Friday, May 23, 2008

SING - its the weekend!

Yay! Funky Friday and the sun is OUT! Raise a holler so you know you're alive - rip the veils from yer eyes and set bravely forth into the tangled byways of Saturdayville (by way of your tipple of choice). Amach with ye!!!

The ONLY Irish band

Right now, this is IT! The new album from Republic of Loose and it leaves everything else on it's face, bleeding from the pores and streaming snot into the gravel. Standouts: Got, 23 Things I don't like, 13 Shots, I.R.I.I.S.H., I like Moosik and Mik Pyro's impression of Van on My Brain. Urrrrrrrrngh - Good God - they gotz the funk - and the stuff. Nothing else in the country comes close (excluding resident masked aliens and one chilly plucker of alt-victoriana). Isabel Reyes-Feeney is the illustrator who's created most of the ROL graphics (her vocals feature on the album too!) - check her work here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The future of poetry magazines

Interesting article over on the Guardian Arts blog. "A whole new generation of poetry magazines is emerging," claims Todd Swift, Oxfam poet in residence and editor of the online anthology, Nth Position. Some interesting debate in the comments too!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

IGI Postcard Pack

If you're an art director in one of the leading UK ad agencies, design studios or magazine publishers you just might have received this wilful and uppity little pack of promotional cards recently, featuring 16 illustrators from among the ranks of the Illustrators Guild of Ireland.

I'm in there - and a bunch of my character dooooooods also adorn the pack itself, design courtesy of Artisan. If you haven't received one - and would like to..............tough - the whole print run has been sent, I'm afraid! But maybe drop the IGI a line, so they can include you on their next mailout - or maybe even invite you to some snazzy illustration-related event. Or not.

Scamperville Rendevous

Some nice stuff going up over on the Scamp blog these days.

Parp, Parp! (that's my own trumpet, you know).

Seriously though - I've some images over in this posting of recent work by IGI members and also in this posting of 'scamps' to 'welcome' our new 'leader' at the 'helm' (enough already!).

Also posted is a link to the fantabulous new website by fantabulous Irish illustrator Alan Clarke. I'm jealous of both the work and the snazzy website. I should get me one of dem lads. maybe. sometime.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Dublin Writers Festival 2008

Whoooop again! I've just been perusing the excellent line-up for this year's Dublin Writers Festival and have already booked my tickets for this event: Tobias Wolff and Anne Enright - Small Wonders: The art of the short story.

Tobias Wolff is probably my favourite living writer, in a lineage running from Hemingway - (I know, I know) - via Carver, so I'm hugely excited at a chance to hear him read / speak / whatever. Coupled with the currently omnipresent Enright, it should be a very interesting evening indeed. Plenty of other cracking events in the line-up, including some kind of evening with JP Donleavy? Pardon the confusion - its just that the programme blurb doesn't give much inkling as to what format to expect other than a 'special retrospective'? I'm a longtime fan of Donleavy's short stories and of The Ginger Man novel in particular, but have to admit I've found his increasingly 'stagey' persona somewhat cloying in latter years. Here's hoping the feet-of-clay factor doesn't come into play with Wolff.

I've pipedreamed before about attending the Creative Writing Program at Stanford, where not only Wolff, but Eavan Boland are on the Faculty (Colm Toibin has been a visiting lecturer there too, apparently playing a part in getting poet Brian Turner to Ireland after seeing him alongside Wolff, at an anti-war reading). So I noted with interest that Wolff's close contemporary Richard Ford has been signed up as adjunct professor in the School of English in Trinity College, Dublin. The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and short story writer will teach students of the MPhil in creative writing at the Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing. There are some core similarities between the two Americans - Ford's lineage running a little more southerly, out of Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor. I've relished his short stories, but haven't been as enthusiastic as the broader audience about his Frank Bascombe trilogy. Having read the first book, The Sportswriter, I had enough of Mr. Bascombe to last me for quite a while. Not sure what that means - if anything. I'm sure I'll move on to the other books in the future and I'd be interested to hear what anybody out there thinks of these books - what am I missing here folks?