A few weeks ago, I featured Andy Kissane's Radiance here on Poetry Monday, and as a follow-on to that, I invited Andy to drop by The Compulsive Reader Talks to read from his book and chat to me about the poems. Rather than send you over the show, I thought I'd bring the show to you, so here it is. I think you'll enjoy it. Andy was a charming guest, and his readings particularly vivid.
If you'd like to read the full review of Radiance, you can check that out here: http://www.compulsivereader.com/2014/06/15/4812/
Monday, June 30, 2014
Sunday, June 22, 2014
Actually I was about to press the "un-enroll" button when I decided to just have a quick look at the syllabus first, and before I knew it, I'd already gotten through the first 3 readings, watched the videos and become completely engrossed. I'm ready to begin applying this kind of thinking to whatever else I'm doing - to energise me a little bit about all those other projects. First topic is "Social Goods and the Commons". This is a subject that holds endless fascination for me, both in terms of shared physical spaces (I have a few local ones in mind), and in terms of creative commons or collaborative work. I'm excited about the very practical and relevant nature of the first assignment, and the way Michael S Roth, president of Wesleyan and also the course developer and primary teacher, has designed the course to allow the 200,000 (!) students taking it to align the notion of making a positive difference in the world with our own aesthetics and skills. I've done this kind of thing (a MOOC if you like acronyms) before (notably ModPo - just look it up on my blog here for a week by week gush) and it's a perfect example of social goods and creative commons. One of the readings which drew me straight in was this interview with the amazing Lewis Hyde, whose book The Gift moved me many years ago, and still provides a beautifully written treatise on what it means to create art (or as Atwood put it: "how to maintain yourself alive in a world of money, when the essential part of what you do cannot be bought or sold"). I can't swear that I'll do this course as fully as I'd like. Depending on my workload I might dip in and out and just do the readings at night instead of reading a new novel (sorry to everyone who is waiting on a review...). But what I will try to do is to share (pass on, as is appropriate for this kind of gift) the nuggets of insight that I might gain.
Monday, June 2, 2014
So far I've been unable to resist reading out loud (to the poor folk who have to live with me) "The Lost Ode of John Keats", "The Catch", and "Three Visions of Virginia Woolf." If you happen to be in my vicinity, "Political Fruit" is most likely going to come spouting out next. Fair warning. Here's a tiny taste from "Rhubarb", which won Kissane the 2012 Coriole National Wine Poetry Prize. More soon.
Stewed with apples you give life to cereal,
you populate pies, you fold through whipped
cream with the swirling intelligence of a fool.
Is that why when we've nothing to say,
when we need to fill the air with dramatic chatter,
we utter your name: rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb?