Archive for the ‘Resources’ Category

Where is Claire? Come & hear me read!

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

After the Show

I’m going to be reading some poems in some places — exciting places — over the next three weeks or so. Come and hear me read! I’d love to see your lovely face in the crowd. There will be other amazing poets at these events, too, folk whose wonderful works are an even better reason to come along!

Bletherskites: Scottish Performance Poetry Spectacular

Sunday 7th April 2013, The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh, 3pm (doors 2.30pm) to 5.30pm
£5 admission

Bletherskites is being run by the lovely folks at Inky Fingers. They describe it as: “a showcase of some of the very best of Scottish performance poetry… a big bash for everything that comes out of these brilliant mouths.”

How flattering, then, that I am one of the line-up! But don’t come to hear me — come to hear some of the truly fabulous folks I’ll be reading alongside. Everyone on the bill is great, but I have a particular fondness for The Great McGuire, and the lovely Ms Camilla Chen. Have a look at the Facebook event for more information, and to say you’re coming along!

Rockets for Edwin Morgan

Thursday 25th April 2013, The Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh, 6.30pm
£7/£5 admission

Hey, remember back in November when I got all excited about the launch of this brilliant book? Well, I’m really happy to say that its lovely editor, Russell Jones, has organised a second event to celebrate its existence.

“Russell Jones, editor of Where Rockets Burn Through: Contemporary Science Fiction Poems from the UK, and his merry band of sci-fi poets read their work from this genre-busting anthology. This event will also include a short movie by Dan Warren based on Edwin Morgan’s sci-fi poem, ‘In Sobieski’s Shield’”, say the SPL. Sounds good, right?

I’m particularly chuffed to be performing my poems from this anthology (plus a Morgan poem I’ve picked), because I get to do so alongside such wonderful poets as Ron Butlin and Pippa Goldschmidt. It’s going to be out of this world! (…sorry.)

Announce your intention to come along right here at the Facebook event.


The last ever TenRed

Wednesday 1st May, The Persevere Function Room, Edinburgh, 7.30pm
£3 admission

It’s time to play the sad trombones, folks, because TenRed, one of Edinburgh’s best spoken word nights of recent times, is closing its doors. It’s for a happy reason — the wonderful MC, Kevin Cadwallender, is leaving for exciting pastures new. However, he and TenRed will be sadly missed.

I’ve been gutted that I haven’t been able to attend more of these great nights — on Wednesday evenings I’ve taught until 9pm for the past two academic years. Timing, thou art a cruel mistress! However, the TenReds I’ve made it to have been really fantastic. I’ve discovered new poets I’d never have come across otherwise — like the magical Swedish slam-mistress, LouIce — and got the chance to hear the voices of folks who aren’t often coaxed into the open to read their work, like the gorgeous Mira Knoche.

I’ll still be teaching on this particular Wednesday, but there’s also no way I was going to miss out on giving TenRed a fabulous send-off! So, Kevin’s putting me on in the second half and I’ll be running like a mad thing straight from my class in order to catch as much of the rest of the gig as I possibly can. Want to know who else is performing? Why, there’s even a trailer! Check it out!

Want me to perform at YOUR event? Drop me a line at claire[at]onenightstanzas.com and tell me all about it!

*

You can also visit Read This Press for more poetry (and typewriter paraphernalia!). Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!

Stop presses! I am going to read some poems in some places!

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Happy Birthday, Allen Ginsberg!

Hey you guys. I know this basically never happens now (and — sshhh! — I actually kinda like that), but I am going to be reading Some Poems in Some Places over the next few weeks, and I just, you know, thought you might be interested in knowing about it. If so, read on. If not, go and make a cup of tea, or hug someone, or look at this cute panda, or do all or none of those things.

Shore Poets
Sunday 25th November 2012, 7.30pm

Henderson’s at St John’s, Edinburgh
I recently joined the Shore Poets committee, and I must say, I am loving being a part of what must surely be one of Edinburgh’s longest-running poetry nights. This month, my Shore Poet job is to read a set of poems, and I’m super looking forward to it, as this is my first proper poetry gig since before the summer. I’ll be guinea-pig-ifying the audience and offering up some hopefully tasty new poems to see what they make of them. If you fancy being part of this experiment, then come along! Doors open at 7.15, it finishes before ten (so you get to bed early), there’s cake for sale, and indeed a raffle where you could win FREE cake. If you don’t fancy the idea of listening to me waffle on, you’ll be happy to hear there are other, most excellent poets and some music. It’s a damn fine time and it costs a measly £5, or £3 for students.

