Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Stop patronising short stories

"The short story form is better suited to the demands of modern life than the novel." (Simon Prosser Publishing Director Hamish Hamilton)

I don't agree that short stories are "in keeping with the hurried times we live in" or densely compressed. They are not vitamin pills. The reading of short stories is no different to any other reading with respect to time. A reader will read for the same duration and in the same way regardless of which book is to hand. Neither is there any appeal in the notion of being force fed prose that is compressed like animal food pellets. The short story is in the premier league and just as likely to win as any of the other teams. We short story writers are just as hard as other writers but no harder, just as artful but no fuller. We can arm wrestle the poets or the novelists and outstare them, if necessary. Do not patronise us.

Defending the story's place as a first class artistic medium is redundant and patronising. Would anyone ever think of saying that painting is more suited than sculpture to the demands of modern life because you can see all of a painting without having to walk around behind it? Painters would rightly spurn such an endorsement.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Alight here for poetry

You wait ages for an acceptance and then two come along in one week. A poem by me for Willesden Green is now included on Alight Here [Gorn!], a marvellous project that has been noticed and had articles about it in well known publications as far afield as New York. I think one or two of my pictures are coming up on there as well in a while - will keep an eye out for them.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

There May Be Horrors

There may be horrors on the floor of the sea
and ever more sorrows down a stony road,
but we are not at the bottom of the sea
and where this road winds nobody knows.
So while there's still rosé from France
and seasick priests are going green,
might I have the honour of this dance
with you, my ginger Rosaleen?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pictures from Dublin visit

1. View from the Regency Hotel
2. Cúchulainn's statue and the proclamation of the Republic, G.P.O.
3. Statue of Jim Larkin, union founder and leader in the 1913 lockout
4. Dali's bicycle (actually vandalism)
5. View of the Liffey from O'Connell Bridge
6. In Boccaccio restaurant
7. View from the bridge in St. Stephen's Green

Coalition muddle : Afraid to let David Laws appear on Question Time

No 10 in row over Question Time panel -
UK Politics, UK - The Independent

It is clear that this coalition government is hopelessly conflicted, muddled and doomed. Good. Bring on the next election.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Eating grass


He likes that broad-bladed grass, has that for salad every day in the park, selects the best tall fronds to eat.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Five Irish authors feature in Haiti book

Business And Leadership - Life

I hear the book has raised £1,200 in its first week. Funnily enough, I think it might be an interesting read as well. So it's there if you want to support the Red Cross in Haiti.

Friday, February 05, 2010

The Wonderful Thread

I have contributed a short story to "100 Stories for Haiti" a project to raise money for the Red Cross in Haiti. It's a children's story that might bring a smile to adults as well, I hope.

Update: Unfortunately they cut off the end of the story. It now reads like a gloomy Raymond Carver, instead of a tale from Hans Andersen.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Finn's generosity

"If the brown leaves were gold that the wood lets fall, if the white wave were silver, Finn would have given it all away." (Irish; author unknown; twelfth century)

This never fails to make me think about those who have passed on or out of our lives. It always seems in retrospect that we all have given everything we had. We had nothing more to give. You don't have to be like the pious pope John Paul II who owned nothing, went to his funeral in a plain pinewood box, and left a note leaving people free to do whatever they wished with his few personal items. We all must give everything perforce. What we never gave, we never had.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I am out of circulation for a while. Meanwhile I leave you with the links. All the best for now.