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Commiserate June 2016 – Peter Mackay and JL Williams

June 29, 2016

In the run up to a visit to Canada to read in various events at Le 17e Festival de la poésie de Montréal, Peter Mackay, Ryan Van Winkle and JL Williams decided to write a collaborative poem that they could share at the festival. As it turned out, they didn’t have time to read the poem in Montreal so thought it would be nice to share it online… especially in light of recent political events. They hope it conveys some sense of the way language and poetry attempts to cross personal and linguistic barriers, challenge conventional meanings and encourage us to think about the world in new ways.

 

***

O Scotland My Canada

A cold wind blows from the north, snow this sunshine day
and a wolf howling in the air above the castle.

And a wolf cloud can break your heart. So, why not
just go back to sleep? The castle closed her eyes

years ago & no longer worries about the bubonic plague,
the hairless breasts of Putin. All this waxing

and waning. Throw-away newspapers scuffle
along old-town, new-town streets, leaving their print.

Throw away fire & kindling, throw rock
so it skims & leaps past the drowsy swans

swooning in the odd heat. Me, I like to keep my feet
moving below the surface, cold as can be, blue

as the wolf’s eyes and her tender paws
padding the spine of a frozen river

so cold the skin of the eye freezes, the heart’s
beat slows, the ears open to chimes and iron

I miss confident church bells, the persistent rise of 8 AM
And Wolf misses the proud trees which have been felled

sent down river, to the bay and shaped into boats
old trunks in new forms at aimed a new world

somewhere nova, somewhere neuve, somewhere ùr

where I first sang O Canada my Canada,
O Scotland my Scotland, O world without borders

whose places are beginnings for everyone,
whose forests are homes for all wolves,

whose stones speak all languages quietly, quietly
beneath the running of water.

***

 

bar_1JL Williams‘ books include Condition of Fire (Shearsman, 2011), Locust and Marlin (Shearsman, 2014), the triptych collection Our Real Red Selves (Vagabond Poets, 2015) and House of the Tragic Poet (If A Leaf Falls Press, 2016).  She was selected for the 2015 Jerwood Opera Writing Programme, plays in the band Opul and is Programme Manager at the Scottish Poetry Library. http://www.jlwilliamspoetry.co.uk

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Pàdraig MacAoidh (Peter Mackay) is originally from the Isle of Lewis, but now lives in Edinburgh. He writes in Scottish Gaelic and English and has written one full collection of poems,  Gu Leòr / Galore, published by Acair in 2105, and a pamphlet, From Another Island, published by Clutag Press in 2010. He is also a broadcaster and lecturer; he teaches at the University of St Andrews and is BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker 2015.

Ryan reads with Neu Reekie at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

June 24, 2016

reekieI’ll be among 12 writers from Neu Reekie’s new anthology, #UntitledTwo, reading at 7.30pm, Thursday 18 August, at the Garden Theatre at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Ryan reads Nothing But The Poem at Shakespeare & Co

June 22, 2016

I’ll be in the hallowed Shakespeare & Co for a Nothing But the Poem session at 7pm, Tuesday 19 July. What is Nothing But the Poem?

* We read a poem
* We discuss the poem
* Only the poem we’ve read.
* No Jargon
* No experience needed
* Nothing to fear
* Nothing but the poem.

Ryan talks Intimacy at the Scottish Writers Centre

I’ll be speaking at Intimacy: Reading, Writing, Hearing and Feeling Poems at the Scottish Writers Centre at 7pm, Tuesday 2 August. I will be talking about what poetry is to me, how I’ve come to understand what a good poem is, and how collaboration and creating theatre pieces has helped my writing.

Ryan joins Claire Askew and Theresa Muñoz on Twitter to talk about Poems That Changed Our Lives

June 21, 2016

I’ll be on Twitter (@rvwable) alongside Claire Askew (@onenightstanzas) and Theresa Muñoz (@munozpoems), tweeting about the poems we’ve found most meaningful and important, as part of #ScotLitFest. Join us online at 5pm, Sunday 26 June to be a part of the conversation.

We’re celebrating poetry during the weekend by paying it forward: what poems changed your life? Who would you recommend? Claire Askew,Ryan Van Winkle and Theresa Munoz will be talking us through some titles and poets that stand out to them. You can chip in your favourites too – not only will it be an hour of lively discussion on poetry, but a great starting point for those new to the genre to discover some greats.

‘Untitled (Snoopy)’ published in Neu Reekie: #UntitledTwo

June 20, 2016

My poem ‘Untitled (Snoopy)’ is in Neu Reekie‘s second anthology, #UntitledTwo, which is now available from Birlinn.

Ryan Reads at the American University of Paris

June 19, 2016

I’ll be reading at the American University of Paris at 5pm, Monday 18 July, as part of their 2016 Summer Creative Writing Institute Reading Series. Events will be held in the Combes Building, C-102, 6 rue du Colonel Combes 75007. I’ll be speaking on my experiences as a poet, critic and podcaster, hope to see you there.