The Edinburgh launch of Where Rockets Burn Through: Contemporary Science Fiction Poetry From The UK
Thursday 29th November 2012, 6.00pm

Blackwells, Edinburgh
My motto always used to be “never knowingly anthologised,” ’cause no one ever seemed to want me for their “young, upcoming, exciting poets!” type anthologies. I kinda liked the motto, actually, but then some people asked me to be in their anthologies and offered me some money, and you know, I’m a starving poet so OBVIOUSLY. And although I lost my motto, I did end up getting five poems placed in this badboy, a collection of stellar (har!) science fiction poetry from across the Universe UK. I will be reading those poems alongside some other very cool people (Jane McKie! Andrew C Ferguson! Pippa Goldschmidt! I’m exclaiming their names ’cause they’re fabby!), at this lovely free-to-attend launch. There’s a Facebook event here to tell ‘em you’re coming. There will PROBABLY be free wine. There will definitely be fun and frolics. I promise!

Book Week Scotland Pop-Up Festival
Saturday 1st December 2012

Mitchell Library (Cafe Bar), Glasgow
I’m really happy to be reading at the Book Week Scotland Pop Up Festival, which promises to be a day-long cavalcade of literary delights. It starts at 10am and goes on til late with all manner of cool and quirky stuff going on. My small role in all of this will involve sipping tea and reading some poems in the cafe bar with my fellow Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award recipients. This will be happening sometime between 4pm and 5pm. I’m extra psyched because we’ll be joined by the World’s Greatest Compere (really) Ryan Van Winkle, without whom no poetry show is quite complete. Seriously, it’s worth the train fare to Glasgow for a glimpse of his beard alone. Here’s the Facebook event. Please do come along and sip tea with me!

Want me to come and read at your event? I MIGHT JUST SAY YES! Catch me in the comments box or use the email address below!

*

You can also visit Read This Press for poetry and typewriter paraphernalia! Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!

(Photo credit)

Participate!: all-female poetry slam to celebrate International Women’s Day 2012

Monday, March 5th, 2012

No More Nice Girls

International Women’s Day is fast approaching, and I for one didn’t want to be caught unawares this year with nothing to do celebrate (like I was last year — the centenary year! — when all I managed was this post). So, I started thinking: what would I really like to do to celebrate International Women’s Day 2012? I reasoned that I should definitely keep up my tradition of giving as big a chunk of money as I can afford to a women’s charity… and that gave me an idea. Why not do something to encourage other folk to give their money to a women’s charity, too?

And thus, the International Women’s Day 2012 Edinburgh All-Female Slam (catchy, no?) was born.

At first, I wanted to hold a poetry slam simply because I know they never fail to get a good crowd through the door, and that would mean more pennies in the bucket for whatever charity I decided to pick (also, I just love a good slam). But then I realised that a poetry slam might also be a good place to raise awareness about women’s issues within the poetry community.

I’m not for a moment suggesting that female poets have it as bad as, say, the ladies in the photo above. Thanks to the pioneering work of ladies like Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Adrienne Rich, Sharon Olds, Maya Angelou, Margaret Atwood, Carol Ann Duffy, Liz Lochhead and many more, these days being a female poet is considered no weirder, really, than being a male poet. Female writers — although we still have a lot of catching up to do — no longer have to fight tooth and nail to be allowed to write, publish, perform and be reviewed. Most of us, I think, just get on with it.

What’s more, my local literary community plays host to a vibrant performance poetry scene that boasts some of the UK’s finest female performance poets: among them Jenny Lindsay, Sophia, Laura Hainey, and numerous others. We’re in Scotland, of course, so things aren’t as intersectional as they are in, say, Leeds or London… and they’re perhaps not as intersectional as they potentially could be. But there’s still a lot of poetry buzzing around and a lot of ladies getting involved.

However: Scotland’s poetry slam scene does still seem to be dominated by men. Our current Scottish slam champion is Young Dawkins, and when I try to think of the really great performance poets Scotland has to offer, I find myself coming up with far more male names than female ones (to mention but a few, Scotland can boast the vocal stylings of Bram Gieben, Colin McGuire, Kevin Cadwallender, Harlequinade, Robin Cairns, Jim Monaghan, Tickle McNicholl, Tim Turnbull and Harry Giles). Furthermore, slam itself could be described as somewhat chauvinistic: the focus is on competition, on “knocking out” one’s opponents in “head-to-head” finals. What’s more, slam has gained a bit of an unfair rep among non-slammers as being all about shouting the loudest or rapping the fastest.

