Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Another nice idea is from TFE's stable of brilliance, the festival of light - click here for more... I'll certainly be joining in, though I might not post the list publicly.
In other news, I'm a tad scared about this Sunday, when Oub will be playing Parky with me being my own guest on the radio, I'm quite terrified and intimidated by all the brilliant, eloquent guests I've already had on, that my own waffle will sound a bit... well... waffly by comparison, but sure I'll try, for the high amusement of all lucanlanders, before resuming normal service with some very exciting guests coming up in the new year.
And another thing - this new decade that's taking off in just a few days... what'll we call it? My answer - the tennies... cast your votes now.
Monday, December 28, 2009
A lovely 3 course dinner, and great conversation (which I have been strictly warned is not blogging material, though it was extremely interesting I can assure you), followed by the slalom back over icy Rosland roads at 3am. It was hard to decide which was worse - the slushy ice roads - with definite tracks that you could stick to sliding on, while the base of the car was scrubbed by the median mountain of snow, or - the glassy ice roads - wider and smooth but perfectly shined, so that you got the feeling that the merest slip would launch you into the nearest icy turlough. It was beautiful though - the entire landscape shining in the moon's glow with blue lacy trees throughout.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
4pm on Sunday afternoon --- Liffey Sound - link on the right for live listening - or check the archives Toosday...
See Here - Titus with a new barrage of poems in shops
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Parents are soon en route, and I'm sure we've forgotten to get something crucial, but that will only be apparent when it's missed... ah well.
Here's a little something to have a look at if you're sick of Only Fools and Horses reruns...
Hope ye all have a great one...
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
On to more Poems in Shops.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I have a little red diary where I note all my reads, mostly so I can check whether I've read something before, such is my razor sharp memory that I sometimes would only realise this a few pages in, which isn't much good for making progress through the slag heap that is my pile of books yet to be read...
Anyway - this year has been markedly less readerly than the previous - less books in cars (in fact eh none) because of less time in the car, and less books in general because of a higher amount of being out and about and generally messing.. this means the list is shorter, but I can give you a bit more on them, since they are fewer in number - ie i'll try and think of a couple of relevant thoughts on each - instead of just the marks out of 10 given last year, hope you enjoy reading about my reading while you should be reading and i should be reading something better for our heads....
I will help those of you with time constraints by putting in bold the ones you absolutely have to read, and maybe more importantly - in italics - the ones to avoid at all costs
Music For Torching - AM Homes - funny, fast, off the wall, worth a read.
So Long, See you tomorrow - William Maxwell - alright, a bit subtle for a christmas read, but only cost me 1p, so can't complain.
The End of Alice - AM Homes - physically sickening, v visceral, horrific and amazing writing - only read if your head can take it.
Eats Shoots & Leaves - Lynne Truss - surprisingly entertaining & educational
The Plague - Camus - all about the atmosphere, slow claustrophic read
The Bone People - Keri Hulme - innovative and great empathy - trails off a bit
These are our Lives - Stinging Fly Anthology - great collection - some brilliant stories - esp liked the heart swop one
Comfort of Strangers - Ian McEwan - A brilliant short book, amazing capturing of relationships, but dissappointed by the ending
The Secret River - Kate Grenville - gripping at the start, fades quite a bit
Disgrace - JM Coetzee - pretty undeniably a genius book, every page glows
Walk the Blue Fields - Claire Keegan - loved these stories - annoyingly brilliant
All Summer - Claire Kilroy - another brilliantly written book, with a lovely flow to the plot - a little self conscious in places
Let's be alone together - Another Stinging Fly collection - mostly stories of oddballs & lunatics -alot of good reads
Diary of a Manhatten Call Girl - Tracey Quan - a guilty pleasure, kind of dross unfortunately
The day of the locust, diary of Balso Snell - Nathaniel West - Amazing pair of books, really enjoyed them
Lessons in Heartbreak - Cathy Kelly - a loan from someone whose feelings I didn't want to hurt, so I read it. Heartbreakingly repetitive, and uninspiring overall
Amber Spyglass - Philip Pullman - really great imagination, a beautiful book
Affinity - Sarah Waters - spooky read, a very talented crafter of novels
Proust was a neuroscientist - Jonah Lehrer - really really brilliant book - best non fiction by a mile (actually might be the only non fiction, but still the best) loved it
Twilight - Stephanie Meyer - bit of a page turner alright, enjoyable read, kinda repetetive in parts
Bad Blood - Lorna Sage - middling kind of memoir - had great expectations of it and was a bit dissappointed
Angels & Demons - Dan Brown - compulsive read, ridiculous plot, gruesome in parts but enjoyable
Everyman - Philip Roth - a brilliant little book, sad reflection on life
Post Office - Charles Bukowski - a rollocking read, fun, energetic, leaping happily through the detritus of a tragic life
The Secret Scripture - Sebastian Barry - a moving book, accomplished and thought provoking
Hard Boiled Hard Luck - Banana Yoshimoto - slightly disjointed, but interesting enough - engaging atmosphere
Host - Stephanie Meyer - more easy reading, imaginative
How many miles to Babylon - Jennifer Johnson - a very perfect short book on friendship, war and life, reading it was like curling up in a duvet, so comforting and true
I'm almost finished reading a few others - but I'll keep them towards next years total!!!
