Review of The Good Dark in Magma 63

November 22, 2015

Really delighted to have The Good Dark reviewed alongside Claudia Rankine and Matthew Siegel in the forthcoming edition of Magma Poetry.

“Many of the poems in this profoundly lyrical collection are characterised by long sentences, often breaking across the sense – with short lines and short breaths, which, if you read it as I did, might have the strange effect of making you sigh at regular intervals.”

“But ultimately it is for its sound that I found this collection most enjoyable: it is an exercise in sustained tone, possessing a consistent, melancholy music, a heart-breaking sob in its voice.”

[LineBreak] Alvin Pang: One More Ghost

November 14, 2015

The power of poetry comes partly from its ability to explode a language when it no longer feels adequate enough to explain the extraordinary times we live in. This month on The Line Break, Ryan talks to the Singapore-born poet, editor and translator – Alvin Pang – about multiculturalism and poetry as a force of resistance: against public expectations, political oppression and cultural efficiencies, as well as our own longings, ambivalences, lost hopes, fears and anxieties. Alvin recites a few of his extraordinary poems, and Ryan sets two more poetry sparks for you all to try out: writing family, and lashing out against bullies, bosses, and dictators.

Listeners to The Line Break can also join the The Line Break group on CAMPUS, the Poetry School’s free online community for poets.

Produced by Culture Laser Productions @culturelaser

I Look Up Again published in Leopardskin and Limes

November 13, 2015

My poem ‘I Look Up Again‘ has been published in the magazine Leopardskin and Limes, alongside an awesome illustration by Edinburgh artist and pal Faith Eliott.

Ryan is on Tour with Saltire

November 12, 2015

Really pleased to be reading with other shortlistees for the Saltire Literary Awards. We’ll hit Waterstones Dumfries on Wednesday 12 November at 6pm, where Liz Lochhead will be joining us, before heading to Waterstones Inverness on Wednesday 19 again at 6pm, alongside Elizabeth Reeder. If you’re in the area it would be super lovely to see you.

Ryan at the 3rd International Congress of Language and Literature

October 27, 2015

poster tercer congreso lengua y literaturaI’ll be participating in the 3rd International Congress of Language and Literature at the Linares Institute of Technology, Mexico, from Monday 26 -Friday 30 October. It’s a wonderful series of events aimed at connecting people to books and literature and I’m absolutely honoured to be taking part. If you’re in Nuevo León in the next few days, I hope to see you there!

The Good Dark shortlisted for the Saltire Society Poetry Book of the Year

The Good Dark has been shortlisted for the Saltire Society Poetry Book of the Year, alongside Killochries by Jim Carruth, Cream of the Well by Valerie Gillies and Not All Honey by Roddy Lumsden.


The Good Dark is available to order from Penned in the Margins.

Scotland’s most prestigious annual book awards, the Saltire Literary Awards celebrate and support literary and academic excellence across six distinct categories: First Book of the Year, History Book of the Year, Research Book of the Year and Poetry Book of the Year. 2015 sees the expansion of the Literary Book of the Year Award into two categories for Fiction and Non-Fiction books. The winner of each category will receive £2,000 and become the shortlist for the Saltire Society Book of the Year Award, with a prize of £6,000.


Ryan reads in Mexico City

October 22, 2015

Friends in Mexico City! On Wednesday 4 November I will be at the American Legion Alan Seeger Post II, to read from The Good Dark. The show is absolutely FREE, so if you’re nearby, it’d be great to see you.

Ryan Van Winkle reads from his latest collection ‘The Good Dark’ (Penned in the Margins, 2015). Presented by Jack Little. Not to be missed!

Free to attend with cash bar.

RYAN VAN WINKLE is a poet, live artist, podcaster and critic living in Edinburgh. His poems have appeared in New Writing Scotland, The Prairie Schooner and The American Poetry Review. His debut collection was published by Salt in 2010. His second collection, The Good Dark, was published in May 2015 by Penned in the Margins. As a member of Highlight Arts he has organized festivals and translation workshops in Syria, Pakistan and Iraq. He was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson fellowship in 2012, was listed as one of Canongate’s ‘Future Forty’ in 2013 and was awarded a residency at The Studios of Key West in 2015. Find his website at

Poems Published in Ars Moriendi: Writings on the Art of Dying

October 12, 2015

Really pleased to announce that “The Grave-tender”, “Rose’s Funeral” and “Moths” have been published in the Squircle Line Press anthology Ars Moriendi: Writings on the Art of Dying. From the Squircle Line site:

“Death is a difficult thing. It speaks of morbid tragedy. Yet in understanding death as a phenomenon – a universal eventuality for all of us – we are moved to contemplate its presence. Its passing. Its importance. The very act of thinking about death becomes important, in and of itself. Beyond denial and taboo, there is a vast good that arrives with such coming to terms. There is great comfort in reflection, honesty, succour, and acceptance. This collection is an odic nod to the original Ars Moriendi, commemorating the 600th year of the Latin work, the first of its kind in western literature to provide guidance towards dying well. Written in the late Middle Ages, after the scourge of the Black Death, Ars Moriendi was also among the first books printed with movable type. In this limited edition anthology, writers from around the world contribute their ruminations on the matter of the good death. And indeed, aspiring towards the good life a priori – to attend to living well before leaving well.”

Poems in translation on Lyrikline

October 3, 2015

So totally delighted to have fifteen of my poems posted in translation on Lyrikline: Untitled (Howe)The Ocean I Call MineWindow, Not SkyUnfinished Rooms, The ApartmentThe FloodI Do Not Want Rain for RainBabelA Raincoat, A Spell of Rain Ago, Oregon TrailMy 100-Year-Old GhostSummer Nights, WalkingUntitled (Lincoln)Waiting for the Ocean, and The Duke in Pines appear in their original English plus translations into Arabic, Turkish, Bulgarian, German and Bosnian.

Thanks so much to the translators for all their hard work, and thanks to VERSschmuggel, Highlight Arts & Literature Across Frontiers who facilitated many of these versions.

I Do Not Want Rain For Rain in Berlin

October 1, 2015

Huge thanks to the wonderful folks at The Reader Berlin for having me over and recording this video of my poem ‘I Do Not Want Rain for Rain‘. Apologies for the dog.

The poem is from my second book, The Good Dark, published by Penned in the Margins.