Understandably, this view of Scottish slam puts a lot of performers — and mostly, it seems, ladies — off. I know many a female poet who just “won’t do slams.” And I think this is extremely sad, given that a) slam is a super cool movement with a huge and growing audience and b) Scottish performance poetry is crying out for a greater variety of voices, and is, in my experience, always friendly and welcoming.

Therefore, this slam is about faciliating the female performance poetry that I know is out there. I’ve seen all the poets on our spectacular bill performing at open mics and at traditional stand-up readings (and sometimes at “quiet” or “friendly” slams), and each time I’ve thought, THE SCOTTISH SLAM SCENE NEEDS YOU, LADY! Contrary to what several poisonous detractors (now blocked, don’t worry) on the event’s Facebook wall have somehow decided, this event IS NOT about bashing men and it IS NOT about favouritism towards women. It is about welcoming twelve exciting performers a little further into the performance poetry scene, and providing them with the encouragement they need to get out there and take the world of slam by storm.

If you like the sound of a FRIENDLY, ALL-INCLUSIVE slam featuring poetry from both male AND female performers; if you like the sound of raising a ton of money for Scottish Women’s Aid while sitting in a pub and listening to some fine verse; if you like the sound of discovering some new poets you never knew existed but whose work is guaranteed to blow your tiny mind… well then, get yourself to:

THE BANSHEE LABYRINTH
on
TUESDAY 6TH MARCH
at
7PM (doors) for 7.30PM (start)
and
BRING YOUR FRIENDS, YOUR APPLAUSE, AND YOUR GENEROUS DONATIONS

Check out our Facebook event for more details.

SEE YOU THERE!

*

One Night Stanzas loves mail. Say hello via claire@onenightstanzas.com. NB: I am physically unable to reply to non-urgent stuff unless I have a free afternoon and a cup of tea in my hand. Please be patient!

(Image source)

ONS appeal: HELP SAVE THE FOREST CAFE!

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

(Photo by Tim Macfarlane)

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, it’s pretty much a given that you’ll know what The Forest Cafe is… you will at the very least have heard me mention it/wax lyrical about it/praise it to the skies. Forest is an Edinburgh institution and a place that carries a great deal of meaning for myself and many other Edinvarians. And unfortunately, it is now under threat. Please, please read the following and help us to save this very deserving Edinburgh landmark.

What is Forest?
Forest is a unique access-all-areas arts initiative which works to provide space, resources, funding and encouragement for artists and creatives of all walks of life in the Edinburgh area and beyond. It “aims to advance access to art and cultural activities amongst the general public of Edinburgh and the wider community“, basically. The Forest Cafe is the base of operations for this initiative: housed in a former church and inhabiting a maze of rooms over several floors, it offers a variety of vibrant, unusual and versatile arts spaces to anyone who wants to use them. At the heart of things is the veggie and vegan kitchen, which not only helps to fund Forest’s other activities, but also supplies hungry visitors with the best vegan burritos and chocolate brownie this side of anywhere. The cafe is also Forest’s performance hub — if you want to watch, play or organise a poetry reading, an acoustic gig, a play, a film night, a gramophone evening, a reading group, a recital or any other creative endeavour, this is your place. Events are free to stage, free to perform at and free to attend. They’re pretty much always brilliant, too.

But Forest isn’t just a cool cafe that also holds events. Alongside the cafe space is Total Kunst, Forest’s very own art gallery, which hosts traditional, experimental and installation artists from all over the globe. Anyone can exhibit and it’s always free. Also always free is Forest’s downstairs space, which provides facilities such as a dark room for budding photographers and a rehearsal space for bands and musicians. For a small fee — or sometimes for free, depending on your event — you can also hire out the cavernous Forest Hall, which will accomodate anything from a small group of amateur filmmakers to a full-scale ceilidh band and a hundred guests. Forest also has its own shop, selling a variety of crafts; its own successful publishing imprint, Forest Publications, which I really cannot praise highly enough; it even has its own hairdressing salon. And I haven’t even got started on their monthly free shop, library facilities or free fringe antics

Forest 'o' Flash
(Photo by digiphotoneil)

How you can help.
Now, Forest is in danger of being evicted from its current home because the building has been put up for sale. Forest are currently tenants, and have been for many years — and although it’s very ambitious, they want to try and secure their future by raising enough money to buy the building outright. The current target is a massive £500,000, so they really need YOU to give as much as you can. The main way in which you can do this is by clicking here and donating via their simple Paypal form. For other ways to donate, or to get involved in other fundraising activities, just get in touch with them — they’d love to hear from you.

