Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Rose Theeeeeeeeeeatre!

'T'was another groovy night at The Rose Theatre at Edge Hill again tonight. Y'know, these readings and events are open to the public, not just students! Why not look at the website ( to find out what you want to see, then come on down!

Tonight (if you weren't there), you missed some of Edge Hill's finest talents - past and present - such as: Rob Sheppard, Patricia Farrell, Andrew Taylor and more. That was only the first half! Second half we were treated to Canadian poet Peter Jaeger's poems - a goodly helping from his book Rapid Eye Movement (Reality Street, 2009) which I thought was very moreish indeed.

Won't bore you with details, check out these sites! (Andy Taylor's page - pretty self-explanatory) (Erbacce Press, what a lot of today's readers be involved in) (Can't find a personal page for the man :S) (His blog 'Pages' is the place to be!)

Friday, 17 February 2012

Visiting Writer, Edge Hill University

What a friggin' brilliant day at uni today! In poetry class we were treated to a visit by Cliff Yates, poet, writer, teacher and bloody nice bloke (excuse my language)! This isn't the first exposure I've had to the bundle of creative energy that is Cliff, I saw him read not so long back in the Rose Theatre on Edge Hill's campus. I'm not sure exactly what it is I like about his work... Oh, who am I kidding, of course I do! The surreality of many of the pieces, a kind of innocence therein and the lyricality are all things I love in writing of any type, but as a poet his bringing together of voices (see 'Hotel De L'Angleterre'), really evocative images (unfortunately I can't remember the name of the poem he read out that typified this so well!) and well-balanced narrative (see 'Tonight In Kidderminster') really are second to none.

His own story is also very inspiring. Perhaps I shouldn't relay it here, I don't want to get details wrong and fall foul of another libel suit... But yeah, he really has the hunger, the wit, the energy and the personality that makes an excellent person as well as a poet, and I hope he enjoys even more success! Let's just say, whenever I go to readings and books are on sale, I'm either too broke or too stingy (not quite the same thing) to get any of the books. When Cliff came to Edge Hill, I bought Frank Freeman's Dancing School (Salt, 2009), thoroughly enjoyed it and even used some of it in a collage poem I did for coursework (my efforts were terrible though!).

Check out his blog at (where you can find out more about the man, his mission and his work), go to any of his readings if you get the chance and definitely buy some of his collections. I couldn't have summed it all up better than Ian McMillan:

“Cliff Yates is one of my favourite poets, writing in an idiom I’d like to call ‘Skelmersdale Mystic/Domestic’ if he was in a band that band would produce hit singles that would linger in your head for years and if he was a greengrocer his vegetables would always be startling shapes. There’s childhood here, and love, and a way of seeing the world with the wrappers off that is, ultimately, Yatesian”

Thursday, 9 February 2012


I would absolutely LOVE to work with the Coen Brothers. Of course, I could never usurp them with regards to writing/directing talent, but even to star in one of their films would be a dream come true. To rephrase: to be an extra in one of their films would be a dream come true. Heck, to serve them coffee/to ask them how they're doing about their day/to simply be in any kind of proximity (and maybe push one of my scripts on them) would be awesome.

I love many things about the Coen Brothers. It will sound so very stupid, but I love their writing and directing... Yes, I said it was a 'stupid' point... But really, I love their dedication to actors. Holly Hunter, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Frances McDormand, Jeff Bridges and many others... It just makes me think that these guys are god-like, and they cannot do wrong in bestowing any kind of faith in folk (acting or otherwise)...

If you're out there, Joel and Ethan (and don't get me wrong, I'll ask for a certain degree of ID before I believe that you've chosen to grace me with your presence), I am your servant!

Peace out,


Monday, 6 February 2012

Ann Arbor Film Festivaaal!

I had a brilliant time last Wednesday at the 49th Ann Arbor Short Film Festival. It was being screened in Edge Hill's Rose Theatre, very competently I'd like to add in case the projectionist is reading. It was a bit of a labour of love to get the festival to be shown here, according to the man responsible. Not because the Ann Arbor organization was unhelpful, quite the opposite in the end, but because previous institution he had worked for were not keen to host the event for whatever reason.

Well, I can't pretend I understood all the films. God has seen fit, in his infinite wisdom, to bless me with the level of mental faculty that he has. No more, no less. With this faculty, it was not possible for me to grasp the subtleties of films involving lingering, black and white shots of chain link fences. Nor was it possible for me to see the relevance in a kid riding around in circles on a bike for a few minutes with no dialogue or anything besides. That, however, did not stop me enjoying the night.

Explorations of naked old men on skatboards, the futility and yet humour of life, coming of age and what cinema means were all themes that even this feeble intellect could put its finger on. There was a lot of humour, actually, which translates whether you are an artist or a pleb. That I am glad for, I can tell thee!

Right, sorry, I can't be arsed writing any more. Had a great time, hope to see it next year blah blah...