Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Fondation Jan Michalski - Residency

I have been awarded a residency at the Fondation Jan Michalski in 2017. This foundation for literature at the foot of the Jura in Switzerland has a large multilingual library and exhibition space, not to mention the wonderful "treehouses" for writers shown in the video above. I will use the residency to complete work on the first English translation of a selection of songs collected in Greenland in 1935 by the French anthropologist Paul-Emile Victor (originally published as Chants d'Ammassalik, Copenhagen, 1991).

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Sun Beats Collective - Podcast

Nukúnguasik, who escaped from the tupilak
from Eskimo Folk-Tales by Knud Rasmussen (1921)

Sun Beats Collective (@sunbeatsco) have launched a new poetry podcast.

In the first episode of Under the Table hosts Sarah and Anna interview me about poetry and place, with the emphasis on the latter - and digressions via kayaks, qivittoq and tupilaks. There are poems from Andrew Fentham (who responds with panache to my challenge to write a sestina using the titles of Pet Shop Boys songs), Jane Yeh and - a new discovery for me - the work of minimalist poet Robert Lax.

I'm looking forward to the next episode already.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Sunday, 6 November 2016

New edition!

A new edition of How To Say "I Love You" In Greenlandic has just been launched by MIEL books.

The new edition beautifully captures the colour and texture of the pochoir prints in the original artist's book, with its twelve postcards digitally printed on 300gsm cotton card stock, and an essay on Greenlandic language and landscape in the accompanying booklet.

MIEL books are offering an introductory discount of 30% to customers buying the book before 14 November 2016 - just quote the code WELCOMETOGREENLAND when you visit the online shop.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

TV takeover - National Poetry Day 2016

Poetry took over the continuity slots at Channel 4 Television on National Poetry Day this month. Among the works broadcast were two poems from Disko Bay. I suspect 'Planning Permission' was deliberately scheduled before Grand Designs! Thanks to Dominic O'Shea at Channel 4 for making the recording such fun. You can watch the short films we made below.

Planning Permission

Summer Song

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

New Lines | Old Maps - 16 November, Oxford

Roam cover image courtesy Éireann Lorsung

New Lines | Old Maps
Four writers read poems of maps, migrations and place: Nancy Campbell, Laressa Dickey, Carola Luther and Carol Rowntree Jones. 

Albion Beatnik Book Store, 34 Walton St, Oxford
Wednesday 16 November 2016
19:00, £2 entry, paid bar.

Nancy Campbell is a writer and book artist. Her poetry collection Disko Bay (Enitharmon Press, 2015) is shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Other books include How To Say ‘I Love You’ In Greenlandic: An Arctic Alphabet which won the Birgit Skiöld Award; a new edition by MIEL books will be launched at this event.

Laressa Dickey is a writer based in Berlin. She’s the author of several chapbooks including A Piece of Information About His Invisibility and apparatus for manufacturing sunset, and the poetry collection Bottomland (Shearsman). Two books are forthcoming: Roam (Shearsman) in 2016, and Twang (Backwaters Press) in 2017. Laressa will launch Roam at this event.

Carola Luther’s first poetry collection, Walking the Animals (Carcanet Press) was shortlisted in 2004 for the Forward Prize for First Collection. Her second collection Arguing with Malarchy was published by Carcanet Press in 2011. Carola was Poet in Residence at the Wordsworth Trust in 2012. Herd was published by The Wordsworth Trust in that same year. Carola now lives in West Yorkshire and works as a counsellor.

Carol Rowntree Jones’ work has been published in The North, Assent, Staple and 111O. She won the inaugural Overton Poetry Prize with her chapbook This Is Not Normal Behaviour and has a chapbook out with Dancing Girl Press in the US. As well as poetry, she writes essays and short fiction and was one of winners of the Asham Award for women’s short fiction in 2013, the award anthology being published by Virago. She runs Nottingham Poetry Series and teaches creative writing and poetry workshops.

Poets, clockwise from top right: 
Carola Luther, Carol Rowntree Jones, Laressa Dickey (by Dina Debbas) and Nancy Campbell (by Tom D. Jones)

Sunday, 25 September 2016

The Polar Tombola - News

The Polar Tombola continues its UK tour this autumn with the following dates:

At The Poetry Library, London on 16 October, as part of Southbank Centre Literature Festival.
The Polar Tombola will be open from 12:00 until 18:00 for the Poetry Library's annual Open Day, with the theme Living in Future Times. Hang around! There's a poetry reading in the evening (20:00 start), at which I'll present newly commissioned work responding to the library collections.

At The Polar Museum, Cambridge on 29 October, for Cambridge Festival of Ideas.
Drop in between 12:00 to 16:00 to play the Tombola in the atmospheric surroundings of the UK's best polar collections.

At the World Museum, Liverpool, on 20 November,as part of the Women Crossing Cultures / Being Human Festival.
Come and play the Polar Tombola between 14:00 and 16:00; I'll conclude the event with a reading of Arctic poems from my collection Disko Bay at 16:15.

All these events are free, no booking required.

Can't make the dates above? The Polar Tombola will be making its final appearance in Bristol on 2 April 2017. Watch this space for details...

Friday, 29 July 2016

Disko Bay - news and reviews

  • Recently The Poetry School invited me to write a guest post for their blog about a poem from Disko Bay, describing how it moved from first drafts to publication. My account of the writing process behind 'The Survivors' can be read here.

Some reviews of Disko Bay have been published in the last few weeks. Here's a selection:
  • Theophilus Kwek considers the book in a round-up of titles nominated for the Forward Prizes (Felix Dennis Prize for First Collection) in The London Magazine: 'spare, supple lines serve as indispensable guides in the unfamiliar visual and mythic landscape'. (Read the full review here)
  • Martyn Crucefix reviews my collection for his excellent poetry blog (well worth following for his forthcoming reviews of other books on the shortlist): 'eco-poetry without shed loads of landscape description'. (Read the full review here)
Many thanks to both poets for the time they have taken to read and respond to my work.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

'Paint her to your own mind' - Shandy Hall

There's a blank page in Tristan Shandy, where Laurence Sterne invites his reader to recreate their ideal woman, to 'paint her to your own mind'. Such a gesture on the part of the author acknowledges that perceptions of beauty differ just as widely as the means of depiction might.

This spring the Laurence Sterne Trust challenged 147 writers, artists and composers to fill in the blank page with their own representations of beauty.

Now the results of this commission are on show at Shandy Hall in Coxwold, the home of Laurence Sterne Trust, until 30 September. All the works in 'Paint Her To Your Own Mind' are available to purchase by online auction, with funds going to the support the wonderful work of Shandy Hall. All artworks are anonymous, leaving the viewer to guess which artist created which page. Can you spot mine?

Friday, 1 July 2016

Gladstone's Library Shortlist

I am honoured to be on the shortlist for the 2017 Writers in Residence Award at Gladstone's Library. The book collection of the Victorian statesman William Ewart Gladstone is now the core of a remarkable residential library 'dedicated to dialogue, debate and learning ... in an age of distraction and easy solutions.' Read the full shortlist here.

The winners will be announced on Monday 3 October at the National Liberal Club in London when the four winning authors will read from their work. Tickets for the Writers in Residence 2017 launch event are priced at £10. To register your interest, please call 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org.