"I think every poem can be cathartic: as a writer, you are happy when you are productive. It feels good for me to produce any new poem, even if it doesn’t come out as an overly strong piece; the main thing is the creative process, that you can still produce."
The new edition of The Honest Ulsterman is out, in which I interview poet Ross Thompson about his debut collection from Dedalus Press ... and I talk to Ken Owens about my own collection 'The Dogs Of Humanity' from Fly on the Wall Poetry. Many thanks to editor Greg McCartney for including these features.
Geraldine O'Kane and myself spontaneously decided to read some poems in the garden of the recently opened Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) in Dublin, while visiting this week. Seemed perfectly fitting... MoLI itself is absolutely brilliant (as is its cafe). A guided tour takes 50 minutes, but we took 2 1/2 hours to explore everything. Highly recommended for anyone engaging with, or interested in, Irish literature.
Many thanks to Burning Eye Books for listing 'The Dogs of Humanity' in their Not The Forward Prize! Congrats to my Fly on the Wall Poetry label mates listed as well, good luck to them all.
The latest issue of Black Bough Poetry is also out, feature three senryū of mine. Many thanks to editor Matthew M.C. Smith for dedicated the issue to myself and Geraldine. Matthew does an amazing job with BBP, creating gorgeous issues full of micropoetry.
Many thanks to Fly On The Wall Press and judges Isabelle Kenyon and Siem Bruinsma for choosing my poem 'After Grenfell' as one of the runners-up in their Aryamati Poetry Prize 2019 competition.
This poetry prize remembers Cambridge graduate, Olga Kenyon (Aryamati), who had a rich career involving teaching, lecturing and writing. The competition sought poets who write for social change and peace, with poems on the theme of 'change'.
Many congratulationss to winner Pippa Little and all the other listed poets.
I'll be reading at Books Upstairs's Sunday Session on Sunday 20th October, 3pm, alongside Geraldine O'Kane and Tory Campbell, in a special showcase of Northern Irish poetry.
The event is free. Please note as the cafe is upstairs, disabled access is restricted unfortunately.
The Sunday Session is an ongoing series from Books Upstairs, usually featuring three readers. We'll hoping to bring down some more NI poets for future sessions.
I turn 40 this week, which is no big deal in itself, but I suppose it is a good time for a bit of a stocktake and a clearing out of the back catalogue....
Over the next month, I'll be releasing some projects that I've been sitting on, basically gathering (digital) dust. This will be partially to clear the desk for new work, and partially as a sort of creative milestone.
To commence, I've two new booklets of artwork available for download via Gumroad.
'Many Headed' is a collection of twenty-five heads (and one poem) in various mediums.
'Cartoon Truffle' is a (far) less serious motley crew of various MS Paint cartoons and sketches doodled over the years.
These will be available for free download (PDF format) during October.