Wednesday, 19 January 2011

MS: Eating My Words

The Mslexia Blog

Liz Lochhead
Liz Lochhead

New Year, New Start. There are all manner of changes of the guard afoot across the UK…
Scotland now has a female National Poet in Liz LochheadShe succeeds her friend Edwin Morgan, who held the post from 2004 until his death in August 2010. At today’s announcement Liz said: “I am as delighted as I am surprised by this enormous honour, which I do know I don’t deserve! Nevertheless, I accept it on behalf of poetry itself, which is, and always has been, the core of our culture, and in grateful recognition of the truth that poetry — the reading of it, the writing of it, the saying it out loud, the learning of it off by heart — matters deeply to ordinary Scottish people everywhere.”
In Wales the literary journal New Welsh Review has made a great choice in their appointment of publisher, editor and translator Gwen Davies as their new editor, taking over the helm from the poet and cultural commentatorKathryn Gray. Kathryn’s last issue is out soon. Gwen’s first job was in 1985 as a writer/editorial assistant on Planet the Welsh Internationalist. They have recently appointed Jasmine Donahaye as editor so Poetry Wales, New Welsh Review and Planet all remain run by women. Academi boss Peter Finch would agree that blokes no longer hold sway here.

My poem 'Life' featured in the edible journal Poetry Digest
My poem 'Life' featured in the edible journal Poetry Digest
Personally I have been getting excited about putting words (poems, fiction) on things other than paper. Poetry on Sticky TapePoetry on BagsPoetry on Clothes. Extracts from your favourite books on your very own skin. That sort of thing. Expect unusual merch stalls at my gigs throughout 2011. As such it was an utter delight to have a poem of mine featured in the latest issue of Poetry Digest, an edible journal run by the lovely poet and Poetry Library employee Chrissy Williams, who I’ve known since my undergraduate drama society days. I went up to London for the launch at The Bell in Aldgate on Sunday, did a mini reading and got the pleasure of literally eating my words. They tasted good. Tim Wells, editor of that ace fanzine Rising (responsible for printing my first published poem in adult life) was in attendance as was Kirstin Irving, editor of Fuselit. Chrissy has a poem in the excellent latest issue of Horizon Review, which is also well worth a look at.
The month of love is just around the corner. As such I am teaching a free Academi worshop on Love Poetry for the 21st Century at their Glyn Jones Centre on Tuesday 8 Febuary between 7 and 9pm. Bookings have also begun for literary and arts festivals across the year. To coincide with the launch of my Kindle Single ‘Arrivals’ (the novella from The Art of Contraception) I shall be appearing at the Laugharne Weekend (April 15-17) and Hay Festival and I am keep to attend a whole lot more including the new Cheltenham Poetry Festival at the end of March.
Finally, I’m rooting for Pascale Petit in this week’s TS Eliot Prize announcement. Listen to her read Little Deer and What The Water Gave Me on the Today Show – or read her ‘Making a Poem’ piece in the latest Mslexia.
About Susie:
Susie Wild is a freelance journalist based in South Wales. She is one of Parthian's Bright Young Things and her debut collection of short stories, The Art of Contraception is out now. As a poet she performs regularly, and publishes here and there, including the recent Bugged book. She likes good live music, Old Man Pubs, patterned tights, hair dye and avocados.

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