Friday, 28 May 2010

2010 General Election - 100-word review

I didn’t review this as it was happening because the sands were constantly shifting. Now it’s all done with and we’ve a new government in place, I think the whole event can be neatly summed up thus: the British public did not ‘clearly want’ or ‘vote’ for or against anything as a conglomerate. Most people probably didn’t even vote for a party they actually wanted to govern. No one really knew what was at stake and nobody got what they wanted. So maybe what we’ve ended up with is the best we could hope for, given our lack of consensus.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Forthcoming Events

Next week I'll be reading at two events, both of which I'm looking forward to.

On Monday (May 31st) it's Poets at the Pub, with Ernest Hillbert, Richard Price and Katy Evans-Bush. It's from 7.00pm to 9.00pm at the Lamb Pub on Holborn (Dickens' old boozer), WC1N 3LZ. I'll probably read some homophonic translations of Celan and a few poems from Scarecrows.

Then on Wednesday (June 2nd) Penned in the Margins are launching Simon Barraclough's Bonjour Tetris at the Lata Ri in Rivington Street, EC2A 3BE from 6.30pm. Heather Phillipson and I are in support slots.

Bonjour Tetris is a collection of Simon's commissioned poems which includes, of course, those he wrote for our micro-anthology Coin Opera. I'll likely be reading some of my own computer game and film-themed poems for this one.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The Golden Hour + Forest Chapbooks

Kirsty read at The Golden Hour on Monday, playing at The Green Note in Camden as part of their nationwide tour. It was great to see the place packed out, particularly when it was competing with the second Faber New Poets launch event, which is sure to have drawn a healthy tranche of the London poetry crowd. Then again, The Golden Hour isn't just poetry - there's music and prose too, much like Declan Ryan's monthly Days of Roses event. I arrived a little late but every act I saw was intimidatingly good, from Sam Taradash's beguiling boxing story to Jonny Berliner's super spoof blues/folk songs. Berliner also teamed up with host Ryan van Winkle for a witty hybrid poem/tune entitled 'Toast'.

It's also worth mentioning the Forest chapbook series, published by the same people who run The Golden Hour. Chapbooks are always cheap but at £2 each, no recession-based excuse will do for not investigating this series. We traded a copy of Coin Opera for three of 'em, and each one is radically different from the next.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Lardermania Friday 14 May!

Munch munch...Me and Jon are reading at Lardermania, the latest of Roddy Lumsden's perennially-popular platter of multi-poet events! Come along - it's always a delicacy.

Where: upstairs at The Betsey Trotwood.

When: 8pm sharp, Friday 14th May

What: On Friday, BroadCast's latest multi-poet event sees 26 poets perform an alphabet of new poems on the subject of food. Plus Don Share, poet and senior editor of Poetry magazine and a few readings from the work of food-loving poet Craig Arnold, who died in an accident a year ago.

With a poem each by Kirsten Irving / Charlotte Newman / Rowyda Amin / James Goodman / Angela Kirby / Claire Crowther / Samuel Prince / Tim Wells / Mark Waldron / Holly Hopkins / Diana Pooley / David Floyd / Samantha Jackson / Judy Brown / James Brookes / Don Share / Katy Evans Bush / Dzifa Benson / Jack Underwood / Jon Stone / Swithun Cooper / Julia Bird / Sarah Hesketh / Annie Freud / Roddy Lumsden / Jackey Smith.

Cost: £5 sterling

Sunday, 9 May 2010

100-Word Reviews: Kororinpa and Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi

Copies of this four year old Wii game take up a whole shelf at my local Blockbuster. I’m guessing that’s because it was a popular renting title - which makes sense, as it’s a thoroughly entertaining game that only takes two or three dedicated evenings to complete. Think of a colourful, increasingly complex, virtual version of a marble-rolling maze game; you tip the Wiimote this way and that in order to tip the whole gaming world this way and that, causing the marble (or watermelon, or football, or sphereised penguin/panda/kitten) to roll. Surprisingly addictive, compelling, tricky and inventive.

Additional notes:
£10 in Blockbuster! Probably cheap as chips on ebay. Only for Wii.

Shadow Dancer was the third Shinobi game to be released on the Mega Drive, bizarrely preceding Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master by three years. Originally an arcade game, it puts you in the role of a shuriken-happy ninja (his name varies between versions) trying to thwart a terrorist plot by rescuing hostages and defeating a variety of enemies (as you do). The key feature that distinguishes it from other Shinobi titles is your white dog, who can be commanded to maul enemies, setting up a diverse range of tactics. This alone makes it worth a quick blast.

Additional notes:
£5.60 on Wii's Virtual Console (800 points). If you have an old Mega Drive, you can get it for roughly the same amount on ebay, give or take a couple of quid.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

The Golden Hour Tour

Hello! The Golden Hour, a poetry extravanaganza organised by members of Edinburgh-based collective and Fuselit favourites The Forest, is touring the UK! It's a rare chance to catch the crew outside the Scots capital and promises to be a cracking show.

2010 Dates:
Sheffield - 20 May at The Rude Shipyard
Bristol - 21 May at the Cube Cinema
Brighton - 22 May at the Redroaster
London - 24 May at the Green Note, Camden
Newcastle - 25 May at the Star and Shadow

Readers include Scottish Poetry Library reader-in-residence and Crashaw Prize winner Ryan Van Winkle, Ericka Duffy and Jason Morton. Stacks more - investigate!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010