‘A Story’ in Far Off Places

fairy tales retold black

Far Off Places is a creative writing and illustration magazine based in Edinburgh, that was launched early in 2013.

Their vision is “to create a stage for emerging writers to strut their stuff, both traditional and experimental. We hope to reach, enchant and grip readers who wouldn’t ordinarily pick up a poetry magazine. We believe in beautiful craftsmanship, where choice of font and paper type is an artistic decision.”

The writing in this first issue ‘Fairy Tales Retold’ is striking, imaginative, and seasoned well with those special touches of dark comedy particular to the strangeness of fairy tales.

Oh, and it also has one of my poems in it, which starts like this…

A Story

Like dreams that steal the air from your lungs:
alcohol; sex; annihilation; thought; forgetfulness;
in a few years time maybe a residue in your mind.

Stains.

“Tell us a story?” they asked, not knowing
the impossible task.

…. if you’d like to read the rest, then you can download a digital copy of the magazine for just £1.99 at Faroffplaces.org.
However, if you feel that you’d like a little more teasing first, you can get a FREE teaser edition of the magazine HERE.
And you can read it in the British Library too – which is pretty cool!

27th April – ‘Imagining Our Futures’ – Central School of Speech and Drama, London

GI LogoI feel that being able to imagine a positive and productive future for yourself is a really key part of living a happy life, and so I am delighted to be speaking at this event next weekend.

‘Imagining Our Futures’ brings together trans professionals from a range of backgrounds to talk about their careers, what inspires them, and how being trans may have had an effect on things for them.

past_present_future_smallsign1

The event is organised by Gendered Intelligence, and will give young trans people an opportunity to hear from older trans people and ask questions – whether it’s about the career path itself or information on being trans or transitioning in a particular field.

The venue is fully accessible. Travel bursaries will be available, for up to £7 per person, with a receipt. Light refreshments will be provided.

For more information, go to Imagining Our Futures.

This is Not My Story @ Hall for Cornwall

“People tell me we live in a pretty equal world,
but man… this is a little boy
who everyone thinks is a girl, and
by high school his whole world is broken…”

‘This is Not My Story’ filmed at the Hall for Cornwall in Truro, February 2013, as part of a Telltales event.

 

‘Reading About Poetry (whilst thinking about girls)’ in LAVENDER REVIEW

In December I had a poem published in the Muse edition of the Lavender Reviewcalled ‘Reading About Poetry (whilst thinking about girls)‘. I wrote it back when I was at uni, trying to complete a rather tedious homework assignment – which then turned out to be far more fun than I’d anticipated! Here’s an extract:

George Segal, Gay Liberation Monument, Sheridan Square, NYC (1980). Photo by Robert Giard. Courtesy of the Stephen Bulger Gallery. I’m squeezing alliteration
out of her gluteus
maximus, medius, and minimus
until they are oozing
with assonance.

I’m licking the ligature ‘ash’ off
her lobulus auriculæ,
and when I
open her bra (
that she bought at the market)
I find iambic areolae
flitTING aCROSS my BRAIN
punctuated at periods with
mammary papilla…

You can read the poem in full, and/or listen to me reading it aloud (if you’re into that sort of thing) on the Lavender Review website.

The Lavender Review is an international, biannual e-zine dedicated to poetry and art by, about, and for lesbians, including whatever might appeal to a lesbian readership. It was born on Gay Pride Day, June 27, 2010.

24th January – Telltales @ Hall for Cornwall – Truro

whats-on-hall-for-cornwall-banner

Well, it’s a new year, and I’m happy to say I’ll be starting it off with a gig down in Cornwall, performing in a line-up selected by the brilliant purveyor of fine words that is Telltales.

Telltales at the Hall for Cornwall looks set to be a powerful evening full of drama and delight. Bringing you 8 writers, each with their own take on ‘This Mortal Coil’ – so expect life’s stresses, being human, making mistakes, mortality, death, birth and everything between!

The Telltales MicrophoneThere’s an eclectic line-up with a little bit of something for everybody, including  sci-fi writer Ben Power; rising talent Aaron Kent; award-winning writer Felicity Notley and her story The FootMy Cornwall competition winner Douglas Bence who’ll be sharing his story An Unexpected Guest; lots more from Nic Robey, Mary Mcstecky, and Alan Robinson; and a 5-minute performance poem from me, called This is not my story.

