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One Hundred Writers

pp5

The title ‘One Hundred Writers’ is taken from the pictures on the postcards and the fact that each person who sends off for and posts pictures of the postcards becomes a part of the project. I suppose if I include myself it becomes 101 writers – but that sounds a bit dotty…

Here are the first five sections of the poem written together:

transformed into existence.
Take the weakest part of
yourself and give it away. Leave
only the view you can see.
one and two. A fixed point
in this way of a wavering life.
Grass under our legs grows
by a ruined abbey. Take me.
I followed you here.
This place that you made better
just for me. You
explored and saw so much –
and turned me to face the right
path. A road that my feet had
been walking on the edge –
scared of the centre
Away to the past. Where
we watched angels in
the fallen stone. Back again.
Sign the forever truth.

I’ll be posting some of the pictures here as well although they are already up on my Tumblr and Facebook pages.

Vick.

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Poetry Postcards

Broken Trees

I can finally announce what my new poetry project is going to be! It’s called poetry postcards and although most of it will be over on Tumblr I will be updating this blog and my website often so that you can see it everywhere, there will also be links on Twitter and Facebook as usual so it will be hard to miss!

This is the wording from my introductory post over on Tumblr:

Poetry Postcards is an exciting new semi-collaborative project from British Poet V.C. Linde (aka Vick, aka Me). I have written a long (400-ish line) poem that also works when broken down into one hundred short poems.

The idea is that each poem can be read alone, all one hundred can be read in the order that it was written in, or in a completely new order. Every short poem, which is either four or five lines long, is going to be printed out and stuck onto the front of a postcard. The postcards will then be sent out in a random order to ANYONE who wants one.

I am going to be sending them worldwide and asking people in exchange for a picture of the postcard which will be posted here. That way a whole new poem will be created depending on what order they are sent out, where they go, how long it takes people to post pictures and (heavens help us) the post office! I’ve been working on this for a few months now and I’m really excited to share the words and ideas with everyone as well as seeing where it can go. More details will be coming very soon as well as some pictures of the postcards etc. and how you can receive a postcard of your own.

I’ve had the project ready to go since the middle of December but as it is mainly post-based I didn’t want to get tangled up in the Christmas post and so delayed the announcement until this year.

I’ve been so excited and I love being able to tell everyone at last. I hope loads of people get involved and I would really like to send these cards as far around the world as possible so if you know anyone in Antarctica or Kamchatka then please do put us in touch!

Vick.

New Website!

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I wasn’t really expecting to create a new website but I realised last week that I did sort of need one for what I am doing at the moment. Everything I had was too specific, so now I have a general website full of words and pictures. It’s titled ‘Words and Pictures‘ just like my old site. It’s snuggled on a WordPress blog (like this one) and my vclinde.co.uk domain redirects there too.

You can have a look at my poetry and see some examples of my writing as well as publications/competitions, there are examples of my playscripts, some info about my writing, a bio page that is finally a little clearer (probably saying a little something about me, no?), all of my cookbook reviews,  and lots of links. The blog link brings you back here and this will remain my real blog, the blogs over there are largely pictures and fun things I like on Tumblr/Pinterest etc. which will hopefully keep the front page interesting.

This is partly me getting organised ready to announce my next big poetry project. I have had a full year without a project since the end of the Three Random Words collection but this one should be just as much fun and I’m hoping to get lots and lots of people involved again. The announcement about the project will come at 11am on January 11th and then facebook, twitter, and both websites will be full of news, updates and ways to get involved so please do keep your eyes out for it! I am very excited about this and cannot wait to share it with everyone.

Vick.

A Fond Farewell

It was very quietly announced that Valerie Eliot had died – I spotted a note on Twitter and then had to really rummage through international newspapers to find a notice of her death.

A few days and then a week later there started to be a few more stories around and about. Most people didn’t seem to know much about her and even more had no idea who she was. I suppose I was much more likely to have known her influence as I am a poet and read a lot of poetry but even poetry fans seemed in the dark.

I wanted to collect a few of the articles together so that I could read them in the future and thought I would pop them up here so others could read them.

Although I never met her I admired her hugely from afar. She was a very hardworking, canny and smart woman. She had a brilliant head for business and was tough without ever seeming (to me) cold. Her impact on F&F and the Eliot prize can be read in the articles but I always admired her protection both of the estate and her husband’s memory. T.S. Eliot’s poetry while he was with her is a great testament and one article suggests that we may get to see some of the poems he wrote specifically for her – something that would be a dream come true for me.

She shall be sorely missed.

The Two Mrs Eliots – Independent 1994

Guardian article by David Morley mirrors my own ideas of why she was so brilliant

NYTimes Obituary Article

Guardian Article on the future of the estate

Lovely article from the FT including a snippet from one of my favourite of TSE’s poems

Obituary from the Telegraph, with this wonderful phrase in the heading: “by sheer uncomplicated adoration achieved the miraculous feat of making him happy”.

Why I Don’t Read

Well, clearly the title is a little silly, of course I read. I read vast amounts of other people’s work both poetry and prose but I do not read my poetry aloud. Pretty much ever.

One of the thing I am asked a lot when I tell people that I’m a poet is when I am doing readings or where I like to read my poetry. Never. Nowhere.

I have been to a few poetry readings that have been wonderful but I have also been to some that haven’t been to my taste at all – I’ve loved the poetry when I read it myself but the performance of it took away something. I honestly don’t believe that all poetry can be put into one category and I don’t write poetry to be read.

I spend a lot of time on constructing the shape of my poems with sentences and line-breaks working together to create a rhythm and visual style. Occasionally I have written poems that are meant to be read aloud – when I entered the BBC Proms Poetry competition I knew that it needed to be suitable for a reading so I did that deliberately to work as a spoken piece as well. I also used part of that poem last week at the Wigtown Book Festival when the SPL were recording snippets of poetry for a podcast.

People seem to think that poetry can only be one thing – which is complete rubbish. It can be read, spoken, signed and sung. The fewer rules the better the outcome, the more we can create. If you want your poetry to be read aloud then it is important to make sure it sounds as good as, if not better than, it looks. If you are not then it doesn’t matter, to me at least!

Poetry is important to me. It is my favourite way of expressing myself and it is my favourite way to find other views of the world. But…I like to do it inside my own head. One of the most wonderful things about poetry is the vastness of options – you can choose and explore. And I choose to read alone, to get lost in it, to put my spin on the words that someone else has crafted. It’s not the only way, I wouldn’t want it to be, but it’s my way.

So in short – if you see a poem of mine on your travels then it is meant to be heard inside your head. Because I love inside your head – I really do.

Vick.