Wednesday 10 April 2019

Writing and reading

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 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!

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