Happy Reading y'all
Monday, December 21, 2009
TFE's poetry bus is back for one week only... catch it while it's hot.
Here's a poem based on my harrowing real life experience as a Santa's little helper, which explains the chill in my bones today, and the fact that I couldn't blog last night... (ok I was out watching Avatar, but look I managed to stay un-brain-dead enough after that harrowing experience to get back to ye with not one but two ginormously high quality blog posts today)
Seventy seven selection boxes
Man with cushion-stuffed red felt pants
and laughter in his tired voice,
and one red crayon flower
Friday, December 18, 2009
Ailín is originally from Limerick, but has been a native inner city Dub for the past 5 years, she writes mostly poetry, and achieved a special mention this year in the prestigious Dromineer festival competition with her poem "Between Jobs".
Sarah is a scientist originally from Co Clare, she is a relatively recent arrival to Dublin having spent the best part of her 20s in Cork City, and escapes the scientific life with regular ravenous reading - she delights in fiction of all kinds, and loves to talk about books.
These girls are not only eloquent and entertaining but I am lucky to count them among my dearest (up to 20p an hour) friends, I love them both to bits, and I think you will too....
4pm - this Sunday - Liffey Sound - link on the right - there's no excuse to miss it
By the way - this
International Put your Poem in a Shop Month
thing is getting MEGA famous - click here to see it mentioned on Poetry Friday... Get in now! While you still can, you can say you were at the cutting edge before it got popular! (and don't forget to tell us about it)
Thursday, December 17, 2009
1. Tiny Glittery Santa. Older than me, perhaps responsible for my life long love of glitter, this is my favourite decoration ever, he's been chewed by me and the dog I once loved and lost, as well as often ousting the baby from the crib we had when I was young. Shown here next to a normal sized Santa for perspective.
2. Upside down heart framed Wedding Picture. This is a frame that we got as a present from our lovely neices and nephew the day before our wedding. We never put our own picture in it, preferring instead the people we don't know who are far better looking, and are pretending to be getting married. The important bit is the two leaves from the hedge in our front garden in the frame which have, written on them, personal messages written from the gift givers. A gorgeous thing. I spend hours looking at it thinking - one day I'll make it so the hearts are the right way up...
3. Stairs Art. We have yellow painted wooden stairs. On their own they'd be boring and ugly. With a gift of an art calender the Christmas we moved in, we transformed them week by week, into a mini gallery that we can admire on our way up and down.
BY THE WAY - MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OUT EMERGING WRITER'S POEM IN A SHOP!!!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
We haven't had it for over a month, but now it's back, weekly Wednesday. Here for today, and most of tomorrow, meteorologists reckon it will be here till at least 5pm.
(Anyone who says I've run out of ideas for blogposts, or haven't managed to get out and plant another poem in a shop might be right and they might be right... the christmas cards/ presents are beginning to get on top of me, but I can report that the tree is now properly dressed, though I'm starting to maybe see why my parents turfed it out 12 years ago... all the mismatched bits of it that seemed charming and quaint when i first dragged it to my digs in cork, now just seem kind of mismatched)
See Emerging Writer's blog for the latest poem in a shop shenanigans!!!!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
These guys (I never found out who they were, but anyone who mixes James Bond and Mozart can't be all bad) were one of the big highlights of last night's launch of "Kay's Book" - an anthology of 8 new short stories in memory of Kay McDonnell, organised and published as the culmination of a short story competition by South Dublin County Council, with a very warm speech about the lady in question.
