Monday, December 10, 2007

(((( comfort ))))

Last year, I exhibited three poems at an exhibition at the offices of our church here in Linlithgow, organised by my wife. This year, the exhibition has moved to the bigger space of the church building, expanding its range of media--already wide last year--and the reach of its contributors to include several people from outside the congregation. The blank space space of the sanctuary has been transformed by a batik installation that manages the tricky balance of bringing a strong central focus to the room without distracting from the pieces exhibited around it.

This year's theme is, as the title makes clear, comfort. The image in the flyer above shows one of the exhibits: "A Holding Place", by our friend Raine Clarke, who has worked on some Essence Press publications. It's pure Raine: beautifully delicate, seemingly simple and unassuming yet full of emotional and spiritual depth.

Instead of a poem, my piece for the exhibition is a certain book wrapped in a blue blanket on which are written phrases from the book. One phrase--"I will not look away"--is visible on the outside, but viewers have to unfold the blanket to read the others. In other words, they are actively invited to engage with the piece physically as well as visually and to discover the comfort inside.

(((( comfort )))) is open 12-2pm and 7-9pm daily today until Friday and 10am - 4pm on Saturday (15th). Admission is free, refreshments are provided and children are welcome.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Buyer Who Cares?

On a brief visit to Waterstones at the West End of Edinburgh's Princes Street yesterday, I was very pleasantly surprised to see quite an interesting poetry section. Instead of being populated by the usual suspects with one or two token others thrown in, it included a few American imports and a healthy selection of small press publications--among them a good handful of books from Salt--while even the Mighty Handful were represented by an encouraging range of authors. The shelf space is still not vast, but I came away with the impression that somebody who actually cares about poetry must be buying for that shop. I had a £10 Waterstones voucher in my pocket, and I had real trouble deciding how to dispose of it. In the end, I left with Richard Price's latest collection Greenfields.

What's New on Tonguefire