Friday, 28 March 2014

The Illustrated Word ~ Flash Fiction

One of the first known usages of the term "flash fiction" as a literary style was in the 1992 anthology Flash Fiction: Seventy-Two Very Short Stories, edited by James Thomas. The term "short story" was the most common term until about 2000, when it was truly overtaken by "flash fiction".

In China, the style is often called "smoke long" or "palm-sized", with the comparison being that the story should be finished before the reader could finish smoking a cigarette.

There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category; however, many publishers impose caps as low as three hundred words, while others consider stories as long as a thousand words to be flash fiction.

There is something very satisfying about working to condense a text into a few hundred words, paring and cutting the narrative while staying true to the story.

One of the most famous pieces of flash fiction is Ernest Hemingway’s six word story (he considered it one of his best works). It simply reads - For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Friday, 14 March 2014

The Illustrated Word

by Eabha Rose 

(share from Plum Tree site)

“The deep parts of my life pour onward, as if the river shores were opening out. I feel closer to what language can’t reach. With my senses, as with birds, I climb into the windy heaven… in the ponds broken off from the sky..” Rainer Maria Rilke

I was reminded of this powerful Rilke quote when I reflected recently on my teen years and the hours spent making soundscapes through cutting up songs and pieces of music and stringing them together to create something new. I now see that it was an attempt at reaching beyond the arrangements, breaking them apart and rebuilding them with the teenage dream of touching the mystical and finding new meanings.

‘At fifteen, my passion was creating my own music cassettes, recording my favourite bands and (as teenagers do), playing them over and over until I knew every word and note by heart. I started to experiment with cutting up pieces of music and sound and static and creating audio stories. I would use people’s voices, household sounds, traffic sounds and string them together. The stories for me were mostly built around spirits and visits from other realms. In a sense, I conjured up stories and then built sci-fi soundscapes around them. I think I hoped that in some way my creations would open a portal through which I would be inspired and maybe even informed. I suppose I was looking for messages and of course for escape.’

t is a process I was to later return to using the cut-up technique whereby pieces of text are cut up and re-arranged to create a new piece of work. It was used by Dadaists of the 1920s and was popularized in the late 1950s and early 1960s by writer William S. Burroughs, and has since been used in a wide variety of contexts. Gysin introduced Burroughs to it at the Beat hotel and later, together, they applied the technique to printed media and audio recordings. Bowie also experimented with it. Burroughs was one of many artists who gave it a mystical quality. He saw it as a form of divination, saying, "when you cut into the present, the future leaks out'. Artist Taylor Ellwood ( talks of the process as a ‘rewrite of reality’ - 'First I’d cut-up the conventional reality that had already been created, and then reform it into my own collage message to the universe, complete with a reformatted space and time. The universe has always been kind enough to respond'.

With renewed fascination, I travelled to London's Horse Hospital last year and met writers and artists, Joe Ambrose, Antony Hitchin, Nina Antonia and Jerome Alexandre whose interest in the technique inspired Cut-Up! - an anthology featuring new and historic cut-ups.

During last years Tom Cat Festival in Limerick, Mikael Fernstrom and Sean Taylor of Soft Day recorded my cut-up poetry during a live improvisational performance at Dr John’s, accompanied by flautist, Niall Keegan and sound artist, Robin Parmar. It was a particularly interesting experiment in that we were actively involved in the process of interpreting and recreating words and music live.

Below is a little excerpt from Soft Day’s, Amhrán na mBeach (Song of the Bees), and as explained by Soft Day, is 'based on four years of scientific data about bee diseases and colony losses in Ireland. Soft Day created musical scores for the Glenstal Abbey Choir, organ and the Irish Chamber Orchestra. A sound art composition was also created by the Softday Apiary Ensemble, based on field recordings carried out by the participating beekeepers in their respective habitats'.


Tuesday, 11 March 2014


two of my poems are sharing the pages with some incredible writers and artists in this new anthology, inspired by the cut-up method. Published by Paraphilia/Oneiros Books, Cut Up! is edited by Joe Ambrose and Antony Hitchin and is now available through above link!

Art Undone

Art Undone

above is link to Art Undone's webpage

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The body is the last to forget,
.....and to forgive

(J.C. Fontes)


Lapidadas e esculpidas e depois já em chamas
elas se nutrem de luz e ar, de terra e água
e o que pesam não as comprime nem limita.
Com uma verdade de voar distante,
elas então (es)correm de você para mim
camufladas no toque suave do verso
propagando-se em tempos sem tempo,
por céus atemporais.
Elas, palavras, deslizam e se prolongam,
até ficam cambaleantes sob a chuva
perdem-se em um acolchoado de nuvens
e dali se transformam em luz do sol.

by Eabha Rose - translated for O Ecuador das Coisas 

do what you love

Saturday, 8 March 2014

From Brazil and Beyond

I'm delighted to be a new columnist with a literary journal I have so much admiration for - O Ecuador das Coisas, edited by Carol of Art Brazil. Issue #4, soon to be here, features amongst its myriad of suprises, art editor Toni McConaghie's beautiful work as well as Didi-Huberman's exquisite account of  'what we see only lives in our eyes through what we see'. There's an exclusive interview with Angolan writer, Jose Eduardo Agualusa whose novel, The Book of Chameleons (translated by Daniel Hahn) received much praise from both The Independent and The New York Times.

O Ecuador das Coisas is truly an international journal brimming with art and culture!

Friday, 7 March 2014

Sara Rauch: A Taste of the Writer's Life

This is a beautiful vid...filled with honesty and awareness! I am so proud to have shared the pages with Sarah in Brazil's O Ecuador das Coisas, edited and translated by the brilliant Carol of Art-Brazil. Wishing you all the best with the latest edition of O Ecuador das Coisas, Carol!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Cut Up!

I am thrilled to have two poems included in this fantastic anthology, out today! Published by Paraphilia/Oneiros Books, it features some stunning artists and writers and is edited by Joe Ambrose and Antony Hitchin.

"The Cut-Up Method was 'invented' by the artist Brion Gysin and popularized by his friend William Burroughs. It had roots in Dadaism, whose Tristan Tzara threatened to create a poem by drawing random words from a hat. 

Creating a Cut-Up involves taking a given text and cutting it into single words, sentences, or paragraphs. The cut up texts are then rearranged by the artist – the creator of the new work.

This groundbreaking anthology features new and historic Cut-Ups by new and established artists, such as Cabell McLean, Dave Mitchell, Matthew Levi Stevens Kenji Siratori, Joe Ambrose, Gary J Shipley, Christopher Nosnibor, A.D. Hitchin, Niall Rasputin, Alex S. Johnson & more to be announced.


Joe Ambrose organised a Cut-Up event in London in April 2013 featuring new writing, film, and art. The author of 14 books, he has worked with Anita Pallenberg, Lydia Lunch, Gerard Malanga, William Burroughs, Marianne Faithfull and The Master Musicians of Joujouka. The Guardian has described his fiction as 'Unputdownable.' He divides his time between Tangier, Morocco and his native Ireland.

A.D. Hitchin is a contemporary practitioner of cut-up. His cut-up poetry was featured at the 'Cut-Ups @ Beat Hotel' event in 2013 and discussed in the academic text ‘Shift Linguals: Cut-Up Narratives from William S. Burroughs to the Present’ as well as at the Textual Revolutions Conference at the University of Stirling in 2009. Hitchin's debut book of cut-up, 'Messages to Central Control,' is available from Paraphilia/Oneiros Books." ( via Cut Up! FB page)