Other highlights included the warm mince pies, warmer mulled wine, two copies hot off the press of said book with one of my earlier short stories "The Quest" printed proudly therein (it's so lovely to find a home for a story, and this is my first proper short to find a home... a happy moment), nice chat with an inspiring Catalan Poet, and catchin up with a diva.
Lowlights included my genius story not winning first place, it also not winning second place, finally going on to spectacularly fail to win third place, and the lowest light of all perhaps being me telling inspiring Catalan poet that I thought I remembered meeting her last year at Patrick Kavanagh's reading in the Irish Writer's Centre. (It was Pat McCabe I was thinking of... I'm bad with names) (really seriously bad)...
Congrats to the winners, who were - Anne Hennessy in first, followed by Kevin Shannon, and finally Brendan O'Leary, and I am looking forward very much to enjoying their work on a sofa near me soon...
Monday, December 14, 2009
Where did you get the idea for this annual event?
Inspiration first came from a discussion with Emerging Writer, who told me during late November last year that she had got a poem in shop - meaning the magazine, but I had misunderstood - and thought she had a poem in a shop, and thought it was a great idea.
Why do you want to have poems in every shop in the world during the month of December?
I think December is possibly the most hassly month of the year in terms of time spent in shops, queuing in said shops, and the amount of money handed over in said shops, making it overall a kind of stressful experience, thought it would be nice to have a little pressie for shop goers, and reason to make your own visit to the shop more artistically satisfying not to mention more exciting.
Any differences in your approach this year?
YES - I'm so glad you asked that... (stop talking to yourself Niamh, people will think you're weird)... anyway last years poems in shops approach was to put the poem disguised as a note, on a noticeboard, this year the poem goes anywhere in a shop - in with the merchandise - which in some ways was harder than last year, but opened up more possibilities for tying in with the product you were targetting with the poem.
And what has the month achieved so far?
This year we have had up to a 1000% (exact figures are difficult to calculate because for practical reasons I cannot check every single shop in the whole world) increase in poems being placed in shops, and a 2 million percent uplift in international participation with Scotland far in the lead with 5 poems so far...
On with the report - poems placed so far:
I led the way with a poor enough poem about milk, left in a poor shop with some milk, where I bought a bottle of pop that I would never have otherwise bought...Oubliette was next to charge, cheering us no end, with an impulse spur of the moment poem, from the inside of a certain boutiquey garden shoppish place where the recession hadn't made it past the metal detectors.
Then Titus took us international with her 2 poems in a tiny colourful shop somewhere in a scottish village... left up only momentarily, not to scandalise the locals... more from Titus later
Next up TFE got a brave little poem almost wheeled into store by a brave little mouse, who couldn't quite make it, but the poem was still there the next day... no actual evidence of the poem being actually in the shop... ie a photograph, but there is no doubt in my mind that the deed was done, he has promised to complete another mission - this time perhaps with a photo in situ...I followed up with a double bombing of a beauty conscious gift shopper targetted superstore poem, nervewrackingly placed between the boxsets.Hot on the heels of that came Rachel Fox of More about the song - with her beautiful tree poem on a postcard, a gift for anyone that found it among the crackers or the wrapping paper...Titus was back in action very soon after that with one absolutely scandalous and one other brilliant poem, both with spot on product placement, belly laughing stuff.For a little bit of an old classic touch - I presented last years poem among the cabbages on a quick shopping trip.
TFE wrote a fantastic award winning poem about sunglasses which... eh may or may not have some day made it into a sunglasses shop, if there was a sunglasses shop in this country...
