Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Best of the Net 2008

Before I forget to mention it in the forthcoming NaPo madness, Sundress Publications released their Best of the Net 2008 anthology a couple of weeks back. All the winning poems are (naturally) featured on the website.

My poem Coots had been nominated for inclusion by those masterful folks over at the Shit Creek Review. It didn't make the finalists list, but that surprise nomination cheered me up at a very bad time and was more than enough of a prize for me. One SCR nomination (Charlotte Runcie's "The Masked Ball") did get through to the finalists stage, which proves that most of their editorial decisions are good ones! SCR's latest issue also came out this month - again, always worth a visit and a browse when you have a moment to spare.

Good to see that another of my favourite online venues - No Tell Motel - bagged a BotN winner with Clay Matthews's "Poem in Which I Sort of Break Down". Kudos all round!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Snowdrop 0.2: The Cottage on the Marsh

'Kay, so I'm a bit rusty with this poem-writing palaver, and NaPo starts on Wednesday (eek!). So I thought some practice would be a Good Thing.

And as I'm hoping that much of April's endeavour will be focussed on finishing the first draft of the interminable project, it makes sense to start getting back into shape with some gentle revisions. Hence the section below:

The Cottage on the Marsh

The shadows sharpen when the shawl of clouds
finally slip, framing the coin
of the winter sun on the wave of Lympne.
Once a great cliff that walled out the sea,
it tumbles in drifts down to the hem
of flat marshlands.
            A matrix of ditches
and sewers drain sinews of light
through deep sluices to sink in the tides
of England's Channel. The churned fields
are bare of crops; coppiced willows
stake their borders.
            A scrap of a woman
with a strand of tinsel trapping her hair
walks from the town on winding lanes
to an crumpled cot crouched in a field
away from the road; she whistles carols
to keep herself warm.
            In the west, the fireball
sickens and gutters, is swallowed by the hill
where a garland of mist garners the trees.
When she lifts the latch on the laminate door
that guards the cottage, a gust of cabbage
steamed in the sweat of certainties greets her
to swab away the smudge of Hythe.

God help us all!

Monday, March 23, 2009

This:Poem relaunched - with extra slices!

This:Poem was a project I spent ages on last summer and autumn - it's one of those display a different poem a day on a website websites, though I was hoping to make This:Poem better than the opposition by adding little snippets of bonus information about the poet, the poem, or something mentioned in the poem alongside it. Plus it looked better. Oh, and I designed a Windows Vista Sidebar gadget to go with the website because I was interested in learning about sidebar gadgets and stuff.

Anyways, the wheels fell off the whole thing early last October, when I arrived back off my holidays to find out my brother had just died. In the ensuing mania and depressive bouts, This:Poem was neglected, and went into hibernation.

But now spring is here, NaPoWriMo 2009 is just around the corner, and Microsoft are in the process of rolling out their latest shiny'n'bright web browser - Internet Explorer 8.

And this latest browser comes with added pie - well, slices - okay, it comes with something called web slices. Are they whizzy enough to catch on? I haven't got a clue. All I do know is that This:Poem will be more than happy to serve up a slice of itself to anyone who asks. Just click the little blue button that appears when your mouse is over the poem and follow the instructions.

Here's hoping the wheels stay on the enterprise a little longer this time round ...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Raw Rik

In a rare outing beyond the confines of his padded blog, Rik has been spotted over at Jane Holland's Raw Light venue, where his poem 'Cliff' (from the Poems to Quote chapbook) has been made post of the day.

Rik's poem is the last in Jane's Short Season* of Other Poets, where she's featured poets of the calibre of Siriol Troup, Barbara Smith, Tony Williams, Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Andrew Philip, Paul Violi, Claire Crowther, Ben Wilkinson, Angela France, Matt Merritt, Rob Mackenzie and Katie Evans-Bush.

Rik is of course chuffed to bits to be included in such company; how the other poets feel about this outcome is probably not for the ears of little kittens.

*yes, I got the name of the thing wrong - now corrected. I apologise. I shall go and nail some portion of my anatomy to a conveniently located church door forthwith, as penance. 'Kay?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

There's a meme going round ...

... that Scavella listed me for. Something about 25 writers who have influenced you.

Ack! What the heck. Get your laughy-pointy fingers ready, because here goes nothing:

Douglas Adams
Richard Adams
Isaac Asimov
Margaret Atwood
Mother Goose authors
Marion Zimmer Bradley
Arthur C Clarke
S. T. Coleridge
Roald Dahl
Stephen Donaldson
T. S. Eliot
Kenneth Grahame
Ursula K. Le Guin
Robert A. Heinlein
Ernest Hemingway
Aldous Huxley
Julian May
A. A. Milne
George Orwell
Wilfred Owen
Terry Pratchett
Arthur Ransome
Kim Stanley Robinson
J. R. R. Tolkein
Jules Verne
H. G. Wells
Roger Zelazny

Why these ones? They're my comfort authors - authors of the books I'm most likely to reach for when comforting is required.

Yes, even Mother Goose.