Monday, 8 October 2012

Where Rockets Burn Through

Hear ye Hear ye! Come one and all to a future of ray guns and alien invasions. Where Rockets Burn Through: Contemporary Science Fiction Poems from the UK is my début collection as an editor, a splendiferous anthology of sci-fi poems from the wondrous beings listed below.

Grab a copy if you like sci-fi. Grab a copy if you like poetry. Grab a copy if you like sci-fi poetry. Grab a copy if you don't like anything, misery guts. You can buy a copy from the publisher, Penned In the Margins, for just £9.99 here

Edinburgh will be hosting our first book launch, with readings by Andy Jackson, Andrew J Wilson, Pippa Goldschmidt, Alan Riach, Claire Askew, Jane McKie, Ken MacLeod and Ron Butlin. Come along to Blackwells book store, Southbridge (EH1 1YS) on Thursday 29th November at 6:00pm.

London shakes us by the tentacle on 6th December at Toynbee Studios. Fancy dress is welcomed, so pick up your Bat'leth and get yourself along. Details here:

Where Rockets Burn Through contains poetry from over 40 contemporary writers living and working in the UK, an essay by sci-fi poetry expert Steve Sneyd and a preface from Alasdair Gray. It includes poems by, and is dedicated to, Edwin Morgan.

Poets included:

Claire Askew
Simon Barraclough
Ron Butlin
Tom Chivers
Greg Delanty
Joe Dunthorne
Malene Engelund
Andrew Ferguson
Peter Finch
Matthew Francis
Pippa Goldschmidt
Sue Guiney
Aiko Harman
WN Herbert
Sarah Hesketh
Kirsty Irving
Andy Jackson
Ken MacLeod
Kona Macphee
Lorraine Mariner
Brian McCabe
Chris McCabe
James McGonigal
Jane McKie
Ian McLachlan
Edwin Morgan
Alan Riach
James Robertson
Dilys Rose
Nikesh Shulka
Steve Sneyd
Jon Stone
Ross Sutherland
Kelley Swain
Barnaby Tidman
Ryan Van Winkle
Sarah Westcott
Chrissy Williams
Andrew J Wilson
Jane Yolen

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Happy National Poetry Day

To celebrate this year's National Poetry Day, on the theme of "stars", Penned in the Margins have published James McGonigal's splendiferous poem, "space chaplain" on their site. Read it here!

James' poem will be in print as of November 2012, in Where Rockets Burn Through: Science Fiction Poems from the UK, from Penned in the Margins (edited by my gloomy self)

Russell Jones

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

A début of (anti) depressants

How are you feeling? You look a little pasty. A bit pale. Pallid. Put out. Pukey. Perturbed. Sick. Sad. Sedate. Oh that’s just how you always look? Fair enough. Get some sunlight down ya, Nosferatu.

When your Vitamin D levels are back to an acceptable level why not get yourself down to the Scottish Poetry Library (EH8 8DT) on Friday October 19th (6:30-8pm) for the launch of Mairi Campbell-Jack’s double pamphlet extravaganza. There is the sweet and succulent promise of homemade wine! Oh, and poems.

Once you’ve sobered up buy a copy of her book. Go on you cheap skate, buy it. It’s a two-parter about the happy subjects of post natal depression and the breakup of her marriage. You'll laugh! You'll cry! You'll cry a bit more. Party hats not provided.

Mairi Campbell-Jack’s debut collection, “This is a Poem” is published by Burning Eye Books.

Russell Jones

Monday, 1 October 2012

National Poetry Day 2012

It’s that time of year again when the poets emerge from their dishevelled hovels to grace the human world with their words. Yep, the 4th of October is National Poetry Day in the good old UK, and the theme this year is “Stars”.

I’ll be reading to the kiddywinks of Wester Hailes Education Centre (The High School) with this theme in mind as they take up the solar-reins and study “space” in their science classes. Unless you happen to be one of these delightful child-folk then you can’t come, but here are a couple of “star” themed poems from my fat and flailing hands to whet your pipe.

Breathing Space

Stars, don’t start.
Leave me to everything.
Burn away. Your glimmers
have made their point
though it’s lost.

Let me freewheel
in your distant light,
handstanding, vaulting
through the folds
of your surveillance.

If we’d wanted to see you
every minute of every night
we’d not have built houses,
built factories to drab your sky.
This is our canopy, our cloth
between your vastness
and the immediate universe
of our eyes.

Ghazal Jigsaw

From the small, closed window by our study table the stars are set
like the pieces of your space jigsaw. I ask if you’re any closer. The stars are set

you mutter as you slot another nook into the realised corner, and yet
you seem unsure which cosmos you’ve just pieced together. The stars are set

upon like foxes: your hands are hungry dogs. Your eyes are ready trumpets.
Your mind is a horse and then aha, you’ve a northern glow and the stars are set

in their place with a satisfactory click. Another, two more and you’re a puzzle-rocket.
They look so still and steady with you, but through our study window the stars are set

in more dimension than just those two. You drop a red dwarf and I reach to grab it.
You continue. I open the window and, like the sails of a ship, the stars are set.

Russell Jones