Sunday, 22 February 2015

The Architecture of Chance

My new book The Architecture of Chance is now out from Wurm Press:

Christodoulos Makris’ second full collection, blends painstaking poetic craft with the accidental hazards of found text and overheard sample. As challenging as it is accessible, these poems comment wittily yet unsparingly on the cultural, economic and political textures of twenty-first century life.

"A forerunner, in Irish poetry and Irish poetry publishing."
- Harry Clifton, The Irish Times

"We can distinguish two types of cityscape: those which are formed deliberately, and others which develop unintentionally. The former derive from the artistic will that is realised in squares, vistas, arrangements of buildings, and effects of perspective which Baedeker generally illuminates with a star. The latter on the other hand come into being without having been planned in advance. They are not compositions like Pariser Platz or La Concorde which owe their existence to a single architectural conception, rather they are creations of chance, which cannot be accounted for. Wherever a mass of stone and lines of streets, whose components result from completely different interests, come together, there you will find this kind of cityscape, which has never been the focus of any interest as such. It is no more designed than nature itself, and resembles a landscape in that it asserts itself unconsciously. Without a thought for how it appears, it slumbers through time."
- Siegfried Kracauer, Seen from the Window (Aus den Fenster Gesehen), trans. Lyn Marven

Friday, 6 February 2015

Centrifugal at Trinity College Dublin

The Trinity Journal of Literary Translation, in association with The Long Room Hub at Trinity College Dublin and the Irish Translators' and Interpreters' Association, present the Dublin launch of Centrifugal: Contemporary Poetry from Dublin and Guadalajara - a bilingual anthology of reciprocal translations / re-interpretations / versions of the work of 7 pairs of poets from the two cities. The book is published by Mexico's EBL-Cielo Abierto publishing house in conjunction with CONACULTA, Mexico's National Council for Culture and the Arts, and is co-edited by Ángel Ortuño (Guadalajara) and Christodoulos Makris (Dublin).

Introduced by Christodoulos Makris, and also featuring contributions from Alan Jude Moore, Anamaría Crowe Serrano, Catherine Walsh, John Kearns and Kit Fryatt, the event will include readings from the anthology alongside discussions on the range of approaches employed in rendering the work of each partner poet into English.

Tuesday 10 February 2015, 6.30pm in The Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2.


Centrifugal was officially launched on 1 December 2014 at the Guadalajara International Book Fair in Mexico.

Launching Centrifugal at FIL Guadalajara with Ángel Ortuño and EBL-Cielo Abierto editorial director Rocío Cerón.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

cross-stream: ways of writing

I'm delighted to announce a series of talks from a diverse group of contemporary poets discussing their writing process. Produced in partnership with Fingal Libraries, these talks / presentations will take place in various library branches over four weeks in February and March 2015. All events are free admission and start at 6.30pm, and will include Q&A sessions. Full details below:

A series consisting of four events, each featuring two outstanding contemporary poets writing out of different poetic traditions (e.g. lyrical, cosmopolitan, experimental, performance) discussing the compositional process behind one of their poems. All events will include a Q&A session.

This is a unique opportunity for poetry audiences, writers, students and general readers to gain an insight into the diversity of methods and range of approaches towards writing.

Tuesday 17 February 2015
Baldoyle Library
Maurice Scully & Enda Coyle-Greene

Wednesday 25 February 2015
Donabate Library
Harry Clifton & Susan Connolly

Tuesday 3 March 2015
Blanchardstown Library
Pat Boran & Karl Parkinson

Tuesday 10 March 2015
Malahide Library
Máighréad Medbh & Alan Jude Moore

Start time for all events is 6.30pm.

Series conceived, curated and presented by Christodoulos Makris.

Monday, 19 January 2015

gorse editorial

I was honoured and delighted to receive an invitation from Susan Tomaselli to join gorse as poetry editor - an invitation I wasted no time in accepting. As I'd written elsewhere, I consider gorse a unique and refreshing presence in the Irish literary landscape, with an outlook, temperament and set of interests that resonate deeply with mine. Getting the chance to contribute to it in an editorial capacity and to work towards strengthening the considerable impact it has already made in just two issues is a hugely exciting challenge, full of possibilities.

It's hard to specify what kind of poetry I'm looking for, because above all I want to publish poetry I didn't know I was looking for. Likely to interest me, though, is writing that plays with boundaries of form, language and genre, that's aware of social, political, technological and cultural developments, that's interrogative and outward-looking, conceptually-rigorous and witty.

We are beginning to work towards issues 4 and 5, due out in September 2015 and February 2016 - submissions are now open and will remain open until 20 February. Issue 3, another top notch collection of essays, interviews, fiction and poetry from writers based in Ireland and elsewhere, will be out in March. For regular updates on all things gorse you can subscribe to the email newsletter. I will also be posting major news and announcements on this site.

