This Thursday 2 October I’ll have the great pleasure of hosting and introducing a night of poetry, music and cinema to launch Highlight Arts, the organisation formerly known as Reel Festivals. The line-up is outstanding, including Golan Haji coming all the way from Syria, doors are at 7.30pm, tickets are free but do book in advance.
Join us for the launch of HIGHLIGHT ARTS.
FREE EVENT with international music, poetry and film, featuring: - Shooglenifty - Golan Haji (Syria) - Krystelle Bamford - Emily Ballou - Kaela Rowan - DJ Dolphin Boy - Short films from Iraq, Syria and more… - Complimentary food and drink
Thursday October 2nd 2014
Scottish Storytelling Centre, Royal Mile, Edinburgh
nick-e says: This poem started as a conversation about complaint letters. As a found poet, I am very interested in subverting bureaucratic language in various ways: the replies to Ryan’s complaints provided the source material for my contribution to our collaboration. I focused on, and extracted lines which demonstrated, the banal, the inane and the ridiculous; not unlike Ryan’s initial complaints…
Ryan says: I like to complain. I was probably complaining about something when we got the idea to do this poem. I knew nick-e does work with found and officious texts and I hoped he’d find something worthwhile in the letters I’d sent out to cinemas, airlines, and phone companies over the years. Maybe I hadn’t wasted my time writing and grumbling down the phone.
Not long now
until you’re off
on your travels
It is your responsibility to check with the airline
that any onward flights you have confirmed
are operating as booked
This is an automatic notification email that cannot accept in-coming mail
For a long time
this is a how I thought
a person should be
in the crook
of her shoulder
tea boiling and manager
manager I want to speak
manager manager let me finish
manager manager you’re not listening
Document prepared for customer
Status Confirmed (x8 potentially)
MR RYAN VAN WINKLE MEAL TYPE NOT AVAILABLE FOR THIS FLIGHT (x2?)
MR RYAN VAN WINKLE ASIAN VEG MEAL (x4?)
YOU ARE NOT INSURED!
You have yet to purchase a Multiflex pass.
It may not be too late!
paper or E?
Names correct & spelt back phonetically
Travelling on US passport
from a country belonging
BA 1440 O 26NOV 2 LHREDI HK1 1145 1310 26NOV E BA/NOSYNC
if I had a sunday
i would get on the phone
i would set my teeth right
i learned words like automaton
pusillanimous – i could have loved
could have whisked eggs
and fluffed pancakes, i could
have made the bed, or even
called a taxi, why not where
did we want to go. but that person
was not a person i could be. not
with my father’s tie in the closet
my mother’s cord still wet in my mouth.
for a long time
i couldn’t pick a fight
with my own wife
but i could heat up a phone
crack a rotten egg down the line.
your recent travel experience with US
Your comments matter to US
For this reason
I have thoroughly reviewed your case
Your concerns have been sent
to the appropriate leadership teams
We are working hard to earn
your continued patronage
I’m sorry you found the kiosk
difficult to understand
Given the issues that our industry continues
to face in these volatile economic times
Thank you for giving us
this opportunity to address
I have carefully reviewed
everything in you
my entire body one throbbing nose relating
to the Guarantee Obligations sniffing
twitching when i try to sleep, worrying an obligation
of a downstream affiliate – the stream
is rapid, an obligation of other parties
where there is only the sense
of her perfume, an hour or less, in respect
of the Underlying Obligation of the Underlying Obligor
that is Not Subordinated. in the end, he proposed
direct obligations of the Reference Entity
I am angry because a woman told me
your computers are ‘never wrong’
I am familiar with technology
I am 36 years old, not 86
I am not daunted by flashing screens
The origins of simple, everyday things
is in the longing
for something faster, easier
the longing is building a fire
that rain or floods won’t quell
the lonesome is shifting around
with his hands in his pockets
are not intuitive
take longer to use
are more unpleasant
than a standard human
interaction at a desk
It is insulting to imply
I was somehow dazzled
by your new-fangled machines
as if I had stepped out of a time-machine
straight from the Victoria age
i mean to say we always want better
than what we have, who wouldn’t
take a little bit extra, a little bit more
I am most offended
that I should be concerned
for your industry
in these ‘volatile economic times’
In these ‘volatile economic times’
people are losing their homes, their jobs
the costs of things like higher education ever increasing
and the gap between rich and poor ever expanding
The idea that I should pity you
rather than be furious
at your theft
i should talk with my grandmother again
about the things in my pockets
a pink handkerchief, some oil
instead, i am on hold awaiting
the dull excuse of management
while the dead stay still and silent
Your company is suffering
due to gross malfeasance
I thank you for your time.
nick-e melvilleis an experimental poet and artist working in found, visual and conceptual poetics. he has had several publications in various media over the last four years, including: ALERT STATE IS HEIGHTENED (sadpress 2014); me (p.ow. series, 2014) junk mail (if p then q, 2014) and selections and dissections (otoliths, 2010). DOLE (Interview Room 11, Nov 2013) was his first solo exhibition: a conceptual examination of the detritus left behind by Social Security. He teaches creative writing for OLL at Edinburgh, among other places, and was Writer (not) in Residence at HMP Edinburgh, 2010-2011. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing/English Literature at the University of Glasgow, working on a project called The Imperative Commands.
complaint live at Rich Mix, London
Commiserate is a monthly experiment in poetic collaboration.
Inspired by SJ Fowler ‘Camarade’ project which pairs poets together to create new work, I’ve stolen the notion and begun to collaborate with friends and writers or interest. You can read about the project and see 2013’s poems here.
