Poetry Jukebox – Call for Submissions – Once Barefoot… Belfast/ Paris edition

POETRY JUKEBOX CALL FOR POETRY SUBMISSIONS

with Belfast City Council and  Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris

 Once barefoot…  

Who amongst us is able to number the end of grasses
To number the losses of each seeding head?

I’ll walk out once
Barefoot under the moon to know the field
Through the soles of my feet to hear
The myriad leaf lives green and singing
The million million cycles of being in wing

                                     from, Death of a Field by Paula Meehan

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Internationally acclaimed poets Stephen Sexton  and Maria McManus  co-curate an international edition of first class contemporary poetry for our favourite on-street audio installation, Poetry Jukebox. This edition,  drawn from a world-wide call for submissions on the theme of climate, the environment and our relationship with the blue planet we call ‘home’.

In January 2020, Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris https://www.centreculturelirlandais.com will launch its poetry jukebox and we join forces with Belfast City Council’s Tropical Ravine http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/tourism-venues/TropicalRavine/TropicalRavine.aspx   to draw attention to the beauty of wild spaces, biodiversity and the threat of climate change to our oceans, countries, weather flora, fauna and humanity itself.

Supported by Arts Council of Northern Ireland,  from National Lottery funds, The British Council (NI),  Centre Culturel Irlandais, Poetry Ireland, Belfast City Council .

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Images: Simon Hutchinson courtesy of Belfast International Arts Festival 2017

Submission criteria – Please read carefully!

  • Each poet can send a maximum of one poem
  • Submission by midnight Sunday 1stDecember 2019
  • EMAIL SUBJECT LINE: Please include Once barefoot…in the subject line.
  • Email to poetryjukebox@gmail.com
  • Poems must be submitted in audio format.
  • Poems should be accompanied by a short biographical note ( max. 50 words) in the body of the email
  • Please submit good quality sounds files in MP3, MP4 or WAV format. (Smart phone voice files or good quality dictaphones such as Zoom H1 are ideal recording devices.) See the guidance notes (below) about how to make a good enough recording. Large files can be sent by WeTransfer to poetryjukebox@gmail.com
  • Poems in languages other than in English are welcome, however they must be accompanied by the poem in translation to English too. (Please record back to back in one sound file.)
  • Please be aware the jukeboxes are in a public space and children may be listening. Profanity will automatically rule out a poem’s use.

Some guidance for making a good  enough recording:

  • Each poem should be no longer than 2 minutes max. when read aloud, but one minute or  one minute and thirty-seconds works best in this format.
  • Find a quiet space to do your recording. Listen for, and become aware of any background noise, such as traffic, clicks, pets, children etc, and do something to minimise the background noises –  such as closing doors, closing the curtains, go to a different room etc
  • Don’t record in the kitchen – the recording device will pick up vibrational noise from the fridge.
  • Switch off all low energy light bulbs in the vicinity ( they also generate vibrational noise)
  • Use a Smart phone such as an iPhone, Experia or similar
  • Go to the Voice Memo app
  • It is helpful to place your phone on top of a pile of books, 8-12 inches from your mouth. Putting it on top of a pile of books will also help to keep the phone steady
  • Read in a natural voice but pay attention to your diction.
  • On recording, (wait 2 beats) Read the TITLE (wait 1 beat) YOUR NAME (wait 2 beats),
  • Read the POEM then repeat the TITLE (wait 1 beat) YOUR NAME (wait 2 beats). Save.
  • Poems in translation to English should be recorded in the original language first, with the English translation following in a single sound file.

Publication Rights

  • Poems previously published elsewhere ARE accepted, provided the author can assign the rights for the purposes of Poetry Jukebox to Quotidian – Word on the Street Ltd.
  • Quotidian – Word on the Street Ltd will not be held liable if a poem assigning the rights of use by the poet, later emerges to have infringed on other publishers’ rights.
  • Where poems are submitted in a language other than English, you may also include a translation of the poem recorded in English – back to back in the same voice file.
  • Payment: We are delighted that we can pay a small stipend of £35 for each contemporary poem.
  • Prior to publication the poetmustgive Quotidian – Word on the Street Ltdthe audio and recording rights to use the submitted poem on the Poetry Jukebox, on the internet, at launches etc. We do not expect to have exclusive rights.

About Poetry Jukebox & Quotidian –Word on the Street Limited

Poetry Jukebox is a Quotidian –Word on the Street Ltd project. Wee re based in Belfast. Quotidian is a not-for-profit literary arts production company limited by guarantee, the remit of which is to enhance civic spaces by animating them in innovative ways, with literature. The Poetry Jukebox is an on-street sound installation that provides an innovative new platform for poetry. A poetry jukebox is located in the grounds of The Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast. We have two others which undertake residencies with festivals and institutions. The project is led by Artistic Director and poet Maria McManus.