Below is a short video with edited extracts from the launch of issue 2, which took place at The Library Project in Temple Bar on Wednesday 19 November 2014. Susan also posted an account of the event, including her introductory speech.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Droichead Arts Centre

As part of the opening of Thomas Brezing's exhibition/installation 'The Road is Paved with Good Intentions' at the Droichead Arts Centre on Wednesday 14 January 2015, I will be doing a collaborative performance with the artist in his 'Carpet Man' persona:

"Carpet Man is an ongoing performance-based project running since 2011, revolving around a persona adopted by Thomas Brezing. Carpet Man has appeared in derelict houses, a snow-covered mountain, an abandoned pool, a beach, an old shop unit, a vandalised warehouse, a forest and several other locations. A short film documenting his journeys was produced in 2013. Christodoulos Makris is a poet, editor and curator particularly interested in experimental/innovative/conceptual writing, often the result of collaborations. His essay on Brezing's Carpet Man project appeared in the July/August 2013 issue of Visual Artists Ireland newsletter. For this performance, he will engage with Carpet Man by responding to the variously discarded material he encounters or manipulates in his journeys - as also used by Brezing for his gallery installation - with treatments of contemporary cultural detritus."

The exhibition runs from Thursday 15th January to Saturday 28th February (gallery open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am – 5pm)

Free Admission

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Belleville Park Pages No. 30

Belleville Park Pages is a publication printed on paper every two weeks, while also publishing various online pieces each month. Edited from London and Paris by James Bird and Will Cox, and currently stocked in 29 bookshops in 9 countries (including Books Upstairs and The Winding Stair in Dublin - as well as Foyles in London, Shakespeare & Co in Paris and City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco among others) each print issue is a hand-folded and hand-packaged creamy A3 broadsheet.

Page 30, published last week, includes my poem 'Consequences'. My thanks to Will for seeking it out for publication.

(There are actually four different editions of No. 30, each with a different festive recipe amongst the poetry and short stories from guest chefs from restaurants in Oslo, kitchens in London and home pantries in Ludlow.)

You can buy individual copies of Belleville Park Pages at £3.00, or take out a subscription.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Colony issue 3

Issue 3 of online journal Colony, published last month, focuses on the theme of Magic and includes my piece 'Heaney after Rauschenberg'. My thanks to poetry editor Kimberly Campanello for featuring it within what is a strong poetry section, also including excellent work by Paul Casey, Aodán McCardle, Doireann Ní Ghríofa and Ryan Van Winkle.

'Heaney after Rauschenberg' is a piece of erasure, which reduces Seamus Heaney's collection Death of a Naturalist to its four-letter words, in order of their appearance in the text.

Here's Robert Rauschenberg talking about his 1953 work 'Erased de Kooning Drawing':

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

ISLA Festival interview

In the course of my participation in the 3rd ISLA Festival in October, I was interviewed by Eleanor Molloy at the Dámaso Alonso Library of the Instituto Cervantes in Dublin for the Institute's YouTube channel:

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Centrifugal: Contemporary Poetry from Dublin and Guadalajara

I'm thrilled to announce publication of Centrifugal: Contemporary Poetry from Dublin and Guadalajara, a bilingual anthology of reciprocal translations / re-interpretations / versions of the work of 7 pairs of poets from the two cities. Co-edited by Ángel Ortuño and myself, the book is published by Mexico's EBL-Cielo Abierto publishing house in conjunction with Conaculta, Mexico's National Council for Culture and the Arts.

7 poets from Dublin and 7 from Guadalajara exchange selections of their work in pairs and render the work of their partner poet in the opposite language. The emphasis is on re-interpretation rather than traditional translation: the poems become new in the hands of the partner poet while bearing the poetic core of the original.

Centrifugal investigates the multiple possibilities of meaning released through the transfer of texts between languages. The poets' responses range from rewrites to deliberate mistranslations to dialogues with the originals to entirely new poems. Some make use of a near native-level knowledge of the opposite language, and some require literal translations of the source texts; others resort to dictionaries, web searches or Google Translate.

The writing presented in Centrifugal "strays from the centre, away from the main stream of how poetry and translation are expected to behave". In addition to providing a record of the work of some of the outstanding poets currently writing in the two cities, this book stands as a significant contribution to the exploration of the relationships between language, geography, identity and poetry.


Alan Jude Moore & Xitlálitil Rodríguez
Anamaría Crowe Serrano & Mónica Nepote
Catherine Walsh & Laura Solórzano
Christodoulos Makris & Luis Eduardo García
John Kearns & José Eugenio Sánchez
Kimberly Campanello & Ángel Ortuño
Kit Fryatt & Ricardo Castillo


Centrifugal is being launched by Ángel Ortuño, EBL-Cielo Abierto editorial director Rocío Cerón, and myself at the Guadalajara Book Fair next Monday, 1 December, at 7.30pm. The Guadalajara Book Fair is the premier annual meeting event of the Spanish-language publishing world, with over 750,000 visitors.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Winter Warmer festival 2014

Ó Bhéal’s 2nd Winter Warmer festival takes place this coming Friday and Saturday 21-22 November in Cork City, and I'm very happy to be taking part in it.

More than twenty poets - also including Eleanor Hooker, Astrid Alben, Máighréad Medbh, TemperMental MissElayneous, Sarah Clancy, Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhúigh, Alan Jude Moore and Paula Meehan - will be reading/performing in the amphitheatre at Sample Studios, some of whom will be accompanied by musicians. There will also be poetry-focused comedy games, poetry-theatre, a selection of poetry-films from around the world, and a closed-mic for ten local poets.

I'm scheduled to read on Saturday, in a session that starts at 3.30pm and also features Ciarán MacArtain (with Michael O’Callaghan) and Simon Ó Faoláin.

All events are free admission.