Emperor Akhbar Seeks Ultimate Wisdom was published in The Cannon’s Mouth in June this year. It was inspired by a visit to the former capital of the Mughal Empire, founded in 1571, where the Emperor would met with scholars from different faiths to discover which, if any, had the ultimate truth.
Inspired by the deep time adventures of Robert McFarlane in Underland (2019), Black Bough Poetry’s anthology Deep Time is the first of two volumes dedicated to prehistory, mythologies, geological time and underworlds. In this volume, poets from across the world explore subterranean and submarinal environments, uncover the traces of the past in mining and archaeology and evoke the myths of ancestors.
Somewhere Else writer, Iris Anne Lewis, is delighted that her poem Swan Song in the Geissenklösterle Cave is featured in the anthology. You can listen to Iris reading her poem here.
Beautifully illustrated by Rebecca Wainwright, Deep Time is available from Amazon. An online version will be available on the Black Bough website in due course. In the meantime Black Bough Poetry has released a playlist of the poets reading their work introduced by music especially composed to accompany the poetry. You can find the play list here.
Listening to the music and the voices exploring these subterranean places is quite a meditative experience, so why not carve out an hour of your time, get yourself a cup of coffee or glass of wine and listen to this collection of work which Robert MacFarlane describes as ‘both contemporary and mythic, urgent and ancient. Strange voices for strange times sing out here’.
Frank McMahon’s poem Family Gathering has been selected by Ragged Foils Productions for their next Podcast, which is due to be released on Wednesday, 13th May.
The poem came out of a writing exercise, the object of which was to wander, observe and note what you saw, heard and felt in a large private garden… and then turn the results into writing. Frank transposed a gathering of his family into the garden.
Sophie Livingston’s short story ‘The Ridgeway’ is being serialised this week on BBC Radio Wiltshire as part of the BBC’s Digital UPLOAD initiative.
The story, which is a mystery set on the long-distance footpath, is being broadcast in four parts. The first five minute episode, was aired on Tuesday 21st April. The next three episodes will run on the following Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, during the station’s evening broadcast.
Sophie, who was interviewed live by Sue Kinnear on Tuesday night’s programme, said she was thrilled at the way the station had dramatised the story and would like to encourage other people to submit work via Upload.
The first broadcast will be available for the next month here. The interview runs from 1:22 and finishes at 1:29 on the recording time line. The first episode runs from 1:41 to 1:46.
Somewhere Else member Graham Bruce Fletcher has been named winner of Graffiti Magazine’s short story competition with ‘Damask’, a tale about the beauty of age. To celebrate the magazine’s 25th issue the theme of the competition was ‘silver’.
Somewhere Else Writers have suspended meetings for the time due to the coronavirus – so we’re enjoying a virtual world celebration of what’s been a bumper week of writing successes for the group. Iris Lewis heard that her poem, ‘Signet Ring’ is to be published in the poetry magazine ‘Artemis’ in May, and two of our members, Stephen Connolly and Tina Baker were short listed for the Stroud Short Story competition, with Stephen’s story ‘The Corvidae Diary’ making it to the final cut of ten that will be read at November’s event.
Artemis is a highly-regarded, twice yearly, print poetry magazine that aims to be a showcase for the best in women’s writing from new and established poets. It has been one of Iris’s target magazines for a while and she is delighted to have been accepted.
The Stroud competition attracted 119 entries from 90 writers. The winners were due to read in May. The event will now be at the Cotswold Playhouse on Sunday 8 November.
Also this week, Sophie Livingston heard that her short story ‘Hinton Ampner’ had been long-listed for the Fish Publishing Short Story prize. The competition, judged by the author Colom McCann, attracted 1,468 entries from around the world.
Raised Voices: a poetry celebration of International Women’s Day
Gloucestershire Poetry Society marked International Women’s Day with an afternoon of poetry written and performed by local women poets, including Somewhere Else member Iris Anne Lewis. Held in the welcoming surroundings of St Mary de Crypt in Gloucester, the audience was treated to poetry that explored women’s lives in all their variety and expressed wit, anger, passion, humour, love and what it is to be a woman.
Ably hosted by Josephine Lay, the Chair of the Gloucestershire Poetry Society, the event raised £150 for the Nelson Trust, and organisation that supports disadvantaged women in Gloucestershire.