Archive for July, 2009

Procrastination Station #46 & #47

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Look! A link love list! I know I haven’t done one of these for two weeks, so this is a bumper edition. Look out!

SO much good stuff on the Guardian Books Blog recently! It is such a time-eater: Bonding through books // Famous Seamus at 70 // Happy words // a very tricky debate… // Quiz: how well do you know your literary spies? // Faber’s cover archive // Poster Poems: History // I agree with a LOT of this! // Poem of last week // …and this week! // a portrait of the wonderful Michael Rosen // Yet more reasons why e-books are the spawn of the devil // & Viv! I love her.

Awesome alert: Colour Me Katie’s Rules for a Creative Life. I also love her photos of people dancing! Follow this blog… it’s definite inspiration fodder!

It’s official: rejection = brain damage.

I love this picture of the Scottish Poetry Library staff! That’s my mate Dave on the end!

Why big-headed lit mags kind of suck.

As a crafter, I thought this post on crafting motivation was really interesting.

Poetry inspiring fashion…?

Do stories add value? I love the idea behind the Significant Objects project!

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie @ Vulpes Libris

Hello, pretty book cover!

Amazing picture.

Found online this week: Chris Lindores started updating his blog again! Hooray! Plus, a new poem from him! // Former FP Rowena Knight at the Cadaverine // Col gave a shoutout to the London Poetry Pearl, which I helped edit! // at a handful of stones: Howie Good, Colin Will, Regina C Green, & a rare stone from creator Fiona herself! // Speaking of Regina C Green — she’s everywhere! She also had a great piece at Bolts of Silk recently, and gave ONS a shoutout on her blog. Thanks, doll! // Also mentioning me this week: Ms Aiko // I loved this new piece from the ubertalented McGuire // & regular reader/contributor Jim got a mention on PoetHound. Congrats!

I love this gallery of firepoi photos and flash animations!

Beth Ditto rocks my socks right off (aaaah!).

Yet more cool from Rock n Roll Bride! & a sweet story too!

Landlord of the Flies is hilarous. Read from the bottom up, though, or it’ll make no sense!


& finally, if this doesn’t brighten your weekend, I don’t know what will…

Happy weekend!

(Photo by Ilaria (I hate Illinois nazis))

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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More from Featured Poet Jess Winch

Friday, July 31st, 2009

You can see Jess’ previous poem here, and her interview will be up tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy this sweet haiku!

Saturday Morning

Bed fresh white washed sheets
Sun glinting through the curtains
Legs locked lazily

Want to see your poems featured here? Drop me a line to!

(Photo by Eqqman)

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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Things I Love Thursday #47

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Look, I’m back on track with TiLT! & a Procrastination Station (the first in three weeks! Sorry sorry sorry!) is on its way tomorrow, finally! Basically, I’ve been having some family troubles — both my grandfathers are currently in hospital, and they’re both over 80, so it’s a bit worrying. I’ve been finding it hard to put on my positive inspiration face to post here, but over the past couple of days I’ve realised that at times like these, you need that face more than ever! So I’m back with a vengence! Here’s some of the stuff that’s been cheering me up recently…

Rachel Fachner has to come first! Apparently, Rachel is one of you secret readers who never comments on posts, so I was blissfully unaware that she existed (if you’re one of these, say ‘hello’ sometime… in this very comments box, perhaps?). A bit of a creative powerhouse (she’s a director, choreographer, writer and general all-round creative nut-job, obviously a woman after my own heart!), Rachel runs the Project: Transparence blog, which is how I sniffed her out! And she’d given ONS a hell of a write-up… it made me blush! Check this out:

“This woman is my inspiration for productivity… there is almost too much to love about her. she teaches poetry, writes consistently on two blogs, makes jewelry, gets awarded grants… oh, and writes amazing poetry that gets published (all the time). my favourite part of her public life is her commitment to hosting, and participating in, the conversation about her art form. there is a transparent honesty about her… a confidence that leads toward being uncompetitive which I find refreshing.”

Oh my goodness, thank you thank you thank you!

Discovering new blogs. As well as Rachel’s blog, I’ve also discovered a bunch of new stuff this week that’s keeping me from getting on with my tasks! ChickenDinnerCandyBar has a seriously healthy attitude to consumerism, fashion, body image and life in general… plus, with a gorgeous old typewriter as her header-image, how could I not love her blog? Blue Horse Poetry is the blog of ONS reader Matt Haigh and he posts his poetry, opinions and TiLTs (yay!) there. I’ve already geeked about The X Files and got bolshy about Carol Ann Duffy in his various comments boxes… sorry, Matt! And sad but true, Book Covers Anonymous is basically bordering on a fetish for me. OH MY GOODNESS beautiful books (expect a post on this soon, maybe)!

