Category Archives: Blog

Poem in Black Bough #2

It was an inspiring theme from Matthew C. Smith, editor – the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing to be dealt with in no more than 10 lines in an imagistic style. I wrote Moon, Landing from the perspective of the moon coming to earth rather than humans going to the moon. See Broadside 5. Black Bough Poems

On the same theme I also wrote a poem in Ulster Scots which will be in #9 of The Bangor Literary Journal, launching August 18th and First Death of The Troubles, occurred 14th July 1969 about the context of the Moon Mission in Northern Ireland – this is on my website.

A Telling Week: 50 Years On

This is a week of momentous anniversaries, of the Moon Landing and also of a significant escalation of unrest in Northern Ireland, including two deaths in controversial circumstances.

The call-out for poetry for Issue 2 of Black Bough Poetry, for Imagist poems on the theme of the Apollo mission, prompted me to write three poems (one in Ulster Scots). One of these, ‘Moon, Landing’, is in the issue and another  is here below. I wanted to consider the context in which I experienced the Moon Landing, and anniversaries which make us reflect on progress and also how we deal with memories, and with events, resolved or unresolved. Continue reading A Telling Week: 50 Years On

Poetry: A Year’s Mentoring from Glen Wilson

I am so thrilled that the poet, Glen Wilson has chosen to mentor me for a year. The aim is to compile a collection.

Glen’s collection An Experience on the Tongue has just come out from Doire Press. He won the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing in 2017.

This amazingly generous initiative was sparked by Matthew C. Smith of Black Bough Poetry.

Words at the Seamus Heaney Home Place

I’m particularly pleased that it is a poet from Northern Ireland and a poet from Wales who have been instrumental in giving me this wonderful gift as I have a project on Writing in Wales and Northern Ireland with the Centre for the Study of Media and Culture in Small Nations at the University of South Wales.

A Welsh Novelist of Northern Ireland

March 18th 2019 is the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Welsh novelist, Menna Gallie. She wrote one of the very first novels to engage with the Troubles: You’re Welcome To Ulster.

Set in 1969, it was published by Victor Gollancz in 1970. It is a fascinating double perspective on political agitation in both Wales and Northern Ireland written by a Welsh-speaker who had swiftly got under the skin of Northern Irish society.

Honno Press has re-issued four of Gallie’s novels and this month there is a 25% reduction on their price , using the code mg100.

Continue reading A Welsh Novelist of Northern Ireland

The North at The Irish Literary Society

The Irish Literary Society hosted the London launch of  issue 61 of The North magazine on February 25th. Published by The Poetry Business it is devoted to contemporary Irish poetry:

“119 poems by 106 fantastic poets”.

The Irish Literary Society is a child of the Irish Literary Revival of the late nineteenth century. Among its founders were WB Yeats and Douglas Hyde. Since 1892 it has championed and promoted Irish literature and facilitated discussion of and engagement with it. Continue reading The North at The Irish Literary Society

Poem for Epiphany

 I'm indulging myself by re-posting this poem of mine as it has Epiphany
allusions.
The wonderful image is of a capital in the Cathedral of Saint Lazare,
carved by Ghislebertus of Autun in the twelfth century: an angel awakens
the Magi.

CHRISTMAS STARS

The stars, a rowdy, cheerful crowd,
Ran to their places, prompt to the call,
And how they sing! since then,
A nightly choir.
Only the comets − their slow tears −
Betray the sorrow underneath that steadfastness,
For haven’t they seen it all?
− what we do down here,
Warping the darkness that they love
Into sly coverts for our filthiness.
Poor stars. Don’t grudge them their reprieve
Each year, when their paragon,
Their Star of stars, leader of kings,
Sets out once more and triumphs,
Finds his place, finding the child,
Perfect as every new-born.
Here! the Star declares to each of us,
Surely you see – surely – that you
Are a Child Awaited, you
Arrived − naked and loved − and you,
Gift-bearer of nothing,
Can stoop under this lintel,
Step clean through the needle’s eye.

3 Poems for Christmas 2018

CHRISTMAS

The smallest words mean the most

            Joy

            Hope

            Love

These things

Not things

May you receive them all

            A star              of particular promise

            A light             that has sought and found you

            The child         of your heart

Arrived

Waiting beyond the door.      

NADOLIG

Nos

Seren

Addewid

Cyflawniad

Twyllwch yn llawn lleisiau

Diwedd unigrwydd.

                        Christmas

Night

A star

A promise

A fulfilment

Darkness full of voices

An end to loneliness

CHRISTMAS STARS

The stars, a rowdy, cheerful crowd,

Ran to their places, prompt to the call,

And how they sing! since then,

A nightly choir.

Only the comets − their slow tears −

Betray the sorrow underneath that steadfastness,

For haven’t they seen it all?

− what we do down here,

Warping the darkness that they love

Into sly coverts for our filthiness.

Poor stars. Don’t grudge them their reprieve

Each year, when their paragon,

Their Star of stars, leader of kings,

Sets out once more and triumphs,

Finds his place, finding the child,

Perfect as every new-born.

Here! the Star declares to each of us,

Surely you see – surely – that you

Are a Child Awaited, you

Arrived − naked and loved − and you,

Gift-bearer of nothing,

Can stoop under this lintel,

Step clean through the needle’s eye.

3 poems by Angela Graham 2018