Thinkin’ on the Beats.

Just watching this video of excerpts from a discussion held at the Philadelphia Kelly Writer’s House. That place is such an engine of interesting thinking around poetry at the moment. The more and more I see/hear from there, the more I want to take wing and get over there for some conversing.

Anyway, the class this video’s from is about the Beat Generation, and takes my head back to the ‘Gimme The Beat Girls‘ show I worked on and performed with Leiza McLeod in Bristol a few years back. One of our source texts, Women of the Beat Generation ed. Brenda Knight, gets a massive and deserved plug. Would love to take the work I was doing over there to see what the response might be and what discussion would be prompted, especially because now I feel like I have a bigger picture than I did at the time, after seeing Amiri Baraka read in Glasgow before he died, for example, and after having explored Ginsberg’s poetics more in my own work.

So, enjoy this great video. Thanks uPenn!


Inspiration from Allen Ginsberg: Sutras

Hello one and all, well, at least one.

I’m writing at the moment, working on a new poem called Birthday Sutra for a reading on the eve of my 35th birthday (which seems a good time to sum) at the Sutton Gallery in Edinburgh. The event is listed here, and starts at 7pm on 21st May, 2014.

Here’s the first para of current Wikipedia article on Sutra, to give an idea of what my poem form might be:
‘A sutra (Sanskritसूत्रPālisuttaArdhamagadhisūya) is an aphorism or a collection of aphorisms in the form of a manual or, more broadly, a text in Hinduismor Buddhism. Literally it means a thread or line that holds things together and is derived from the verbal root siv-, meaning to sew’

The inspiration for my poem is loosely Allen Ginsberg and his oracular ‘sutra’ poems.  Here’s his Wichita Vortex Sutra text, and also a composition version of it with Philip Glass at the piano. May it fire up my imagination to similarly visionary heights!