The Formula 1! OK come on, I’ve been good recently and not geeked about motorsport for at least two TiLTs, so bear with me. I can’t resist a quick mention of everything that’s happened recently! I’m really not a fan of Mark Webber (I think he’s an average driver and he’s been lucky enough to get a good car… I know that can be the nature of racing, but schmneh!), but I was happy to see him win his first Grand Prix after years and years of racing. Nice one! I’m also not a fan of Ferrari and therefore Felipe Massa figures low on my list of F1 favourites, but his terrible crash during qualifying at Hungary was a real blow for the sport, particularly coming so soon after the tragic death of F2 driver Henry Surtees. I’m glad to hear Felipe’s condition is improving though, and despite being a Ferrariite, I hope he’ll be fit enough to come back to racing soon… not least because he’s been replaced by none other than the Schumachersaurus! (Cue Luke-Skywalker-style “nooooooo!”)
There is the issue of How The Season Is Going, though. Boy had managed to convince me that Jenson was deserving of a Championship title (I have never been a big fan of the Magic Button, but I conceded)… but after his performance at Hungary, wailing on the team radio and sniping at the mechanics, he has totally lost my support! Other drivers get oversteer and hot tires all the time, and they deal with it… they don’t behave like divas! Now I’m backing Seb Vettel for the title, though I think chances are slim. However, I reckon 09 has been the best season for years… great racing, great cars, plenty of suspense, scandal and drama. Hooray! (PS: you think this is geeking? Look out: I have just started watching the MotoGP as well and really enjoying it, plus I’m developing an interest in the BTCC. It can only get worse!)

Tattoo ideas. Right now I am very much in the mood for a new tattoo/tattoos! Unfortunately you need money for such things, but it doesn’t stop me looking into cool designs and getting excited about heaps of ideas! At this moment in time I am really loving punctuation tattoos… Contrariwise just posted a great semicolon, and I am also loving this funky ampersand (and its placement! Brilliant!), speechmarks, and this punk questionmark. Nice!

Wardrobe remix. I’ve been having to explain to people recently why I’ve chosen to do this, and it’s tricky as a lot of people think it’s just vanity. I guess taking photos of your outfit is a bit narcissistic, and I really hate the commerical and pro-consumerist way it’s done on a lot of big famous blogs these days. However, I have a lot of good (I believe) reasons for doing it. One: I have really shitty body image — it varies, but generally I pretty much hate how I look. I’m 5′11″ which makes me rather awkward to start with, and although I know I’m not “fat,” like most women I carry more weight than I’d like. Until recently I avoided creating or even seeing full-length images of myself, which actually led to a lack of awareness about what I really look like. Seeing my wardrobe remix photos has a) made me realise that actually, what I look like and what I think I look like are two very different things, and b) if I accept what I am rather than fighting it, I actually do look better. I was inspired by this lady to embrace and celebrate myself rather than trying to change myself, and wardrobe remixing — a technique she also uses — is really helping. I’m also a big believer in thrifting, recycling, found clothing and second hand shopping, and I’m very much against large-scale consumerism and the buying of ridiculously expensive designer label goods (particularly when you only buy them to put on a shelf, because they’re too valuable to actually wear). That’s why I put the prices/estimated prices of my garments alongside my wardrobe remixes… some entire outfits cost as little as £10, but they don’t look cheap or crap (weird, maybe, but not cheap or crap. I hope). I’m also a bit of a lazy mare and will wear the same outfit over and over and over if I like it. This is making me more adventurous and encouraging me to wear clothes that were previously gathering dust in my wardrobe. All good, right?

Honourable mentions: Boy… off work for a while, and painting again for the first time in years, literally! // Emails from Crazy People, from the makers of FAILblog. This is freaking hilarious, while this — as a teacher myself — just shocked and saddened me. // this picture // Everyone who’s bought a copy of Sharks Don’t Sleep so far — you guys freakin’ rock! // Getting my millions of projects a bit more under control and actually looking forward to working on them! // Driving. Don’t get to do it often, and I love it!

And you…?