Why you should help.
Given all of the above, I don’t think I really need to tell you why you should donate to Forest. If you’ve ever been there, you already know what a special, unique place it is and what excellent work they do every day within and beyond the arts community in Edinburgh. If you’re local and you’ve never been there, now is the time to start — Forest desperately needs your support, and your life will be better for it. Even if you’re not an Edinvarian — hey, even if you’re not a Scot — you should still consider giving up a few of your hard-earned pennies for this very good cause. Like Shakespeare and Co and The Beat Museum, this is an arts initiative whose work resonates far beyond its small home city. If you donate to the Forest you’re helping hundreds of artists and creatives, and you’re making a stand for independent arts organisations the world over. Please think about giving as much as you can spare, even if that’s only a couple of quid.

P1150846
(Photo by acb)

Let me tell you why I donated to ForestWhen I first came to Edinburgh, I didn’t know anyone. I was vaguely aware that a few people I went to high school with also lived in the city; that was about it. I was living in Uni halls with chilly rooms, unreliable internet access, and I was broke. Forest provided me with huge pots of tea for next to nothing, a quiet and comfy place to sit for as long as I liked, and totally free access to the internet. Later, when I got more acclimatised, I started getting interested in the Edinburgh literary community. Forest — and the fabulous Ryan Van Winkle, one of its most famous staff members — provided heaps of support for my writing, via their brilliant writing groups, workshops and events. One of the first Edinburgh readings I ever did was The Forest Golden Hour, and the crowd was huge, warm and wonderfully supportive. Later still, I decided I wanted to start my own literary magazine, and yet again Forest was there to help me. For two full years Forest gave us the space and resources we needed to print, hand-bind and distribute our own zine — all totally free. We ran Read This events in the Forest Cafe, we used their fabulous website, noticeboards and Facebook group to promote ourselves and call for submissions. As things progressed, Forest also supported Read This Press (in particular, Chris Lindores’ collection You Old Soak) by providing printing facilities and carrying our titles in the shop, cafe and online. Forest Publications have published and promoted my work and the work of my various projects on numerous occasions. I genuinely believe that without Forest I wouldn’t be the writer I am today. And I’m just one young artist of the thousands who make use of Forest’s services and resources every year.

I implore you to help keep this incredible project afloat. Please go here, and donate now. As much as you can — it will make a difference.

Thank you!

“You Old Soak” by Chris Lindores: now available to buy from Read This Press

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

So, you’ve all been putting up with my twittering on about Skin Deep, basically forever… well, here’s Skin Deep’s sister project (or perhaps I should say dirty old uncle project?). You Old Soak is the very first pamphlet collection of up-and-coming young Scottish poet Chris Lindores, who you may remember, as he was ONS‘ first ever Featured Poet all the way back in September ‘08!


I’ll be writing a proper review of the book in a little while, but for now I’ll let you check out some of his work yourselves. I’ll just say this: Chris’ work is dark, subtle, funny, irreverant, touching and really, really smart. You Old Soak is a full forty pages of pure poetic goodness and I highly recommend it!

Every copy has been lovingly handmade by me. The covers are 200gsm cardstock, and every one has been hand-bleached and decorated to make every pamphlet unique. Staple-bound and printed on high-quality pages, you get a whole lot of pamphlet for your money! Copies are priced at £4/$6 plus p&p. Click the button below, or visit the Etsy store to grab your copy.


Remember, every single copy of Read This, Skin Deep or You Old Soak that you buy contributes towards keeping Read This Press going. Support us, we’re a micropress — and we couldn’t do it without you!


Don’t forget to visit the One Night Stanzas store & The Read This Store!

 Subscribe to ONS! Add to Technorati Favorites

Useful advice from writers and editors.

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

For those of you who have just arrived, this is an advice blog. I use it to help young and confused writers with everything from writing a cover letter and submitting to magazines to protecting their work from copyright theft and dealing with rejection. However, I’m not the only one out there who wants to help you guys with your writing, reading and publishing… so I’ve been scouring books, magazines, blogs and sites to find the best advice from poets, writers and industry insiders. Check it out!

