Showing posts from November, 2011

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In Focus (Vol 8, No 3)

In Focus is "a quarterly magazine on literature, culture and the arts in Cyprus" and is published in Nicosia by The Cyprus PEN Centre and Armida Publications. Its current issue reproduces the feature on my work originally published in January for 3:AM Magazine 's 'Maintenant' series: an interview conducted by Steven Fowler, accompanied by five poems . In Focus features fiction, poetry, artwork, essays, reviews, interviews and non-fiction pieces. Some of the material is very good - an interview with a maker of theatre masks from a few issues ago springs to mind. But it is of a conservative bent, and with a tone that can appear overly formal, or sentimental. Editor Panos Ioannides has published work of mine before, and I'm grateful that he has sought our permission to bring the feature to the attention of the magazine's readers. But it's impossible to ignore that a lot of what it publishes is at odds with the gist of what I say in the very intervi

Scrutinising Ireland's President-Poet

It was amusing to read the comments that predictably flooded in from indignant folk, mainly out of or related to Ireland, following Carol Rumens' deconstruction of Michael D Higgins' poem 'When Will My Time Come?'. "Mean-spirited", "churlish", "nasty" and "mad woman" were some of the epithets used with reference to the article or its author, both in the chain of comments below the piece and on other forums. The first I knew of Rumens' piece on The Guardian website (which I often read) was from a parochial defence of Higgins in the following Saturday's Irish Times (which I often don't). For what it's worth, I feel there's an issue with Rumens' article in that its title (possibly not her own choice) and first paragraph question the very claim that Higgins is a poet, rather than what he writes or his approach. (Interestingly, on her own website Rumens begins her welcome note with "I hate attaching

The Art of Failure isn't hard to Master, by Thomas Brezing

Thomas Brezing 's exhibition The Art of Failure isn't hard to Master opens on Saturday 12 November 2011 at the Highlanes Gallery in Drogheda, Co Louth, and runs until 11 January 2012. Brezing's painting 'Skylloura', which provides the cover for my book Spitting Out the Mother Tongue , will be on show. There's a full programme of public events planned around the exhibition, two of which include my participation: On Saturday 26 November, at 3pm, I will be taking part in a panel discussion with title 'the influence of literature on art and art on literature'. Artist David Newton will be contributing chair, with the panel also including Thomas Brezing and artist Mary Kelly. (A full colour catalogue accompanying the exhibition, with essay by Cliodhna Shaffrey, will be launched at this event.) And on Saturday 10 December I will be present in the gallery from 11am until 2pm, in the Artist's Shack, for an intervention, where I intend to engage t

Reading in Balbriggan Library

On Wednesday 9 November I will be reading from Spitting Out the Mother Tongue in the public library in Balbriggan, Co Dublin. Start time is 7pm.

eternal torture

" Translation is not just important: I would go so far as to say that without translation we wouldn’t have literature, not as we know it. I think a good form of torture for any serious writer would be to deny them reading anything other then works produced in their own language or country. For eternity. Translation is the lifeblood that sustains the conversations crucial not only to literary creation, but cultural understanding and development. " - John Holten, interviewed by Karl Whitney for 3:AM Magazine . Holten's first novel is The Readymades (Broken Dimanche Press, 2011) , with artwork by Darko Dragičević .