poetry

Mary Oliver – morning poetry writing

Listen to this wonderfully calm and thoughtful interview with the Pulitzer prize-winning poet, Mary Oliver (NPR recording 2013).

In under 7 minutes, she conveys the fresh tang of her words, by reading her poem “I happen to be standing”, written during her usual early morning attentiveness to nature and poetry writing time of choice.  Then goes on to give some thoughts on the practice of writing poetry and her concern with the natural world:

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Embroidery, poetry, photography

Maria Wigley combines embroidered handwriting with poetry and photography.  If the thought of that excites you half as much as it thrills me, then don’t miss her website

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© Maria Wigley

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© Maria Wigley

 

As an arts college tutor, Maria has thought much about her art and is able to pull out of her bag the quote:

“Painting is silent poetry and poetry is painting that speaks”

Plutarch.

Also, she is refreshingly honest about how her art received a new influx of life when she was balancing artwork with looking after her young daughter – seeing her joy with mixing the colour and putting it onto paper, without trying to make a particular representation.  Maria joined in.

Now, although her work is different, it still resonates from that place of sitting on the kitchen floor with her daughter, markmaking together, and becoming drawn into embroidering.

The art I produce now focuses on the connection between writing, stories, people and places, particularly the relationship between place and memory. Poetry and songs have a huge influence over my work, as well as listening to anecdotes about other peoples’ lives. The use of photography and drawing, features heavily in my work as it helps builds the relationship between the visual and the text. 

Excitingly, when you look at the list of her c.v. and recent projects, Maria’s embroidery text work is being used in book jackets, film, group exhibitions, artwork for a Paris hotel, handmade books….. there is a sense of her being on the cusp of about to be better known and even more sought-out.  In other words, if you like her work, seek it out now.

 

Creative Takeaways

Do you have a favourite photo, a place to remember, a favourite family quote or few lines of poetry which never go away, but keep resurfacing and still ‘speak’ to you?

How about combining them in a picture, then framing it?

Online exhibition, Edinburgh

So I curated an exhibition of contemporary art, poetry and readings – and it’s viewable in Edinburgh and online.  The works are by a collection of artists and writers, many of them are friends, all of them are excellent.

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Online catalogue – with tracks for various audio streams: poems, readings of the narrative by congregation members and curator or artist’s comment, describing the work.  This brings the exhibition to you.

https://wp.me/P3Cret-l3

Ideally, you’d visit in person, with the website page on a portable device, with headphones, so you could choose which tracks to listen to, at each artwork.

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However, if you can’t be there in person, the online catalogue is better than nothing.

I was commissioned by St Andrew’s and St George’s West, which is a church in a very central location, in Edinburgh, close to one of the main hubs of the International Edinburgh Festival.

The theme covered are the days from Christ’s resurrection through to Pentecost – all the transformed grief, new hope, encounters and excitement of that time, captured through 21st century disciples reading the words of the eye witnesses of that time, through semi-abstract pictures and modern poetry.  Something for everyone.  Those separate 3 strands of audio are clearly indicated on the audio guide, so if there’s one you’d rather miss (and it may well be the audio tracks recorded by the curator with a sore throat!) – then you can choose that.

For those of us minded to meditate, we don’t need to look far to find in our own lives and those we love, the same themes as in this exhibition: of despair, loss, recovery, transformation, hope, light, breakthrough and accompaniment through dark days.  Perhaps there will be something to think upon in our own lives as we look at the art and poetry.

Love to hear your comments and feedback.

There’s a dedicated Facebook page, ideal for comments, at http://www.facebook.com/SOLedinburgh

Please do check out the link to artists on the catalogue – many of the pictures are available as prints, if they take your fancy.  The artists featured are based in America, Ireland and Scotland.

W B Yeats, W H Auden, memorial, poetry

Poetry lives on

W H Auden reads his poem about the death of W B Yeats (anniversary today) – not only the passing of the man, but the way poetry lives on in the world after the death of its writer.

Interesting to bear in mind that we are listening to the spoken words of a poet who has been dead for over 40 years (died September 1973). Powerful to hear them read by the writer.

This poem is in fact one of 3 parts.  In the 2nd, he memorably sums up W B Yeats as “Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry” and in the 3rd it winds up the set by a simple four line verse:

“In the deserts of the heart

Let the healing fountain start

In the prison of his days

Teach the free man how to praise.”

The full poem is found in Auden’s writings 1939-1947.

Listening in on the Oscars for Poetry, T S Eliot Prize

Without even the pressure to dress up, you can listen with the leaders in UK poetry to the annual prestigious award ceremony for the T S Eliot prize – audio recordings now available here.

 

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Poetry Writing 101 Hands-on

Reader, if you are a wouldbe poetry writer, then get your hands on this book “Writing Poetry” by W N Herbert.  It’s like having a writing tutor patiently helping you – because that’s exactly what is happening – its writer is Bill Herbert, Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at Newcastle University.

dictionary meaning of spondulicks

Please do take that book token Christmas present, or lean over your local library counter and demand that they order it, or borrow the spondulicks from a pal, to buy this instantly useful and enjoyable book.  

Whether you are a beginner, near beginner or have written a couple of hundred poems but still feel like you’re at the start of a writing apprenticeship – this book takes you through the process of developing the skills/craft and – more difficult to explain – the feel for, writing poetry.

Contents

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