Thursday, 30 September 2010

Writing Through Migraine, Making ebooks, and a visit from Aamir Khan

Just completed a series of three poems this morning for a tiny little commission. It has been a busy time with commissioned pieces of late. The pieces for Manchester Literature Festival / Manchester Art Gallery are all done too now, and I've been putting them into ebook format so that they can be available as a free download..Soon.. I've also been asked to be filmed for a couple of these pieces, so we'll let you know where these will appear..

It's been a strange old week with a lot of time lost to a continuing migraine. It started on Sunday night, it's not one of those puking monsters.. this one is all tiredness, visual distortion and everything is to bright and loud.. but things don't write themselves.. so I've just got on with it. Migraine still in effect, but having completed my writing for the day I'm not feeling guilty and am going to treat myself to a decent lunch.

Strange little email the other day from the Observer checking photo credits, apparently I'm mentioned in next Sunday's issue.. but I have no idea what for.., tried probing, but am still clueless.. Hope it is something nice.. Was talked about very rudely in The Daily Mail some time ago, and still part of me clenches with the press since that. One of their little scumbags decided it was silly for Blackpool to have had a Poet in Residence.. and he'd never heard of me so I mustn't be very good. I wrote to him to tell him I'd never heard of him either, and put him on my mailing list so now he get's my newsletter every month, bet it's routed to the junk pile though..Perhaps people like this believe that being divisive, is clever in some way. Shame they can't actually contribute something other than their bile to making the country a place worth living in. I have to say the work I did with Blackpool is some of the stuff I'm proudest of. Just got on with being a poet, tried to find beauty where it shouldn't be, and tried to reflect the lives of the people who live there and the people who visit. I'll be back in Blackpool next week to give them a special reading for being so kind to me in the past.

For a long time I've had requests to run writing workshops, but never really set the ball rolling as my thoughts on writing change constantly. I have taught for The Arvon Foundation a number of times, but never simply some open workshops. Recently, however, I thought I'd try to get it together, and so teamed up with the Poetry School to create a course. We had the first day of it last weekend in the lovely Hole Int' Wall pub, which my friend Justin has lent the upstairs of to do our sessions. The theme is 'Thinking Like A Poet.' I believe creative thought differs from our daily thoughts, and I wanted to look at how we get into that as writers, explore the kind of themes one might look at in writing which lead towards it. Next one is 30th October, and there are still some places left.. here are some pics from the other day.

I was lucky enough to be in the audience for Aamir Khan's visit to Bradford the other day, I've always enjoyed his films and the best thing about his visit was his unstarlike ease, no minder, no attitude.. lovely.. Here's a pic I took of him.



Friday, 24 September 2010

Kseniya Simonova, sand-sculptress

My friend David Tibet of Current 93 pointed this out to me. It is heart-thumpingly artistic and moving...and it was on a talent show..

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Czeslaw Milosz


Do any of you know the poetry of Czeslaw Milosz well? 
what would be a good collection to get? 


I am at that stage with him where I have read poems here and there  but now feel it is time to read him more full by getting a few collections..


thanks 


John