Thursday, June 18, 2015


Organising a launch/presentation in London of Trans-Siberian Prosody and Little Jeanne from France is taking up more time, energy and thought than warranted but, since doing too much is in my DNA, I can't grumble. In my family history nearly everyone has always done much more than is actually necessary which, subsequently, becomes good reason for moaning that (by comparison) others do nothing. This syndrome could be illustrated with innumerable anecdotes from my life but I won't bother since that would be overdoing it.

One of the side-effects of having Overdonitis is that the psyche, trapped in an endless cycle of to-do lists, goals, and real or imagined responsibilities, frequently escapes into enjoyable temporary distractions, especially if they have nothing to do with the 'serious' matter in hand. I am very fond of such distractions and welcome them, the less like work and the more like play the better, the more unexpected the better.

Thus it was that I suddenly decided to take part in Dave Bonta's experiment on Via Negativa of translating poetry from the Other Americas. I'm far from being qualified to translate anything, even from languages (French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian)which I happen to speak due to circumstance, and translating poetry, of all things, requires special skills that I don't have. But I do have an ear, and emotional connections with Brazil and Paraguay. Anyway since I'm only doing this for fun, why not have a go? It's also allowing me to discover marvellous poets I'd never read before, like Brazilians Oswald de Andrade and Cecilia Meireles. I've recorded myself reading in Portuguese the poem Despedida by Meireles which Dave has posted. Translations thus far are also on FaceBook.

Thank you Dave for being such a stimulator and encourager of so many people, myself included, to experiment, connect and collaborate.

Later on I might make some short videothings to go with poems' long as it's fun. If it starts to become work, I'll stop. That's the important thing to remember if you have Overdonitis: when fun becomes a goal and a responsibility, stop! And find another distraction.

 From Inertia in the Augustine Adventures.

Saturday, June 06, 2015


It was Bill Garnett's inspired idea. He invited some artist/printmakers (including me) to create two prints each illustrating twelve haikus written by Nicolas McDowall and published by the Old Stile Press in 2000 as a miniature book

The project was intended as a surprise gift to celebrate 30 years of the Old Stile Press, but the surprise was that Nicolas would receive the blocks and print them himself. We all chose the months/haikus we would turn into relief prints (I took February and August) and, in the fullness of time, everything was created, completed, signed, sealed and delivered, to everyone's joy and satisfaction. 

I am proud to be part of this imaginative undertaking and delighted with the result. Bill Garnett deserves our applause for the care, attention and energy he poured into organising this project and of course Nicolas and Frances and their Old Stile Press deserve celebration every day.

Below are photos of my two prints and the intro sheets below. Bill Garnett, Angela Lemaire and John Abell have also posted on FaceBook about Be Still: the response of friends.