I have been reading quite a lot over the past few years, the picture below shows a sample of books I have been enjoying lately: political philosophy, poetry, biography, creative non-fiction and essays. A lot of my reading material is suggested to me by Brainpickings
(link in "Inspirations" sidebar) which is put together by the brilliant Bulgarian ex-pat in NYC, Maria Popova. I have been subscribing to Popova's weekly compendium of essays and reviews for a number of years now, and I think she is probably one of the most erudite thinkers and writers currently around! Popova is the mover behind the annual Universe in Verse
event in NYC, a fundraiser for the environment that brings together poetry and science. If you don't happen to live in NYC, you can catch up on the 2017 and 2018 events here
. The 2019 event takes place at the end of this month and will also be live-streamed. I expect that it, as with the previous years, will be made available later in full.
April is poetry month, and as in previous years, I have been doing the poem-a-day challenge. I follow the website for Na/GloPoWriMo
(National/Global Poetry Writing Month), which gives daily prompts and links to poetry based resources. It is fun, challenging, and useful to my own writing practice. The poem-a-day helps me focus and I often write things I probably wouldn't write otherwise. I have the months following April to go back to these poems and revise, but for now, I just need to get them written! One of the poems I initially wrote for Na/GloPoWriMo, Thingvellir at Night
, has recently been published online in Scarlet Leaf Review
, along with several others.
I have not yet figured out what the difference is between essay, memoir, and creative non-fiction, but regardless, I was delighted that my work, Holding It Together
- bookbinding as memorial - was published online last week in Abstract: Contemporary Expressions
Although poetry and art criticism (and letter writing!) have always been my main modes of writing, in the past few years, I have expanded to include other forms - fiction, memoir, non-fiction. I was especially delighted when my short story, Prayers for My Children
, was published online in Issue 7: Continuity by Tales from the Forest
; poems have also been published in Issue 6: How it Begins
and Issue 9: Limits
. For further links to my writing, please see my webpage lorjames.com
and follow the links through the "writing" section.
Back in January of this year, there was a call for poets to read one of their poems for Poetry Sound Map
. I decided to make a recording of one of my older poems Portrait
, which was published in either 1989 or 1990 in New Irish Writing
, a feature of The Sunday Tribune
at the time (now it is a feature of The Irish Times
). I am very happy to be included on the world map of recordings from poets alive and dead - I am in great company!