Wednesday 30 September 2009

Anthology Alert (1): 'Empty Shoes'

'Empty Shoes' (Popcorn Press 2009) has just been published. It has been edited by Patrick T. Randolph who teaches Academic and Creative Writing at Wisconsin-La Crosse. It contains my poem, Stranger, based upon observations made some years ago when I lived in Rome.

The anthology comprises 158 poems on the theme of hunger and homelessness by 80 poets, including many who have direct experience of homelessness in one capacity or another. All profits from the sale of this book will be allocated to projects concerned with helping those who are hungry or in need of shelter.

Tuesday 29 September 2009

Magazine Moment (4): Poetry Cornwall / Bardhonyeth Kernow and Echo Verse

The right end of the Whispering Seat in the grounds of Wilton House, Wiltshire
(Click to enlarge if you would like to read the green notice!)

The latest edition, issue 26, of Poetry Cornwall / Bardhonyeth Kernow (ed. Les Merton) includes my short article on Echo Verse and my poem, 'Echo from the West'. Do let me know if you encounter examples of this fascinating form of poetry.

You can read about my Echo Verse explorations on my Echo blog here.
  • Subscription details of Poetry Cornwall / Bardhonyeth Kernow can be found by following this link.

Monday 28 September 2009

Competition Corner (2): The Haddon Library of Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Cambridge


The results of the Haddon Library Poetry Competition were announced at a prizegiving ceremony on 25 September 2009, as part of the Alumni Weekend.


Winning Poems

1st prize: His eightieth (Roger Elkin)

2nd prize: The story of 800 (Mary Courtney)

3rd prize: Sleepover at the Museum (Caroline Gill)

[Click on poem title to read poem or click on poet's name to read about poet, in each case].

The competition was part of the Cambridge 800 celebrations, and poems had to incorporate one of the anniversary numbers - 800, 1209 or 2009. You can read the University of Cambridge Press Release here.

Saturday 19 September 2009

Beautiful Birds (14): Tufted Puffin - UK Sighting

Those of you who visit my blog will already know that I have a soft spot for puffins!

The Guardian reported a first UK sighting on 16 September 2009 in Kent of a TUFTED PUFFIN (described on the Newstin site as a 'punk puffin'), a species usually associated with the Pacific. You can read about the puffin here. There is also a photograph of this delightful bird.

There are more records and photographs of the sighting on the Birdguides site (see here also).


Thursday 17 September 2009

Literary Landmarks (2): Samuel Johnson Anniversary

Jetty at Dunvegan on Skye
(seal trips run from here)

Dunvegan Castle, Skye

18 September marks the anniversary (well, one of them - follow the link to have this explained!) of the birth of the famous lexicographer, Samuel Johnson.

We have just returned from the magical isle of Skye, following in the footsteps of Johnson and Boswell. We took a copy of Boswell's account with us: it made fascinating reading.

'We arrived at Dunvegan late in the afternoon. The great size of the castle, which is partly old and partly new, and is built upon a rock close to the sea, while the land around it presents nothing but wild, moorish, hilly, and craggy appearances, gave a rude magnificence to the scene.' Boswell, Monday 13 September 1773.

Saturday 12 September 2009

Creature Feature (10): Computer Cats

I mentioned some days ago that we failed to find a copy of the Radio Times, so bought a copy of the Telegraph in order to have a copy of the week's television listings. The paper had a column on cats and computers. It reminded us of the time when our cat jumped on the keyboard and completely re-set the alphabet...

I was amused therefore to find the article mentioning cat software, Pawsense, which you can read about here. We have a volume called 'Why cats paint' - but is this all going just a bit far?

Perhaps our feline friends are winding us round their tails!

Monday 7 September 2009

Window on Wildlife (9): And now for the good news...

In these grey days of credit crunch and swine 'flu, it is good to hear that more than 350 new species have been discovered in the Himalayas in recent times. You can read about them here.

Wednesday 2 September 2009

Poetic People (23): Aeronwy Thomas, book review

It was good to find a review of My Father's Places by Aeronwy Thomas (Cassandra Jardine in the Telegraph, 29 Aug 09). The book is published by Constable and costs £14.99.

Jardine concludes that Dylan's daughter, who died recently, wrote 'with a lyricism reminiscent of her father's'. Do look out for the book.

Window on Wildlife (8): Panda-monium

Do take a look at the Pandamonium exhibition in Selfridge's, in connection with WWF (more panda artworks on this site). We failed to find a Radio Times this week for the television listings, and ended up with a copy of the Telegraph (Sat 29 Aug), which alerted me to the story. I wonder if you remember the WWF panda collection boxes...