Posts tagged ‘poetry’

21 March 2010

Dialogue Berlin

Dialogue Berlin: café culture, literature, English-language books and magazines, modern English tearoom setting, literary evenings and events, reading groups, readings for children, a book-doctor service and much more…

And part of the much more is the appearance of two excellent poets on Thursday 25 March 2010 at 7 pm: Peter Riley and Alistair Noon.

Peter Riley is widely regarded as one of the most important British poets writing today. Born in 1940 near Manchester, he has published books of poetry with, among others, Carcanet and Shearsman, most recently Greek Passages (Shearsman, 2009). His work has been described as “an extraordinary poetry, one which takes the techniques of modernism to almost a certain limit, yet retains the entire lyric and emotional intensity of the English tradition” (Mark Scroggins). As well as poetry, he has written studies of improvised music, lead mines, burial mounds and Transylvanian string bands.

Alistair Noon reads from his latest chapbook, In People’s Park, as well as from forthcoming publications. Founder of Poetry Hearings, Berlin’s annual English-language poetry festival, he has played an active role in the Anglophone literary scene of the city over the last few years. “I don’t know any poet who flies about so carefreely, never alighting in the pigeonhole for long enough to become ringed” (Giles Goodland).

Entrance €5. RSVP to events(at)

Dialogue Berlin @ Christinenstraße 27, 10119 Berlin, Germany, Telephone +49 (0) 30 8310 4553

29 October 2009

Ethnographic discourse analysis – Part II

300_64486Another exciting take on (or: use of) ethnographic discourse analysis is Helen Gregory’s study of poetry slams. In her Art in Action: Exploring Poetry Slam with Ethnographic Discourse Analysis paper at ESA2009 (9th Conference of European Sociological Association, Lisbon, 02-05 September 2009) she tells us she is particularly interested in:

The merits of interdisciplinary research (combining especially sociology, psychology and the arts) the epistemological and theoretical underpinnings of such research what counts as a “text” the performative construction of auto/biography and identity and challenging the micro/macro divide.

She continues:Poetry_Slam

The study uses discourse analytic and ethnographic tools of enquiry to explore how slam participants mobilise poetry, informal conversation and other forms of action to weave stories about themselves and others.

It will be argued that these auto/biographies work both to construct individuals’ identities, and to help them to negotiate the status hierarchies which structure their daily lives and interactions. Ethnographic and discourse analytic approaches can thus be combined to produce an informative and sensitive account of the construction of identity in everyday interaction. I will contend that such in-depth explorations of micro level interaction are essential if we are to achieve a full understanding of the macro level social structures and processes which they help to constitute. After all, as Mead (1934: 37) notes, “history is nothing but biography, a whole series of biographies”.

(Pictures courtesy of Habse(e)ligkeit and Lone Star College)

26 January 2009

Noon – At the Emptying of Dustbins

New book At the Emptying of Dustbins by Berlin poet Alistair Noon is now available from Oystercatcher Press.

Alistair Noon’s writing is characterised by a worldly intelligence, striking verbal alistair_noondexterity and a technical accomplishment by no means common in today’s poetry world. He is a writer to keep an eye on over the next few years.

And Alistair Noon is also known for his theorising on translocal writers, those who live outwith their original location and “go beyond simply writing about their [new] place of residence as an exotic Other”.

Mikhail the Domestically Detested

and George the Unfortunate Progenitor

have thawed in Iceland. Yugoslavia is at war.

Someone is strumming unplugged,

the sounds reeling down a stairwell.

Where’s the melancholy, alcoholic nose

of Belkin, with his squirrelish name

and ear for slang and news?

Tags: ,
13 October 2008

Launches Russia Regions

Lance Newman’s suggests a ‘recipe’ for making poems. Mine, based on three news stories about Russia yesterday – about the spacecraft launch, Georgia and Russia’s (other) neighbours – is now online.

Pick 3 stories from Google News. Using only words that occur in the first 3 paragraphs of each story, make a poem with 3 stanzas, 3 lines each, no more than 60 characters per line. The 3-word title should use a word from each story.

Mechanical aids encouraged. Try one of the Hobarts [on the site] if you’d like to work with a block of language that’s been randomized or run through an algorithm.

12 October 2008

Poetry Hearings Berlin

What: POETRY HEARINGS – Berlin Festival of Poetry in English

When: Fri 14 and Sat 15 November 2008

Where: Salon Rosa, above Sophiensaele in Berlin-Mitte

This year’s Poetry Hearings promise to be the strongest yet, with 10 poets from the US, UK, Ireland and Australia reading over two nights at Salon Rosa, above the Sophiensaele in Berlin-Mitte. Berlin favourite MC Jabber goes head-to-head with Jem Rolls, whose performances are currently taking Canada by storm. Critically acclaimed new Picador poet Annie Freud reads alongside Ben Borek, whose novel in verse Donjong Heights was described by Time Out as “truly fantastic”. Two nights of what might well be the most interesting and entertaining English-language poetry you’ll hear all year.