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Roy Marshall

I’ve recently had the pleasure of hearing and reading poems by James Giddings and I asked him to contribute some poems to showcase here. I don’t want to label James’ work as it is varied and obviously evolving, but many of his poems contain dry self-effacing humour and gentle melancholy. This element of wistful tragi-comedy is combined with high narrative energy and neatness and economy of style. I hope James won’t mind me saying that these two aspects make his work sometimes seem like a cross between Simon Armitage and John Hegley, although his own voice is very distinctive.

James is twenty three years old and is currently studying for his MA at Sheffield Hallam University, funded by the Arts Humanities and Research Council. His poems have appeared in magazines including Black & Blue, Antiphon and The Cadaverine. He once won a silver medal for swimming at Cubs.

Mean Time

‘But we will…

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Poetry&Words at Glastonbury Festival

Once again, Poetry&Words are opening our floodgates to a delicious deluge of poets from far and wide.  Every year we take applications to perform on Glastonbury Festival’s poetry stage, and every year we are awestruck by the hundreds of amazing wordsmiths out there.  Last year we hosted an abundance of talent from international stars Buddy Wakefield and Tanya Evanson, to home grown greats John Hegley and Murray Lachlan Young.  If you’d like to walk in their footsteps, then this is your chance! We’re looking for applications from experienced writers and performers, with something quite excellent to offer the audience of the world’s biggest greenfield arts festival.

If you want to apply, please e-mail poetryandwords@hotmail.co.uk with a short bio and 1-3 video and/or audio files of you performing your work, preferably to a live audience. We’d prefer web links, but attachments (of manageable size!) will also be accepted. We will…

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A selection of new paintings will be released during October featuring scenes from both the Colne and Calder Valleys. More details very soon.

 

Two Houses (1 of 1).jpg

Two Houses by the Road

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Sparth Cottages

the-last-house-1-of-1

The Last House

 

Last Stop

A number of original paintings are now available on Artfinder. For a limited time each painting will be delivered with a special selection of free gifts (prints and cards – by me). Please follow this link – Artfinder – for more information.

And to celebrate here’s the fabulous Richard Hawley. What’s not to like.

That's How The Light Gets In

The poppy

The poppy which Joseph Shaddick sent home

In these centennial days, evocations of the First World War in newspaper articles or TV and radio programmes can seem to follow familiar and well-worn paths.  But in this week’s Culture Show special on BBC 2, Simon Armitage came up with a commemoration that felt entirely original: his own poetic commentary on the war, using as his inspiration the stories of people whose lives were either ended or profoundly changed by it.  In The Great War: An Elegy, Armitage told seven unusual stories, closing each one with a new poem inspired by it.

Introducing the film, Armitage said:

A century ago this year, the First World War began. The Great War – but great only in its scale of catastrophe. Well over 700,000 British soldiers died in the bloodbath that followed. I don’t have a head for numbers – that statistic is incomprehensible. It’s about human beings – people who…

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The sun stands still.

Cotton Grass

The Pennines, mid-summer, 2013.

Washing Up.

Exhausted is probably an accurate description of my current state. Explorer Scout, George has just steered me around the Marsden Moor estate for a day out walking. In itself the walk was not too bad (long) but with the added blizzards and endless snow drifts my legs have now developed a peculiar leaden effect which seems to have been further aggravated by the hot bath. My cheeks have also suffered from the biting winds and developed that strange sun burnt feeling coupled with a bright red glow. Will and friend have just burst into spontaneous laughter after catching the human matchstick hobbling towards the bedroom whilst trying to hold onto a strategically placed towel and the last remnants of dignity. Only the wet clothes and boots give any clues that George also came along for the adventure. After demolishing a plate of food he has returned to his lair where he will remain plugged into the IPod until Top Gear or hunger begins.

This week has seen some excellent blogs. Firstly, Josephine Corcoran wrote a really honest piece titled, Reading, Writing, Rejections and Acceptance which kind of sums up the piece in its entirety. This is the type of blog that can really help anyone starting out in the strange world of poetry – rejection letters can be the loneliest so Josephine’s blog offers a kind of comfort to know it can happen to anyone. As further proof of this fact I would urge everyone to read the wonderful interview with Sam Riviere in the latest edition of The Rialto which includes a good insight into the editor’s thought process: yes, even Faber poets get the blues. You can read Josephine’s blog at http://josephinecorcoran.wordpress.com.

It was also great to see landscape photographer, Andy Hemingway re-release a number of his Peak District blogs on his new site at http://andyhemingway.wordpress.com. The folklore and history of the South Pennines makes excellent reading and offers another dimension to Andy’s photographs.

Whilst on photography blogs I would also recommend the entertaining and quite inspiring http://thefutureispapiermache.wordpress.com which includes blogger Richard’s collaborations with fellow blogger, http://ckponderings.wordpress.com

There’s also a number of equally great blogs which I’m really enjoying so will hopefully include links in future posts.

This week’s track found amongst the green leaves is, I’m afraid to say, a bit of a cheat. Filed under Sylvian from his excellent Sleepwalkers compilation it’s probably one of the most played tracks in the hall of four winds but, whilst searching the zero players, it was also found filed under Masakatsu. It seems that when searching for all things Sylvian, I’ve found this collaboration from the brilliant, Coieda album by the Japanese artist, Takagi Masakatsu, downloaded the track and promptly forgotten all about it until the re-discovery with Sleepwalkers.  

The reason for the inclusion is that I would urge you to listen to some of Masakatsu’s other work. It’s spellbinding and quite beautiful.

Listen and watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHrOsaDgXbI

All the best,

David.

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