(Photo by ~aspidistra~)

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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This week’s Featured Poet is Jess Winch

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

So, you may have noticed that there was no Featured Poet last week… don’t worry, the concept is still going strong! The week’s poet just postponed in order to coincide his appearance here with his forthcoming book launch… exciting! So, back to the schedule, and I am very pleased to announce that this week’s Featured Poet is Ms Jess Winch!

Jess Winch is in her final year studying English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. She has just returned from a year abroad in Barcelona, where she spent a lot of time drinking coffee and was bitten by the poetry bug. While in Spain, she enrolled on an online writing workshop, which gave her the confidence to continue writing poetry on her return to Scotland. Her goals now are to graduate, write at least five memorable poems, and work out how to combine a job with a Masters degree with a year in France.


all in white
with feet bare

a cracked hand
that tousles
your hair

a jazz beat,
low like
a heartbeat

the smart rush
of sea salt
in air

i am silk
lying rich
on your skin

on your tongue

the promising
step to

And the smile
in your heart
when it’s done

Want to see YOUR poems featured here? Drop me a line to!

(Photo by Boy_Wonder)

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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Things I Love Thursday (Friday!) #46

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Sorry for the lack of TiLT last week — and the lateness and shortness of this one! I have been rushed off my feet putting together a certain new book which by now I am sure you’re all aware of! Still this is better late than never, right…?

Sharks Don’t Sleep The aforementioned book! I have spent the last few days printing, folding, trimming, stapling, embellishing, and sending out copies. This book looks freaking amazing and is truly full of awesome, I’m really pleased with it and it’s been great to work with Eric (and my sister, who did the artwork!) on it. Find out more about it here and grab yourselves a copy here or here!

Wardrobe Remix. I just started doing this “properly” after doing it on a very on-and-off basis for a while… it may seem vain to some, but it really makes you think and care more about how you look and what you project to other people. I’m finding it very useful! You can see some of my bizarre outfits (and faces!) here.

The Bookseer. Wait, you tell this site what book you just read and it tells you the perfect one to read next? Awesome! I tried this and it actually threw up three titles that were already on my next-to-read list. That would suggest it actually DOES know what I would like to read!

Honourable mentions: Getting a new lecturing/tutoring job for the coming academic year. Hooray! // Having my sweet tattooed friend Martyna visiting from Poland for two months! Already my life is full of cool things like visiting tattoo parlours, hair-dyeing sessions and in-depth discussions on the birth of punk. Yes! // Speaking of tattoos, I’m plotting new ones! Need money… // This… snarfle. // Beth Ditto’s Evans clothing range. Love this! // Writing new poems

Et toi?

(Photos by Sarah .K)

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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Sharks Don’t Sleep: now available to buy from Read This Press

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Sharks Don’t Sleep is the title of the brand new chapbook from New Jersey-based spoken word poet Eric Hamilton, and it’s published by Read This Press. Described as “a book that crackles with life,” and “a grimy, romantic and fucking funny look at the world,” Sharks Don’t Sleep is a beautiful 32-page chapbook, hand-made with high quality cardstock covers and embellished with a black ribbon bookmark and original artwork.

Once the book goes on general release, it will be priced at $10 (£6), but right now you fabulous ONS readers can get your hands on a copy of Sharks Don’t Sleep for the bargain price of just £4 ($6.50). If you’re in the UK, you can check out the Read This Press Artfire site for listings in GBP, or if you’re in the USA, you can check out our Etsy shop for listings in USD. If you’re from elsewhere, don’t worry — you can still buy from either of these sites. And if you have any queries about the book, the press or purchasing copies, just drop me a line to

You can also buy a copy of Sharks Don’t Sleep at this special reduced rate (just £4 + £2 P&P) by clicking the button below!

Eric Hamilton is a deranged artist who paints everything from canvas to freight trains. He also writes poetry and enjoys sharing his spoken word at slams or cafes everywhere from NYC out to LA. He was born and raised in Las Vegas, spent a lot of time living in east Los Angeles, and is now unemployed and attending college as a journalism major in New Jersey, where you can find him at art galleries and coffee shops politicking with the poets, art-fags, and random transient folk. He’s a bit of a broken man who receives a lot of undeserved attention from women, smokes cigarettes, and stumbles in and out of short-term relationships looking for love. He spends most of his time waiting for lung cancer and responses from publishers, and has been known to occasionally set fire to a booklet of poems aged with the experience of time.

