Are we hyper-analyzing European people?
When it comes to bailing out the Tigers?
From July on The Cavaliers come out and have a great sunset
via the formation of an ‘incubator’ company.
Mars, now in the west, moves steadily eastward toward Saturn.
The ringed planet is low in the sales-speak of the Frozen Circus.
Their weekend protest has been quietened somewhat.
It’s not quite the kind of language
that is being adopted to the glare of the spotlight, but
when the streak was set …
a bit perturbed about …but I don’t want to say.
But what else are we supposed to talk about?
Those who despair of the low turnout and apathy
hadn’t seen Americans since (World War II).
The Indians were unwatchable as far as forestry is concerned.
It’s the final day of the shearing championships.
The traffics headed just one way.
Many poets double as witches and/or shamans in their home villages. Over the years Annaghmakkerig has played host to many of the world’s great poet-experts on plant pharmacology, especially its relationship to artistic creativity. The countryside around the Artist’s retreat is scattered with many varieties of magic flower that these geniuses of mind and medicine have bestowed upon the Irish nation. This is the ‘Fairy Flower’, originally from near Bremen in Lower Saxony. One sniff and you will be away with the fairies. The leaves can be boiled as a tea and, when drunk regularly, can result in the ability to communicate with trolls as well as fairies. There are numerous trolls in the Annaghmakkerig locality, blessed as it is with so many bridges.
Marking a spot near Annaghmakerig where people, in particular artists and those with second sight are likely to be struck with a bolt from the blue.
Place of traditional worship for the letter M near Tyrone Guthrie artists and writers retreat in County Monaghan Ireland. The letter M has played an enormous role in artistic and commercial production in the local area and homage is paid to it by way of this lovely minimalistic altar designed by the Archipoet and Theologian Michael Mangan, author of M is for Miracle, Money, and Mind-control.
Ogler of leaf-fall Arabesques
Noser of reed musks and spore-mists
Fondler of the warm damp belly of the grass
Wooer of the lightning’s dancing bones
Healer of the cuckoo-fallen egg
Helper of lost swans
Hoarder of acorns
Saviour of the starving wren
Fixer of the magpie’s broken wing
Pruner of fairy rings
Voyeur of the rutting hare
Citer of the litany of Lough names
Keener of the ancient Lough-drowned
Teller of the fables of the Lough
Keeper of the pages of the water book
Seeder of beech and hazel
Smoker of weeds and bush herbs
Reader of the omens of sky shade
Courter of the canopy’s aubades
Partner to the thousand dances of the rain
Ould Maccriche , island’s glory
beloved of all its elemental alchemies
and alchemy of elements himself
The Blog is on minimal for the summer as I am either busy with writing, performing and teaching projects or away and I won’t have time to answer comments or update much. You can contact me for anything at firstname.lastname@example.org but be patient as it might take me a while to reply.
The thing I am most looking forward to is my week in early July leading the Words Allowed Teen Creativity Summer Camp at Bantry. I am very excited about working with a bunch of enthusiastic, up-and-coming writers and performers to produce new work to be presented as part of the festival.
I am featured over at the Poetry International Website at the moment. I’m in good company there.
There is an insightful little intro by the critic, poet, and publisher Kit Fryatt, which I am happy with. Kit has helped significantly raise the standard of poetry criticism and poetry teaching in Ireland in the the last few years and it’s great that she is interested in my work.
The six poems featured are
This selection, made by Billy Ramsell, the poet and editor of the Ireland section of the website, is a very good introduction to my writing.
Below is a few words about editing the summer issue of The Stinging Fly, Ireland’s leading literary magazine. I hope you will consider buying the issue and or subscribing.
I’d like to thank everyone who submitted to the issue of The Stinging Fly which I have just edited. I received a little more publishable work than it was possible to publish. Priority was given to work that had made a serious and creative attempt to respond to themes outlined in the call-out I wrote for the issue. I know the effort that goes in to writing, the anxiety of waiting for news on a submission, the frustration of rejection, especially for young writers trying to get themselves noticed and perhaps feeling that they are being unfairly overlooked. I certainly felt like that; I wanted to stamp on the throat and gouge out the eyes of anyone who turned me down.
I was rejected five or six times by the The Stinging Fly before I had a piece accepted. So, keep trying, if you want to, if you’re able. There’s no conspiracy against you. If your writing is good enough, clear enough, original enough, powerful enough, it will break through. You will be heard. Though you might find being heard to be sometimes just as frustrating and meaningless as not being heard.
I also know the prestige attached to publication in The Stinging Fly. It’s the one magazine almost everyone I know in Irish writing wants to be in. It’s certainly the least conservative and the most professional of Irish literary magazines. I open a new issue always with a sense of excitement and expectation. Even if it is not always full of the type of writing that I like, I am sure to find something excellent, something admirable, something to be creatively jealous of. It has published and promoted most of the Irish poets and short story writers I have had any interest in over the last ten years.
So I’m very happy and grateful to have been given the chance to have a go at editing the Fly. It’s a pet complaint of mine, as well as an open cultural secret, that there are not enough literary editors in Ireland. A lot of first poetry books, and not only those, are published without being edited. Relatedly, there isn’t enough serious criticism either. The review section in Irish literary magazines is often nothing but a lazy appendix, a showcase of prudishness, sycophancy, personal vendettas, and conceptual vagueness, written by people who don’t seem to have taken on board the art of the 20th century, not to mind the 21st. We need publishers, magazines, and especially writers, to take editing and criticism more seriously. Not to do so is letting everybody down, and to risk succumbing to a dishonest, weak-minded provincialism which insists on over-praising everyone who gets up on stage and publishing everyone who manages to get a sheaf of poems together just because we’re all great friends, and probably cousins as well, if we looked into it. We must be far more ambitious than this.
I took an active interest in the pieces I selected for publication. In cases, I made strong editorial interventions. Some of these were taken on board, others were rejected, others modified after discussion. There was struggle. That’s how it should be. It means both the editor and the writer care about the work. I learned loads because of it; in editing, as in activism, struggle is the great teacher. Like any relationship, if there isn’t back and forth, if there isn’t tension, if there isn’t an energetic exchange, it isn’t happening.
I am for experimentalism and I am for high art (meaning art that makes us high), but I am against elitism. I like it when the mind works not solely for its own satisfaction, but for the heart and the passions as well. I like work that is seeking somehow to express the damage, as well as work that is seeking to inflict it. So I like offensive work, work that is on the offensive, work that is searching for someone offendable to offend; for me, this is the urge to freedom at work. The true artistic experimenter is a double-radical and a satanist in the Blakean sense. Their work has the potential to upset and upturn, to corrode and expose—to cause a reaction—both within the confines of their chosen art form, and in the wider world as well. These were my selection criteria for Issue 22, and I am proud to stand by every burning word.
Please join us for the Dublin Writers Festival launch of our Summer issue (no. 22) on Thursday, June 7 at Odessa Club, Dublin, from 9:30pm onwards. Free entry, and all welcome. Bring friends!