Plunder & Salvage

Michael Blackburn. Poet. Chief of the Inner Station.

Oct 14

The triumphant pigeons of bigotry.

ELECTION RESULTS PROVIDE great entertainment for cynics and winners alike. In last week’s parliamentary by-elections, for instance, Banksy’s grey pigeons of bigotry elected Britain’s first Ukip MP (as predicted); but in another seat, Heywood and Middleton, Ukip very nearly unseated the squatting Labour candidate, losing by a mere 600 votes. That was not expected by anyone.

Source: The Fortnightly…

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Oct 9
Banksy in Clacton. Racist pigeons.

WHEN THE UBIQUITOUSLY absent graffiti artist Banksy left one of his statements on the wall of a building in Clacton-on-Sea the other day I don’t suppose he was expecting the local council to scrub it off — because someone complained that it was racist.

Banksy in Clacton. Racist pigeons.

WHEN THE UBIQUITOUSLY absent graffiti artist Banksy left one of his statements on the wall of a building in Clacton-on-Sea the other day I don’t suppose he was expecting the local council to scrub it off — because someone complained that it was racist.


Weekend poetry course in Lincoln, Nov 28-30, 2014.

Daljit-Nagra

In partnership with Writing East Midlands, Arvon will be bringing the magic of our renowned writing courses to The Collection, Lincoln for a weekend of Poetry writing.

Maybe you’ve dipped your toes into poetry before and would like explore further? Or perhaps you’ve been writing for years but are now stuck in a rut? This course will help you take your poetry writing in new directions through a…

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Oct 4

Sunk Island Review - a full list of contents.

SIR1

Back in 1988 I had the idea of creating a new literary magazine. That came to fruition in 1989 as Sunk Island Review, a paperback of new fiction, poetry, reviews, translations and life writing. It lasted till 1997, when I ran out of steam. In that time, however, I published a range of poets and writers from Britain and abroad, including many who were at the beginning of their careers – Jonathan…

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Sep 29

In the rubble, with the Guardian for a spine. Vapid documentaries.

Rubbish Taino Paintings

ONE OF MY biggest gripes with documentaries these days is the sense I’m being preached at by some clever dick who has a rolled-up copy of the Guardian for a spine.

Too many of today’s documentaries are flashy nonsense. I can’t think of a nicer way of describing them. Too many shots of the presenter strolling or striding about ancient pavements or entering mysterious tombs and caves, pretending…

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Sep 22

Antonella Anedda with Jamie McKendrick, poems and translations.

Antonella Anedda with Jamie McKendrick from Neil Astley on Vimeo.


Sep 21

What a liberal education should do (Steven Pinker).

http://wp.me/pliAx-aDuZv

a liberal education should make certain habits of rationality second nature. Educated people should be able to express complex ideas in clear writing and speech. They should appreciate that objective knowledge is a precious commodity, and know how to distinguish vetted fact from superstition, rumor, and unexamined conventional wisdom. They should know how to reason logically and statistically,…

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Sep 18
Writers are the worst procrastinators. I should know.

Like most writers, I am an inveterate procrastinator. In the course of writing this one article, I have checked my e-mail approximately 3,000 times, made and discarded multiple grocery lists, conducted a lengthy Twitter battle over whether the gold standard is actually the worst economic policy ever proposed, written Facebook messages to schoolmates I haven’t seen in at least a decade, invented a delicious new recipe for chocolate berry protein smoothies, and googled my own name several times to make sure that I have at least once written something that someone would actually want to read…

Writers are the worst procrastinators. I should know.

Like most writers, I am an inveterate procrastinator. In the course of writing this one article, I have checked my e-mail approximately 3,000 times, made and discarded multiple grocery lists, conducted a lengthy Twitter battle over whether the gold standard is actually the worst economic policy ever proposed, written Facebook messages to schoolmates I haven’t seen in at least a decade, invented a delicious new recipe for chocolate berry protein smoothies, and googled my own name several times to make sure that I have at least once written something that someone would actually want to read…


Sep 11

Sep 10

"Poems are unimportant" - Pasternak.

http://wp.me/pliAx-aDuZj

Though most critics still consider Pasternak’s poetry his greatest achievement, he yearned to create something more ambitious. “Poems are unimportant,” he declared. “I don’t understand why people busy themselves with my verses.” By 1945, he began to conceive a novel about the turbulent experiences of a Russian physician and poet—and Russia itself—from the abortive 1905 Revolution to World War II.…

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