On writing and publishing:

“More often than not in poetry I find difficulty to be gratuitous and show-offy and camouflaging, experimental to a kind of insane degree—a difficulty which really ignores the possibility of having a sensible reader.” - Billy Collins

“The impulse to write has to do with making something, with capturing, recording, preserving, honouring, saving…” - Sharon Olds

“I wish I was better at ignoring praise and criticism in equal measure. I’d be a better poet.” - Anonymous, from Magma magazine.

“The first draft of anything is shit” - Ernest Hemingway.

“Follow the submission guidelines. To the letter.” - from Happenstance Press‘ “Dos and Don’ts”.

“Keep resending! I had one poem accepted on the 15th attempt.” - Tim Love

“Today there are thousands of poetry blogs – ranging from the completely serious to the completely not. It provides for a more effective & diverse way for poets to discuss matters of direct interest to one another without going through the funneling influence of an academic review process… This is really an absolute necessity.” - Ron Silliman

“Sooner or later, if you don’t give up and you have some measurable amount of ability or talent or luck, you get published.” - Neil Gaiman

“Be ambitious for your poems. Aim to make them better and better and better. As good as you can get them in a lifetime.” - from Happenstance Press‘ “Dos and Don’ts”.

“Poems are not easy to start, and they’re not easy to finish… But I’d say the hardest part is not writing.” - Billy Collins

“f I had to give young writers advice, I would say don’t listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.” - Lillian Hellman

“There’s little point sending to [major book publishers] unless you have won some major competitions and/or have appeared in some major magazines. Even then, it may well be better to try a smaller publisher first.” - Tim Love

“Don’t give up hope. If you believe in your writing, keep on reading and developing your skills. Keep on building your profile. Spread your enthusiasm.” - Chris Hamilton-Emery of Salt Publishing.

“Once it’s done, to put it away until you can read it with new eyes… When you’re ready, pick it up and read it, as if you’ve never read it before. If there are things you aren’t satisfied with as a reader, go in and fix them as a writer: that’s revision.” - Neil Gaiman

On poetry readings:

“Turn up at writers events. Be seen. There are quite a few free or reasonable events. Be seen buying books!” - Sally Evans of Poetry Scotland.

“[Poetry readings provide] companionship. And pleasure: musical pleasure, in hearing it… And recognition: ‘Someone else has felt what I’ve felt.’ And surprise: ‘I never thought of that.’” - Sharon Olds

“At a poetry reading you get one shot at it and it’s never enough.” - Jim Murdoch

“I hate when poets over-read [at poetry readings]. Anyone can time themselves reading (including intros and asides). It does them no good as the audience become first bored then annoyed. Better to leave them wanting a little more.” - Anonymous, from Magma magazine.

“It’s an unnatural act, getting up in front of a crowd of people. It’s what a lot of nightmares are made of, whether your pants have fallen down or not.” - Billy Collins

“In the States they have a term, Poetry Sluts. These are people who leave after they’ve read their own poems and aren’t polite enough to stay for the others [at the reading].” - Anonymous, from Magma magazine.

On dealing with your fellow poets:

“It’s hard to give out negative comments…without generating a lot of ad hominen tsouris [without sounding prejudicial and causing upset] in return. There are so many good books of poetry, that I see very little need…to focus on the negative.” - Ron Silliman

“Don’t give loudly critical opinions of other poets. It’s not possible to be objective, as we’re all competitors in some respect. And it sets you up for a helping of the same.” - Anonymous, from Magma magazine.

“The world of poetry can be a bear pit, and like any industry it is competitive and has moments of confrontation and even dirty tricks. Be prepared to take some knocks along the way.” - Chris Hamilton-Emery of Salt Publishing

“Never write ill of anyone. It will come home to roost.” - Sally Evans of Poetry Scotland

“The writer’s job is not to judge, but to seek to understand.” - Ernest Hemingway

“Courtesy gets your name remembered. You want your name to be remembered. You want to be a person, not just print on a page.” - from Happenstance Press‘ “Dos and Don’ts”.

“It’s so easy to sneer, so easy… [but] much better to just get on and DO something, WRITE something.” - Rachel Fox

Other stuff to read:
Find more advice from Ernest Hemingway at The Positivity Blog.
There are more words of wisdom from Ron Silliman here, and on his brilliant blog.
Billy Collins offers up more poetry know-how here and here.

 Subscribe to ONS! Add to Technorati Favorites