We talk to director Paul Kelly and co-writer Travis Elborough about their film How we used to live, an elegant and strikingly original film about London made using colour film footage from the BFI and a bespoke soundtrack from Saint Etienne. They performed live in the Barbican on 13 September and you can find out more about the film at www.heavenlyfilms.net. Presented by Ryan Van Winkle @rvwable and produced by Colin Fraser @kailworm of Culture Laser Productions @culturelaserwww.culturelaser.com. We acknowledge the financial assistance of Creative Scotland.
We spoke with some of the artists at the National Theatre of Scotland’s Blabbermouth event – a mammoth 12 hour presentation of the diversity of Scottish culture. We talk to Graham McLaren, Annieka Rose, Aonghas MacNeacail, Morven Christie, Paul Laverty, Glasgow Girl Amal Azzudin and Alan Bissett on the eve of the historic Scottish referendum vote. Presented by Ryan Van Winkle @rvwable and produced by Colin Fraser @kailworm of Culture Laser Productions @culturelaserwww.culturelaser.com With thanks to Creative Scotland for their financial support.
In this edition of Book Talk, host Ryan Van Winkle talks to Ajay Close and David Mitchell about time, ethics and mortality.
Novelist and dramatist Ajay Close discusses her latest book, Trust. Trust follows the lives of a disparate group of characters working in mining and banking and the effects or two major events, the miner’s strike and the banking crisis, on their lives. Ajay discusses where the idea for the story came from and how it developed over time.
If the last edition of Book Talk left you wanting to know more about David Mitchell and The Bone Clocks you’re in luck – this edition of the podcast features an extended discussion with the man himself. Spoiler warning: this discussion reveals detail about characters and plot.
David tells us about the process of creating the book and how he was able to effectively portray time’s passage: “stay true to life and how we perceive the passing decades and you probably won’t go too far wrong”. Morality, mortality and the future are also discussed.
00:00 – 00:28 Introduction
00:28 – 08:52 Ajay Close
08:52 – 30:00 David Mitchell
Very pleased to have my poem, ‘Into the Desert with No Name’ included in the anthology Double Bill, the sequel to Split Screen, both published by Red Squirrel Press and edited by Andy Jackson. The launch party will be held at the Scottish Poetry Library on Saturday 4 October from 1-3pm. Hope to see you there.
We talk with Bruno Wizard, an underground legend in the 1970s for his crazed live performances and ‘mystery man’ status and a real one-off. The lead singer of The Homosexuals and The Rejects, he performed at the Roxy alongside The Jam and The Clash; was part of the ‘Blitz kids’ scene; squatted with the Warren Street Mafia; and rejected a series of record deals out of loathing for the establishment. He features in a new film, The Heart of Bruno Wizard, and our Ryan speaks with him and the film’s director Elisabeth Rasmussen is an uplifting and inspiring conversation. Presented by Ryan Van Winkle @rvwable and produced by Colin Fraser @kailworm of Culture Laser Productions @culturelaser
Really excited to be involved with a new anthology of Scottish poems edited by Colin Waters, Be the First to Like This, launching on Thursday 25 September at the Scottish Poetry Library. Tickets are free, but booking is essential. There are a bunch of really talented poets included, some you might already know, some you’ll be delighted to meet. The launch kicks off at 6.30pm, there will be wine, chat and poems. Hope to see you there.
Be the First to Like This: New Scottish Poetry is an anthology gathering together Scotland’s new generation of poets.
Here, the classically formal mixes with the wildly experimental. Subjects are as diverse as texting, fancying film stars, dole offices, quantum physics, and Richard Branson; the common denominator is modernity, a sense these are poems that could only have been written in the early twenty-first century.
A selection of the poets featured in the anthology will read at the launch.
Was invited to write a poem about the ‘future of fashion’ by the good people at Litro magazine. I imagined people wouldn’t need clothes in the future. The editor says: Ryan Van Winkle imagines a future in which nudity is the new haute couture, in his poem that was joy she said, a modern take on the Emperor’s new clothes.
Back on the trail, folks, at the Banshee Labyrinth on Friday 26 September with Thomas Truax, our friends Faith Eliott and Jack of Diamonds of Black Diamond Express and Dog on a Swing. It costs £5, doors fly open at 7pm, hope to see you there.
New York City’s Thomas Truax (pronounced troo-aks) is a left field troubadour and inventor/player of strange self-made instruments like his now legendary ‘Hornicator’ and a motorized mechanical drum machine called ‘Sister Spinster’. He employs these and other contraptions as well as traditional instruments in exceptionally crafted, witty and often touching songs. Splendid magazine recently called him “one of the five or ten best singer/songwriters in the world that you’ve never heard of…an exceptional talent, unique and resistant to comparison, yet fairly accessible even to casual listeners.”
Ryan Van Winkle is a poet, a performer and someone that makes things happen. His first collection of poems, ‘Tomorrow, We Will Live Here’, won the Crashaw Prize and he has been published in The American Poetry Review, The Scotland on Sunday and many magazines you have likely never heard of. Ryan will be joined on guitar by Jack Of Diamonds, founding member and frontman of Scotland’s most exciting eight-piece blues band; The Black Diamond Express.
Faith Eliott performing music is merely one string to her artistic bow, and as such is a rare treat. Heartfelt, heart breaking, passionate songs, that will give you goosebumps and shivers down your spine.
Dog On A Swing is the pseudonym under which Ed Ritchie writes and plays music. It’s usually just him, but he likes to bring in other musicians on a fluid and flexible basis.