16 November 2015

Us speaking our words, in a different way, not on stage

So, me and David are interviewed by fellow writer Rob Cutforth on The End of All Things podcast. Listen to me tell the story of the guy stripping at Verbose, recount Dave Hartley's recent Jenga moment at Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival, plug the Northern Lights Writers' Conference, etc…

05 November 2015

Translate, relate

Visiting Professor Michael Schmidt today gave an impressive lecture to University of Bolton students in the English and Creative Writing programmes, and wider reaching interested cohorts, on translation of literature, specifically poetry. On this, he is an expert as founder of the well-respected Carcanet Press, founded in 1962, and editor of PN Review.

Professor Schmidt read some translated poems, and – he being from a Mexican background – gave a real insight into the art; not just of poetry, but also of translation. “Gap in tonality” was one theme – from English to Scottish to Welsh to Irish poems, for example. If you understand poetry or you understand translation, or, better still, you understand both, this was not a talk to be missed. Internationalism was definitely something we all came away from it with.

Mexican! Yeah, me too. It's true. Michael explained a whole lotta stuff. Octavia Paz dismissed MS's stuff as "kitchen Spanish". MS told us of Les Murray saying to South African writer Adam Schwartzmann to use his dialect. I asked about translation - do you interpret or do you take as literal; do repetitions occur through translation or not - are they intended? For example, in the poem we looked at, is it really "red" red" "red"; might it be actually "red" "crimson" "ochre"?

Just use your language, use your languages, I'd say. Michael Schmidt is inspiring. Work with the tools you have and go create.

26 October 2015


Check out my review of the Carcanet New Poetries event at Manchester Literature Festival 2015 here. It were proper good.

22 October 2015

Fashion dahlinks...

Only forgot to tell you about the Elsa Schiaparelli and 1930s fashion show in Platt Hall, didn't I? Well, you can check out my review here.

02 October 2015

Food, glorious food

Recently had a rather lovely meal at what is fast becoming one of my favourite Manchester eating and watering holes: Volta on Burton Road in West Didsbury. You can read a proper review over at Creative Tourist here. Not sure it's fashionable to say 'nom' any more, but so what, it's not really fashionable to have a blog any more: NOM.