Reading for Words, Pauses, Noises

Following on my last post, I want to pay tribute to another erstwhile small press: Pure Francis. They originally published my poem, On Nights, online back in January, 2012. Unfortunately, their site has since disappeared completely and they haven’t posted anything on their Facebook page since 30/12/12. RIP Pure Francis. Thanks for your support.

Fortunately, in 2014 I resubmitted On Nights to a competition run by Kingston University’s creative writers’ blog (Words, Pauses, Noises) and it received an honorable mention! Next week, on 4/3/2015, Words, Pauses, Noises is launching their debut print anthology and I’ll be reading this poem along with some of the other competition winners. If you can, please come out and join us. (See flyer for details.)

Unfortunately, this event calls for another, more serious tribute. Professor Jim McGavran was scheduled to participate, but recently passed away. My sincerest condolences to his friends and family.

kws mcgavran and wpn (2)

Small Potatoes

And now, to state the obvious: poetry is not a big business. I don’t have any statistics or fancy info graphics (ah, I love a good info graphic) to back up my assertions, but I’d say that the vast majority of poetry is published by VERY small print and electronic journals (there are hundreds of them). Before I go any further, please give these people a round of applause. The kind of publication I’m talking about is usually run by a tiny team, if not just one passionate person. They squeeze in their editing duties between full-time jobs and…well, the rest of the daily grind. They generally make little or no money from these ventures. In fact, I’m sure plenty of them fork over a fair amount of their own cash just to keep their web sites and magazines going, especially if you consider the hours they put into it (time=$ after all). Some of the largest ‘small’ publications do manage to get government funding, but it’s often cancelled when they need it most. Without these dedicated individuals, none of my work would be published. Anywhere. And I want to thank them wholeheartedly.

Unfortunately, getting published by smaller journals does have some draw backs. For example: they can fold without warning. I’ve lost count of the little presses that I’ve found in database listings, though they have already ceased to exist, sometimes after decades, sometimes after just one or two issues. When you consider the adverse conditions I mentioned above, it’s totally understandable why people would throw in the towel. Sometimes, there simply isn’t enough time in the day to keep a press going. I don’t fault these people at all. Unfortunately, this tends to turn a writer’s CV into Swiss Cheese. You find yourself saying, ‘I’ve been published by 20 different journals…but half of them don’t exist anymore’.

That’s why I’ve decided to start posting some of my older poems here, ones that’ve become unmoored from the sites and journals that originally published them. Why not pay tribute to these lost poetry outlets and salvage my poems at the same time.

This week, I’m commemorating Write From Wrong. When they accepted my poem for their website back in 2011, it was my first publication and it gave me the confidence I needed to continue submitting. Though they have a Facebook page with posts as recent as October, 2014, their website seems to have morphed into something dedicated to Final Fantasy video games. RIP Write From Wrong. I’ve included the poem, Surabaya, below.

Surabaya

On busy side street humid nights,
roaring by on motor bikes
through the street lamps’ yellow glow,
we’re passed by souls we’ll never know.

Entire lives are summarized
by the red of blurred tail lights
and the buzzing engine noise,
fading quickly as it goes.

And so we all are boiled down
to a flash of light and passing sound.

Travel Writing or Something Like It

Way back in 2004, I left my home country for the first time and spent a semester abroad in Greece. Since then, I’ve found it difficult to stay put. I mean, there’s so much to see! All of these wanderings have informed a great deal of my poetry, but it’s also nice to have a prose outlet for travelogue and photography. When I originally found Triptease, it seemed like a great way to share my photos and talk about the places I would/wouldn’t recommend. Unfortunately, I think it’s become more about selling hotels these days, but I figure I might as well keep posting on it until I run out of destinations to talk about. For example, I just posted a little blurb about some remote ruins in Turkey. PS – if anyone likes the look of any of the photos I’ve posted on Triptease, I’m sure I could get some prints made and framed for a reasonable fee. Just saying.

Beginnings are Awkward

This site is still very much under construction, but I thought now was as good a time as any to get started by making a few announcements about my poetry.

So.

A few announcements:

1. My poem, Ankara, was recently posted (along with a variety of other great work) in Cahoodaloodaling Issue #15 – Travelogue.

2. My poem, Location, is in Issue 029 of The Dawntreader. You can buy a copy here.

3. On 21 January 2015, I had the honor of reading at Kingston University as a part of the Kingston Writing School Reading and Lecture Series. They’ve got a variety of great events booked for the coming weeks and months, which you can find out about here.  I shared the evening with the fantastic Jennifer Wong.

I won’t bore you by reaching any further back into my publication record. For more info about that, just check out the About section of my site and click on Publication History.

As more developments arise, I’ll try to share them in a timely manner.

So…apparently endings are also awkward.