Crannóg magazine of Galway are taking a Wales-set story of mine for Issue 49 due late October. I’m delighted to have a piece accepted by them.
It was lovely to meet novelist, Mandy Sutter (‘Bush Meat’) and Gwen Davies, editor of the New Welsh Review at our session during the Cardiff Book Festival. We were discussing Writing Psychology from Place: witness, exile and belonging.
I read my N Ireland-set short story ‘At Oirthear Maí’.
AN ULSTER PSYCHE
I was shocked by her photographs. How could she dare? As well as projected slides she had a dozen cibachromes on display whose marvellously luminous surface makes the paper itself a fresh lens. It becomes a pool of water in which everything is gently enhanced by the limpid medium. And yet, this pool is pinned to a wall.
I had to leave the room. Such things should not be shown without a warning. Continue reading AN ULSTER PSYCHE
I am particularly pleased to have my short story ‘Runner’ in The Honest Ulsterman, online on Thursday June 28th. Launched 40 years ago as ‘A Handbook for Revolution’, it has showcased world-class writers such as Seamus Heaney, Medbh McGuckian, Michael Longley, Louis McNeice – an amazing list.
Time to pay a personal tribute. Continue reading Short Story in ‘The Honest Ulsterman’
A Taster here of my Short story ‘The Road’ featured in New Welsh Reader Summer Issue #117 alongside fiction by Joao Morais, Mihangel Morgan and Anna Vaught. This is the opening story of my Collection ‘A City Burning’ for which I’m seeking a publisher.
Jon Gower has said of ‘The Road’, “a fine tale, solar-plexus punching, vivid and filmic and puts the tragedy fully back into the term ‘Troubles.'” Continue reading New Welsh Reader #117 ‘The Road’
Pleasure despite excruciating pain. I find myself recommending a tormenting thrill. Gwyneth Lewis’s Welsh poem Henaint and her translation of it into English, Old Age are excellent examples of the wonderful double enjoyment that a poet working in two languages can offer.
To read the Welsh poem and find its adjacent English version is like diving into one pool to discover it linked underwater to a twin, from which one emerges, amazed to have experienced two related worlds whose contents are refracted to the eye and ear by differing slants of colour, angle and echo: an exciting, astonishing experience – and repeatable! Do read these poems now in a special online edition of Eborakon poetry magazine. Continue reading Gwyneth Lewis – Henaint / Old Age, a double pleasure in Welsh and English
‘A dream unquestioned is a letter unopened’. Apparently. Do you agree?
Twenty years ago I was in the grip of prolonged and serious physical pain due to a then-undiagnosed condition. I couldn’t work as normal. I spent long periods confined to the house. Someone was very unkind to me and, as a way of acknowledging his fault without having to say it aloud, he handed me a book, saying I might find it of interest. I had plenty of time to read it thoroughly, footnotes and all and, in one of those, discovered a reference to a book that came to mind forcefully this morning.
I woke from a dream so vivid and engaging that I was able to write down the dialogue between the figures in it and to describe their outward and inward dispositions, partly because I had ‘been’ them all, inhabiting the action from their perspectives. This is not possible in waking life. At least not with the immediate and assured access a dream affords.
This morning’s scenes, I realised, in which I was both multiply participant and also the observer, opened up for me a way to go deeper into a character in the novel I’m writing.
I wonder how common it is for writers to take advantage of what dreams offer? Continue reading Dreams and the Writer: a skewed and fresh perspective?
I like anything that delivers on its pitch and that was certainly the case with the Mairtín Crawford Award Workshop: Preparing Poetry For Submission, April15th at the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast.
The fourth research trip for my novel (6th – 17th April), coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, was necessarily a time of public reflection, assessment and forecasting about peace and conflict, in great depth and with many of the major actors back in the spotlight.