Remember this is just one of the Read This Press titles — we’ve also published a fantastic anthology of poems on the subject of tattoos and tattooing, Skin Deep, which you can buy here. And the last Read This Press single-poet chapbook was from upcoming Scottish poet Chris LindoresYou Old Soak, also available to buy. Both these titles are also a bargainous £4. Please do support our small press and make a purchase!

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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Featured Poet Dunja Nedic interviewed.

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Tell us about your poems.
I’ve had my poetry described as minimalist in the past, but I think it has become more verbose of late. I generally write about my relationships or otherwise add a “personal” element to perhaps more sterile subject matter.

How long have you been writing?
I was put into a few poetry groups throughout primary school but I started writing of my own accord when I was about 14. However, my output was probably about two poems a year until I was 16 or so and I’ve been writing it more consistently since then, depending on what I have going on at the time.

Do you have any publications to your name? What’s the next stage for your work?
I’ve been published in lip and Libertine Magazine in Australia, though usually for creative non-fiction. I love poetry but I aspire to write articles rather than poems; career-wise it certainly seems like a more practical goal!

What do you think is your biggest poetic achievement to date?
One or two people have told me I’m their favourite poet. Couldn’t ask for a greater compliment, really.

What’s the best thing about writing poetry? And the worst?
I’ve always found it a lovely way to document events and feelings, it’s been nice to look back at things and remember what they were really like at the time, rather than relying on my memory (which is always flawed and biased). The worst thing is thinking about the dismal career prospects for poets. I find it pretty easy at times to fall into wondering what the point of writing it is at all.

Got any suggestions for young, upcoming poets?
Think about your audience but ultimately write for yourself. I find there are few people who write poetry for any reason other than they love it, and it becomes very transparent if you don’t mean what you write.

Who/what influences your poetry?
The men who cause the most angst!

without feng shui

because some nights feel too long
and I cannot sleep without the sound

of your arms around my waist, or holding my hips,
telling me it’s a good night, and now,
the day, and the night,
are better because of the way
my back folds against your tattoos;

or at least some promise of your voice
some night soon
because I didn’t want to re-learn lone sleep
even though your bed is too small.

I keep forgetting to write, because I forget
you’ll leave
and there will only be words
vaguely painted into some kind of
cohesive mess, but I want to only think
you are here and I am here
and keep us there, on the same line,
because I am learning too many sad happy songs,
and they are no replacement.

Want to see your poems featured here? Drop me a line to!

(Photo by Surlygrrrl [ELBfoto])

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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More from Featured Poet Dunja Nedic

Friday, July 17th, 2009

You’ve already seen Dunja’s first poem here — interview tomorrow!

my fingers on your back

I always expected
a rise in your skin
or a change in texture,
to recognise with eyes closed -
the leaves you drew
from the natural coloured cells.

And I always forgot
that the stark red ink
was as much a part of your body
as you became of mine.

Want to see your poems featured here? Drop me a line to!

(Photo by TommyOshima)

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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This weeks’ Featured Poet is Dunja Nedic

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Dunja Nedic is 20 years old, and oscillates between psychology and creative writing at university. She is determined to never write a self-help book, but recognises that it would probably be a fitting way to merge her interests.

New Skin

Born without claim,
without act to merit
this skin, or these flaws
and perfections.

Beauty, non-beauty;
always haphazard.

But he coloured his skin
with atypical nationalism.
And she fixed her drawing
to the soft tissue by her hip.

The flattery now deserved
for layers they declared

Want to see your poems featured here? Drop me a line to

(Photo by {jean.marie})

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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Procrastination Station #45

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Link ♥ List.

Which words make you wince? (never mind that, tell me here and maybe win a book!) // Don’t build your relationship on books // Behind Purple Ronnie // Poem of the week… // some great (and not so great) Wuthering Heights covers // Beware the writing masterclass…

Think YOUR rejections suck?!

Found online this week: Juliet’s recs for Open Air Poetry this summer… // New work from former Featured Poets Alex Williamson, Heather Bell and Kerri Ni Dochartaigh // & a story from regular reader Beth!

Urban decay: Moscow tunnels // abandoned motels // stubborn little houses // underwater ruins

The guy who kept Polaroid in business.

Amazing photos: fighter jets // rain

Before they were music stars…

Vintage Hollywood

So useful: Gickr

A useful coffee chart…


Want, want and want!

& finally…

Have a great weekend!

(Photo by Supercapacity)

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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