-hoarder's house

Me - Isn't there a thing about Oreos and toilets?

Them - If there is I am not searching for it on the Internet.

I - You told me about it, from a book you read.

Her - I don't remember that...

Him - Not to worry, there's plenty of books in this house, you can search them.

And why can't I search myself, you ask, dear Reader. Well, I broke my ankle on Wednesday night while running (more accurately, trying to step around a pedestrian). 

I've already watched three films with Vinn Desiel in, I suspect there will be more.