An amazingly talented young girl, who just happens to also be my genius neice then completed a dastardly mission to the most beautiful fish shop in Galway with the most fabulously decorated poem about fish that I have ever seen. You'll find more detail on that at her secretary's blog - Man About Forty.So over to you blogworld - half the month is over, but half is still to go - 14 shopping days till the end of December - get out there and put your poem in a shop... and don't forget to let us know about it!!!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Thanks to Swiss for the ingenius tree exercise, which resulted in the following Tree Poem:
Imposter Garden Tree - removing this for the time being - leave me a comment if you want to see it again
Friday, December 11, 2009
He is bringing a first to the show in that we are going to read a piece from one of his scripts, as in - act it, as in - bring it to life, as in - give ye all a great laugh of a Sunday listening to my pathetic attempt at acting. He'll also be reading some of his great poems and giving us some interesting insights into the world of scriptwriting as well as his views on the context of poetry. Don't forget it's now going to be on at the new, more humane, bat time of 4pm... link on the right to Liffey Sound, and as I said before, for you unco-ordinated bloggers, there'll always still be the aul recording... which you can pick up anytime, until then - take it easy...
Thursday, December 10, 2009
be sure to check under the cabbages for more geurilla poems: this time a classic one of "International put your poem in a shop month 2008" fame
Girl caught beside cabbages, brows sopping
Man beside cereals, thinking of toast
No one here because they always thought shopping
Was the one thing in life they loved doing most
Anyway - some shops don't need our geurilla poems, found a gem on a notice there yesterday in a shop that said "Customers, please use gloves and thongs provided", which had us at home wondering what kind of merchandise would require the use of gloves and thongs only, any theories would be most welcome...
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
"International Put your Poem in a shop month"
on the 15th of December, where I'll be showing year on year how the month is going - so do let me know if you see any poems in shops that I might not be aware of. It's very exciting tho, and I'd say this year is easily going to kick the ass of last year, since it has actually been international this year...
In other news - thanks to Emerging Writer's blog post about Googling and google alerts, and I had this sudden urge to google myself (ok it's not the very very first time I've ever done it), and found a most exciting result (for me) that being the fact that I am mentioned on this month's Hotpress in reference to my upcoming appearance at the Nighthawks! See the linky dink here.
Not only that but I am in the running for a competition that is being awarded next Monday night in Tallaght Library, (ooh the shakes). I have some very tough competition, with a fantastic story by Oubliette not least among my worries (I've had the joy of reading it, and it's darn good, so will probably beat me, feck it). So I'm just very grateful that I'll have had something published this year.
All of which goes a long way towards making up for the crushing blow that was my PFO from a certain competition which I had sillily worked myself up for...
(One of my writing friends being so successful that he didn't even know what a PFO was kinda cheered me too) (a PFO is a Please Feck Off for those of you who don't know)
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I've lots more lovely people lined up to come into the studio, open up their brain and unpack all their valuable insights into writing and life in general for your benefit, and as usual will put up the recordings after the event on http://sundayscrapbook.
Hope you'll continue to listen...
CLICK HERE for the latest "International put your poem in a shop month" exploits by the brilliant Rachel Fox - this one looks very professional indeed...
AND HERE for the very latest "International put your poem in a shop month" brave poetry in shops by the great Titus!!
Monday, December 7, 2009
"International put your poem in a shop month"
made it to the biggest shop on the planet (or at least the biggest one near to me) and you know what? this stuff is not for the faint hearted... I thought, go for a big browser friendly shop, sure there'll be no bother getting the poems up there, I told myself, (for I had in my pockets 2 copies of my latest poem, since I was covering such a huge footfall), with the crowds there'll be ample cover, I told myself. Not so, my friends, more people equals more people ready to look at you as if you're a big weird poem placing weirdo, plus the millions of staff they have, on the look out for suspicious looking persons such as yourself. I did know this one would be my biggest challenge yet, so I spent some time in the shadows of the car park, saying a fond farewell to the handwritten scraps - one a piece of paper, one cardboard.
Then into the store. Got the cardboard poem stowed first, in behind a box-set - my best hope of it lasting a bit longer with all the eagle eyed staff everywhere (them and their free health care and spectacles and vitamins no doubt because of where they happen to work).Then the paper one, uncrinkled from my pocket, standing loud and proud in front of something that cost 20 euros, maybe someone will think the poem costs 20 euros, (oh if only people were willing to pay 20 euros for a poem!!)
A good day's work - two more poems out there in the wilderness.... Rrrraarrrr!!
If you're frustrated because you can't see the poems properly - send me 20 euros and I'll write them out again for you, alternatively - I did type it out there on a blog post about 3 days back...