This is a tiny not-for-profit organisation – we do not have the resources to give individual feedback, nor enter into correspondence. Quotidian -Word on the Street Ltd reserves the right to make decisions which support the project and the spirit of the project.

Poetry Jukebox, which is the first of its kind in Ireland, was launched as part of the Belfast International Arts Festival in October 2017. Poetry Jukebox was brought to Belfast by collaboration between Quotidian – Word on the Street Limited and Piana na uLici, Czech Republic. There is a maximum of twenty recordings per curation.

To learn more about Poetry Jukebox follow on Twitter @poetryjukeboxor click on these links https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/poetry-jukebox-amplifying-quiet-voices-and-beautiful-words-1.3244063

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/in-the-north-we-have-started-to-stop-sleeping-again-1.3442189

 

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A Deeper Country – the CS Lewis Curation for Poetry JukeBox

Curation 6. OPEN CALL FOR POEMS – A Deeper Country, a curation for CS Lewis Square,
Poetry Jukebox – a Quotidian –Word on the Street Ltd Project
Supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland from National Lottery Funds
and by EastSide Partnership

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Image: Simon Hutchinson courtesy of Belfast International Arts Festival 2017

It is as hard to explain how this sunlit land was different from the old Narnia as it would be to tell you how the fruits of that country taste. Perhaps you will get some idea of it if you think like this. You may have been in a room in which there was a window that looked out on a lovely bay of the sea or a green valley that wound away among mountains. And in the wall of that room opposite to the window there may have been a looking-glass. And as you turned away from the window you suddenly caught sight of that sea or that valley, all over again, in the looking glass. And the sea in the mirror, or the valley in the mirror, were in one sense just the same as the real ones: yet at the same time they were somehow different – deeper, more wonderful, more like places in a story: in a story you have never heard but very much want to know. The difference between the old Narnia and the new Narnia was like that. The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked as if it meant more.”

from, The Chronicles of Narnia, by CS Lewis

A Deeper Country will be the sixth edition of curated content on Poetry JukeBox. It will launch at Jack’s Café at CS Lewis Square in February 2019. Poet Tade Ipadeola (Nigeria), joins as guest curator alongside poet Maria McManus (Artistic Director).
About the curators:

Tade Ipadeola is a Nigerian poet, essayist, translator and lawyer. He was born September 11 1970. He has published three major volumes of poetry. In September 2009 his poem, Songbird, won the Delphic Laurel in poetry and in October 2013, his volume of poetry, The Sahara Testaments, won the Nigeria Prize for literature. In February of 2017 he was appointed a judge of the Nigeria Prize for Literature.
Tade maintains a keen interest in the life and works of C.S Lewis, keeping a library of the complete published works of C.S Lewis and the Inklings.
He lives in Ibadan, Nigeria.

Maria McManus lives in Belfast. She is the author of Available Light (Arlen House, 2018), We are Bone (2013), The Cello Suites (2009) and Reading the Dog (2006) (Lagan Press), she has collaborated extensively with others to put literature into public spaces. She is artistic director and curator of Poetry Jukebox.

Submission criteria – Please read carefully!

– Each poet can send a maximum of one poem.
– Submission by Friday 14th December 2018. Please include A Deeper Country in the subject line and email to poetryjukebox@gmail.com
– Please submit good quality sounds files in MP3/ M4a or WAV format. (Smart phone voice files or good quality dictaphones such as Zoom H1 are ideal recording devices.) See the guidance notes (below) about how to make a good enough recording.
– Please note submissions in other formats such as You Tube Videos/ Vimeo etc will be instantly disregarded.
– Where poems are submitted in a language other than English, you must also include a translation of the poem recorded in English – back to back in the same voice file.

Some guidance for making a good recording:
• Each poem should be no longer than 2 minutes max when read aloud, but one minute or one minute and thirty seconds works best in this format.
• Find a quiet space to do your recording. Listen for, and become aware of any background noise, such as traffic, clicks, pets, children etc, and do something to minimise the background noises – such as closing doors, closing the curtains, go to a different room etc
• Use a Smart phone such as an iPhone, Experia or similar
• Go to the Voice Memo app
• It is helpful to place your phone on top of a pile of books, 8-12 inches from your mouth. Putting it on top of a pile of books will keep the phone steady
• Read in a natural voice but pay attention to your diction.
• Read the TITLE (wait 2 beats), read the POEM – there’s no need to give your name – it will be on the jukebox if your poem is selected.
• Please be aware the jukebox is in a public space and children may be listening, so profanity will automatically rule out a poem’s use.

