Monday, 7 October 2013

Poetry Events in Manchester this week

I'll be in Manchester this week for two events with Manchester Literature Festival and Manchester Art Galleries. On Thursday 10th October I'll be performing a new poetry commission inspired by (and in reaction to) paintings in the Manchester Art Galleries exhibition 'A Highland Romance - Victorian Views of Scottishness'. Thanks to Manchester Literature Festival for inviting me to take on this very interesting commission...which threw up the possibility that Victorian Views of Scottishness might not be so very different from contemporary ones (see prevalence of Highland Cows). On Saturday 12th I'll be tutoring a day-long workshop in the gallery exploring ekphrasis – poetry inspired by visual art. We've got a beautiful big studio and lots of materials to play with, so I'll be curious to see if participants are interested in exploring the materiality of language.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

'There are tidal zones'

I'm posting this new poem from Bergen writer Kristian S. Haeggernes' forthcoming collection, Urne, because I love it, and because it includes a sidelong reference to limpets. In Norwegian, the word for 'limpet' translates as 'elbow-snail'. Lovely.

There are tidal zones
in me as well. At low tide
the crabs scuttle sideways

over my diaphragm     Waving
overgrown claws that take over
control of my arms

when I dance     I prefer
to dance alone     At high tide
my elbows come loose

wandering off to eat
dreams off of my skin

I prefer to sleep alone
I don't want anyone to see me

where I am most myself
Submerged in my own breath

Written & translated by Kristian S. Haeggernes.