02 March 2023

March + Art = Martch

Martch is here, or March + Art. With it comes the very first issue of Outcrop Poetry, a new literary quarterly that is both printed and perfect bound, which is rather nice. It also has a lovely marbled cover (see below). Issue 1 launches on Monday 6 March – and if you're in Edinburgh, you're in luck as the event with readings and wine and all manner of lovely things is taking place at Typewronger Books from 7pm. The blurb tells me that Typewronger Books is Edinburgh's smallest bookshop and Scotland's only typewriter repair shop, so, really, what's not to like? 

So the reason I'm telling you all this is that I have a poem in issue 1 and also a picture. Yes siree. The submission guidelines encouraged including "images relating to your work", so I thought huh... My poem, 
about Barbara Hepworth and the Yorkshire landscape and other stuff, is one from my poetry map of Ilkley Moor, part of my commission written for and read at Ilkley Literature Festival 2022. My picture is a charcoal sketch what I did when I was researching my poetry map and wandering amidst heathers and bilberries and wotnot (actually, at that point, I was sat at a picnic table with a tipple, trying not to let my papers and pressed leaves blow away in a stripping wind). The sketch is of the formidable Cow and Calf Rocks, and the poem's shape mirrors the craggy outcrop – and that's how I thought Outcrop Poetry would be the perfect home. Best of luck to editor Haig and the other contributors for the launch!

Next up in Martch news, and poems meet paintings at Saul Hay Gallery, where I've landed myself a month-long residency, responding to "
The Journey Continues, New Paintings by Jen Orpin". Ian Hay generously hosted my book launch in October (above), so knowing that this spring the gallery was to welcome Jen's magnificent motorway work, with baited breath and fingers crossed, I dropped him a line... and the upshot is that Jen has very kindly agreed to let me go wild with my pen, grill her about process and paintbrushes and wotnot, and generally get in her way, which I began with aplomb yesterday as she and Ian cracked on hanging the 31 pieces (below).

Here's a bit of blurb: "exploring the importance of the journey – how it connects us to those we love and the emotions it provokes" [...] "
the exhibition celebrates the journey by car – looking at its motorways and landmarks and how it forces us as individuals to confront memories and let our minds travel beyond concrete confinements."
This is Jen's first major solo exhibition and the private view is tomorrow (Friday 3 March 2023), 5-9pm. The show of her fantastic road paintings runs until Sunday 26 March and she'll be in the gallery painting on all four weekends of its duration. I will be popping in on Sundays to take notes and photos (some might not be blurred, who knows), and ask questions and maybe do some actual writing. Why don't you pop in and bother us both? Find out more about Jen Orpin Paintings here.

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