This event is part of the Hall for Cornwall’s series of ‘Platform Events’ that take place in their Assembly Rooms. Tickets are free, but seats are limited to just 80 and must be booked in advance as when we last checked there were only about 10 left. So…

Follow this link to BOOK YOUR TICKET NOW.

See you there!

Telltales: The Parabola Project III: Horizons - get the book while stocks last

Day 25: Small Press Advent Calendar: CINNAMON PRESS

day 25This will be the last post in this 2012 Small Press Advent Calendar, and so I’d like to thank you for following, sharing, and most importantly, buying the books. Without you buying books, these fantastic, quirky, and sometimes life-changing, independent publishing houses would not be able to operate. So, without further ado, behind door 25, is…

‘Above the Forests’ by Ruth Bidgood, Published by Cinnamon Press

Cinnamon Press is a small, independent publisher run by a family team. They publish fiction, poetry and selective non fiction books, choosing not by genre, but by selecting works they feel passionate about, writing that is thought provoking and says something new.

Based in North Wales, they aim to include a significant list of Welsh writing in English amongst their titles, and their other authors come from a wide range of places from South Africa to New Zealand, America to China, the rest of the UK, and more.

They also run Envoi poetry magazine, which is now in its 53rd year, and a number of competitions.

cinnamon_-_above_the_forests_resized_‘Above the Forests’ by Ruth Bidgood, is a collection of poems in which the lie of Welsh land, local and family history, social pressures, the promptings of dream and of scientific speculation are all evoked, serving to draw the reader, often literally step by step, into processes of questioning, self-questioning and an intuitive crossing of boundaries.

At 90 years of age, Ruth’s voice remains effortlessly precise: the thought and language in the poems comes across razor sharp, and with ‘a lyricism that pushes at the boundaries of life.’ [-GWales]

“These are daring poems… Above the Forest combines deep feeling with keen intelligence.” – Anne Cluysenaar

‘Above the Forests’ is available to buy now via Inpress Books for £7.99.

[Day 25 on the Poetry Advent Calendar is ‘Eleven pm, 25th December’ by Charlotte Wetton. Do carry on visiting the site daily for the rest of their calendar, which carries on until Dec 31st!]

Merry Christmas!!

 

Day 24: Small Press Advent Calendar: HAPPENSTANCE

day 24The book behind the 24th door of the advent calendar reminds me of the underbelly of Christmas time; those moments you have as a child when you’re not really sure what’s going on, but you just know somehow that things are not as they should be.

‘Giant in the Doorway’ by Marion Tracy, Published by HappenStance

HappenStance is an independent publisher based in Scotland that specialises in poetry pamphlets. In addition to publishing, they review chapbooks and provide information about pamphlet publishing in general, mostly via their sister site Sphinx. They also operate an interesting subscription scheme that is worth looking into:

For just £7.50 pa, you receive:

– 1 free publication of your choice.
– The latest chapter of The HappenStance Story.
– Information about each new publication (snail mail).
– News about press activities during the year.
– 25% off the cover price of each publication.
– A free PoemCard with every order:
– Feedback on up to twelve poems of your own, if sent during reading ‘windows’.

Find out more information and/or subscribe HERE.

‘Giant in the Doorway’ by Marion Tracy is a collection of poems that begins with an evocative account of one day and night in a holiday cottage, from the point of view of a child struggling to make sense of her mother’s psychiatric illness. The subsequent poems extend the narrative through a mature (but no less emotive) reflection on the mother’s life, death and legacy.

Here’s a taster poem, as featured on the HappenStance site:

Giant in the Doorway   Marion TracyGiant in the doorway

10.

I’m in the double bed next to judith
lennie is asleep in the cot moon lays down
a clean bandage onto the floor I can hear

the sea singing with my mother
their voices mutter and shout
and dip and scream together below

and outside I know the word mad
but when I ask judith what’s wrong
with mummy exactly and judith says

she can’t spell it or pronounce it I know
judith doesn’t want to talk about it
I shouldn’t talk about it

Buy ‘Giant in the Doorway’ direct from HappenStance now for £4.00.

[Day 24 on the Poetry Advent Calendar is ‘You are Not’ by Nathan Lunt]