Sunday, December 6, 2009
This is also why I can't show you the stunning pictures taken on a lovely walk around Bray Head yesterday, including some lovely natural lichen art, and a picture of a fantastic hovering bird, that was so stationary in the sky he looked like an ink blot on a cloud, until we got closer and could see it really was a bird - surfing and playing in the wind currents somehow pausing about 6 feet above a perfectly good perch (ie an electric cable - maybe he was making some kind of environmental point, now that I think of it)... anyway - nor can I show you the fantastic christmas decorations in my house - which I couldn't have shown anyway, because they DON'T GO UP until the 12th of the month, and this year that is going to be a struggle, since I will be out the previous night somewhere around Dubland, busy all day the next day, and out the next night somewhere in Corkland, but I'll manage somehow...
Priority no. 1 right now is the camera, got to find the camera for more poetry in shops antics - TFE is going to put his fabulous award winning sunglasses poem up in a shop near you soon, if he can find a shop selling sunglasses, and there are tons of other lovely poets thinking of doing likewise - Hurrah!!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Louise Phillips having raised her family started back writing a number of years ago and was chosen as part of a small group of emerging new talent for workshops given by Dermot Bolger, then writer in Residence for South County Dublin.
A number of her short stories and poems have since been published. Two of her short stories are contained in anthologies, ‘A Place in Time’ which formed part of ‘Caught in Amber’ an anthology edited by Eileen Casey and ‘Another Road’ part of the ‘County Lines’ anthology published by New Island.
Last year her short, short story ‘The Beads’ was published as one of the winning entries in the National Group Writers Award 2008 (Petals on a Bough) and her short story ‘A Part of Me’ was shortlisted for the Molly Keane Memorial Award.
UPDATE: Check out total feckin eejit's blog for the latest poem in a shop escapade,
Thursday, December 3, 2009
and first spotted here...
Well here it is today - the slippery warning sign is still clinging on for dear life - at this rate it should still be there when the road is actually slippery again and needs a new sign to go up, but instead of spending the country's hard earned money on a new sign the clever council people will point to their great conservational genius and hoist the old sign proudly on the pole. I will, of course, let you know if there are any further developments.
In other news, so invigorated by the immense success of my first poem placement in a shop I have already written the next one. This time to go into a make up counter or gifty chemist type environment. Here it is
Frenzied gift hunt, seek bright shiny crap
Dazed mirror eye contact, you shed glitter like snow
No box-set, cream/ face paint, unguent or slap
Makes you younger or sexier or fitter than now
Poem testing will commence over the weekend...
This just in - new poems spotted in colourful looking shops in titus land - click here for more.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
"International put your Poem in a Shop Month"
with the official first placement of a poem in a shop. Predictably, I hung around the shadows a bit first - not the band - feeling guilty and as if I was about to litter, although really I was just about to give a gift to society, the gift of a poem.
A few glasses of wine and an inspiring play by Abbey Callen called Strandline later, I was ready to do whatever it took for my art and boldly strode into a shop (that I never ever go to), under cover of three fellow writers, made straight for the milk area and placed my poem, got a picture of it quick before anyone could stop me. There were too big security people on the door, and since no one else wanted to buy anything I ended up buying a bottle of a cherry flavoured drink, just in case the burly security men stopped us on the way out and went "Hey you! Did you just leave a poem in the shop?" So, all suspicions dispersed we all merrily went on our way. I just think that maybe next time I'll write a poem about some kind of shop where browsing is ok without buying. After all this is supposed to be some kind of non commercially artistic endeavour and if I just keep buying things every time I put a poem in a shop, that'll just be good for shops.... Ah the problems of a struggling gorilla artist.
LOOKIE HERE For the first poem in a shop outside of this blog!! Well done Oubliette!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Not content with bursting onto the blogworld, Mr VC hosted his first radio show yesterday evening on Radió na Life.
You can catch it here.
We are the new posh and becks, or bert and ernie, or bonnie and clyde, or salt and pepper, or sonny and cher, or something
Thanks too for the overwhelming response to the "International put your poem in a shop" campaign, kicking off in a shop near you soon. I have a quiet kind of feeling, I don't want to say it, but it seems like it's going to be even more of a (miserable failure) roaring success than last year - more of last years escapades can be seen here.
The in-home poem test on this week's poem has gone very well and we are ready for full upscaling to launch.