Ryan continues to be Gold, Dark, Crabwise & Hypothetical

May 24, 2016

The following Tuesday 7 June, at 7pm at the Port Credit Branch Library, I’ll be reading again with Jeramy Dodds, Leigh Kotsilidis and Katherine Leyton. After the reading we’ll head to the Pump House Grille, just a couple minutes up the road.

POETRY NIGHT
PORT CREDIT LIBRARY

20 Lakeshore Rd E, Mississauga
(25 minutes by GO from downtown Toronto, 5 minute walk from GO station)

JERAMY DODDS’s first collection of poems, Crabwise to the Hounds, won the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize. His poems have won the CBC Literary Prize and the Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award. He holds an MA in Medieval Icelandic Studies.

LEIGH KOTSILIDIS is a poet and visual artist based in Montreal. She is the co-founder of Littlefishcart Press, Fish Quill Poetry Boat, and Scientists for Love. Her first full-length poetry collection, Hypotheticals, was published in 2011 by Coach House Books; and her most recent art exhibition, Lady Into Fox, was on display at the Redpath Museum, Montreal. She currently works as Managing Editor for Vallum magazine.

KATHERINE LEYTON’s poetry and non-fiction have appeared in numerous publications in Canada and abroad. Her debut collection of poetry, All the Gold Hurts My Mouth, was published by icehouse/Goose Lane in March 2016. In the summer of 2014, Katherine was the inaugural Writer-in-Residence at the Al & Eurithe Purdy A-Frame in Prince Edward County. A native of Toronto, she now lives in Ottawa. You can check out her work at katherineleyton.com.

RYAN VAN WINKLE is a poet, live artist, podcaster and critic living in Edinburgh. His second collection, The Good Dark, won the Saltire Society’s 2015 Poetry Book of the Year award. His poems have appeared in New Writing Scotland, The Prairie Schooner, The American Poetry Review, AGNI and Best Scottish Poems 2015. He was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson fellowship in 2012 and a residency at The Studios of Key West in 2016. As a member of Highlight Arts he has organized festivals and translation workshops in Syria, Pakistan and Iraq.

After the reading, please join us at:
Pump House Grille
40 Lakeshore Road E, Mississauga
(2 minute walk from Library)

Ryan is one of 4 Poets Getting Gold, Dark, Crabwise & Hypothetical

May 23, 2016

I’ll be in Peterborough, Ontario on Sunday 5 June for 4 Poets Get Gold, Dark, Crabwise & Hypothetical, alongside Jeramy Dodds, Leigh Kotsilidis and Katherine Leyton. It starts at 7.30pm at The Garnet, 231 Hunter St West. Hope to see you there.

We are 4 poets, born and raised in different places, but with three things in common: we all love poems, pints and Peterborough!

Come indulge with us in our overlapping loves!

JERAMY DODDS’s first collection of poems, Crabwise to the Hounds, won the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize. His poems have won the CBC Literary Prize and the Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award. He holds an MA in Medieval Icelandic Studies.

LEIGH KOTSILIDIS is a poet and visual artist based in Montreal. She is the co-founder of Littlefishcart Press, Fish Quill Poetry Boat, and Scientists for Love. Her first full-length poetry collection, Hypotheticals, was published in 2011 by Coach House Books; and her most recent art exhibition, Lady Into Fox, was on display at the Redpath Museum, Montreal. She currently works as Managing Editor for Vallum magazine.

KATHERINE LEYTON’s poetry and non-fiction have appeared in numerous publications in Canada and abroad. Her debut collection of poetry, All the Gold Hurts My Mouth, was published by icehouse/Goose Lane in March 2016. In the summer of 2014, Katherine was the inaugural Writer-in-Residence at the Al & Eurithe Purdy A-Frame in Prince Edward County. A native of Toronto, she now lives in Ottawa. You can check out her work at katherineleyton.com.

RYAN VAN WINKLE is a poet, live artist, podcaster and critic living in Edinburgh. His second collection, The Good Dark, won the Saltire Society’s 2015 Poetry Book of the Year award. His poems have appeared in New Writing Scotland, The Prairie Schooner, The American Poetry Review, AGNI and Best Scottish Poems 2015. He was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson fellowship in 2012 and a residency at The Studios of Key West in 2016. As a member of Highlight Arts he has organized festivals and translation workshops in Syria, Pakistan and Iraq.

Five poems in translation in Exit Revue de Poésie

May 22, 2016

13240613_1059128557494886_3107185767143300520_nI have five poems translated into French in issue no.83 of Exit – Revue de poésie, the Montréal-based francophone poetry magazine. They are ‘The Flood’, ‘The Apartment’, ‘Window, Not Sky’, ‘Summer Nights, Walking’, and ‘Untitled (Lincoln)’.
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