Thursday, 30 April 2009

Apathetical Readers

Exciting things are in the air regarding An Apathetical Reader, I've seen details on a couple of other blogs, as yet just a tantalising taste of what Alice Apathetical is up to. The Manchizzle quotes this:

web magazine An Apathetical Reader, "a creative community site that hopes to give a voice to the vast numbers of unsupported, disillusioned young people in the city," writes a shadowy figure called Alice Apathetical. "The website will feature local news, national political comment, features about Manchester, music journalism and artist profiles. By creating a unique and quality webzine I hope to support creative people blown by the current economic climate and finding the city a difficult place to meet like-minded people."

It sounds very exciting. Keep all ears to the ground.

Children in Conflict

I just got an interesting e-mail from the New Student Writing Society (based at UoM), who are putting together their first collection at the moment.

More immediately, they're doing readings at the Children in Conflict event at Platt Fields Community Chapel on May 6th. The evening is hosted by Amnesty International, UNICEF, and DEC Gaza Appeal for Children in Conflict Week.

The event is a mixture of art and poetry, doors open at 5pm, with things kicking off at 5.30 and going until 7.30. Admission is £1.50, all money goes to charity.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Bewilderbliss Video Changed

As I've mentionned previously, I edit a magazine for new Manchester writers called Bewilderbliss. The first issue came out in March and we had a launch at the Deaf Institute. The readings from that night were filmed and a short video made of each of the readers. The videos are featured on the Bewilderbliss website, and I change them every couple of weeks. I've just changed it to Cora Greenhill, a great local poet whose website features some poems from her three collections.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Goodbye Ugly Tree

The Ugly Tree has died. The Mancunian poetry magazine has been around for seven years but it's dropped it's final leaves for issue #20.

There will be a farewell gig on 28th May, with readings at Central Library (Committee Room, 2nd floor) starting at 6pm.

There are still back issues to buy to mop your tears up with, and when I spoke to Paul a couple of weeks ago he said that Ballista is still continuing, which is good news for fiction lovers.

A Small Eternity

I went to the sonnet reading at John Rylands Deansgate on Thursday in celebration of Shakespeare's birthday. It featured some of the UoM students who have contributed sonnets to the small anthology that accompanies the beautiful exhibition in the Christie Gallery there at the moment.

The exhibition is called A Small Eternity: The shape of the sonnet through time, it's there until the 27th of June. You can pick up a copy of the anthology, which is very enjoyably and beautifully presented, and you can contribute your own sonnet to the exhibition. If that's not sold you on the exhibition, here's what the university has to say to tempt you to visit:

Crossing time, continents and cultures the sonnet as a poetic form has always captured the imagination of poets. So, what kind of poem is a sonnet and where did they come from?
Using sumptuously illuminated books, rare and early printed editions, unique literary manuscripts and writers' letters, this exhibition traces some of the stories told by the sonnet and explores why poets have felt compelled to write them.It contains examples of the work of a diverse range of sonneteers from Petrarch to Vikram Seth and Wilfred Owen to Lorna Goodison who have employed the form to speak of love-lost, found and forbidden, solace in war, and the nature of being and belonging in a complex world.
The exhibition will pay special attention to the sonnets of William Shakespeare five hundred years after their first appearance in print and offers you the opportunity to contribute to this anniversary by writing sonnets of your own.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Poetry School

This month through to June you can go along to The Poetry School for a variety of workshops for adults. They all run over a number of sessions, which is why I've not put details in the upcoming readings sidebar.

The one's coming up in Manchester that still have spaces are:

Elements and Forces with Grevel Lindop, it's 4 sessions starting 30/04/09, looking at the "fundamental elements of poetry and the forces that sustain it."

Poetry and Vocabulary with Matthew Welton, it's 2 sessions starting 25/04/09, which "explore the poetic benefit of developing an attentive approach to the vocabulary you use in your writing."

Reading Contemporary American Women Poets with John McAuliffe, it's 3 sessions starting 04/06/09, this course "encourages you to reflect on developments over the last forty years in American poetry, and perhaps how these relate to fashions closer to home. "

Monday, 20 April 2009

Back Again

I've been away writing over Easter, I went to the woods, lived deliberately, sucked some marrow. Now I feel as though I've lost touch with things in the writing world a little, I missed some great-looking readings. Luckily I'm back in time to see some UoM students reading their poems as part of a celebration of Shakespeare's birthday.

Do e-mail me with details of any other upcoming readings and I'll put their details on here.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Lit List loves booklovers

The Manchester Lit List has created a rather handy list of ten great websites for book lovers. Check out the list and lose yourself for a lovely self-indulgent day in book loving thoughts about social cataloguing, book-dropping, reviewing and book clubs.

Saturday, 4 April 2009


This is exciting news from my other project - local new writers' magazine Bewilderbliss. Jackie Kay, tipped to become Poet Laureate next month, has set the theme for the issue and agreed to lend a little extra support by writing something for the upcoming issue. The magazine will be out around the end of June, I'll announce the theme closer to the time.

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This is a little off-topic, but related to the plight of the small press. At a party recently I was told it was perverse to want to publish a print magazine in this day and age. That's not the first time I've had that reaction, but it's the first time a stranger's called me perverse because of Bewilderbliss.

Well help is at hand in the form of, this blog has come to my defense by proposing an ad campaign that highlights all the ways that books are sexy and cool. The post is funny and great and helps me feel like I'm not a troglodyte for wanting to read ink on paper.