Publication Rights

Prior to publication the poet must give Quotidian – Word on the Street Limited & East Side Partnership the audio and recording rights to use the poem on the Poetry Jukebox, on the internet, at launches etc.
– EastSide Partnership require the option to use the poems as part of an indoor installation/exhibition about C.S. Lewis exhibition in the future.
– Poems previously published elsewhere are accepted, provided the author can assign the rights for the purposes of Poetry Jukebox to Quotidian – Word on the Street Ltd & EastSide Partnership.
– The poet should also grant the print rights, for use on the internet or at launches for example.
– A signed permission form will be required 4 weeks prior to publication on the Poetry Jukebox. Selected poets will be required to provide this promptly on notification of their selection otherwise we cannot include your poem.
– Quotidian – Word on the Street Ltd and EastSide Partnership will not be held liable if a poem assigning the rights of use by the poet, later emerges to have infringed on other publishers’ rights.
– Please include a short 50 word biographical note as an attachment with your email.
– This is a tiny not-for-profit organisation – we do not have the resources to give individual feedback, nor enter into correspondence.
– Quotidian -Word on the Street Ltd reserves the right to make decisions which support the project and the spirit of the project.
Payment: We are delighted that we can pay a small stipend of £35 for each selected poem.

About Poetry Jukebox & Quotidian –Word on the Street Limited

• Poetry Jukebox is a Quotidian –Word on the Street Ltd Project. Quotidian is a not-for-profit literary arts production company limited by guarantee, the remit of which is to enhance civic spaces by animating them in innovative ways, with literature. The Poetry Jukebox is an on-street sound installation that provides an innovative new platform for poetry. It is located in the grounds of The Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast. The project is led by Artistic Director and poet Maria McManus..

• Poetry Jukebox, which is the first of its kind in Ireland and it was launched as part of the Belfast International Arts Festival in October 2017. Poetry Jukebox was brought to Belfast by collaboration between Quotidian – Word on the Street Limited and Piana na uLici, Czech Republic. There is a maximum of twenty recordings per curation. For this curation, content is selected by invitation only.

• To learn more about Poetry Jukebox follow on Twitter @poetryjukebox or click on these links https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/poetry-jukebox-amplifying-quiet-voices-and-beautiful-words-1.3244063

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/in-the-north-we-have-started-to-stop-sleeping-again-1.3442189

The House That Stood for Happiness – a sound track

Sometimes you get the opportunity for great collaborations; a chance to experiment and see what other people do when they bring their work, to your work.

Artist Una Lee (Min Kimovic) and composer Simon Waters played with my poem sequence, The House That Stood for Happiness. Have a listen to this. Clink on the link below.

With Una Lee & Simon Waters

Poetry Day IRL 2018 – RTE Radio Interview

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This piece features information about this year’s LabeLLit project involving more than 70 poets in Ireland, Wales, England, Spain, Portugal and Australia. You can catch up with it at @LabeLLit on Twitter or LabeLLit.wordpress.com.

This interview also includes an excerpt from  my new work commissioned by Poetry Ireland – The Coping Stone. The poem is set on the Fermanagh/ Cavan border, between Belcoo and Blacklion, or ‘the Blaic’ as we always called it. https://www.rte.ie/radio1/morning-ireland/programmes/2018/0426/957360-morning-ireland-thursday-26-april-2018/?clipid=102794742

THIS PROJECT IS A ‘QUOTIDIAN – WORD ON THE STREET LIMITED’ PROJECT

Thanks to Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Lottery Good Causes and Poetry Ireland for their support

Translated into Polish

Many thanks to Wioletta Grzegorzewska & Wiktor Kostrzewski for translating my poems and those of a really bright bunch of Irish contemporary women poets in Artpapier. I am very appreciative to be in such good company.

The Yew Trees at Crom

The Yew Trees at Crom

http://artpapier.com/index.php?page=artykul&wydanie=225&artykul=4980&kat=17

Images # Offbeat Antibes 10

Adrian Fox and I continue our ‘oul lark’ as in ‘that’s them’uns at their oul lark…..’ with a few poems in response to images. No MLA’s have been harmed in the writing of these poems. No expenditure of public money has been incurred.

P1010280THE NEST

The flakes of grain
Are flaking away.
Signs of decay are
With us today.
Things will get worse
Before they get better.
A sun drenched home
Is held together by nail
And paint on cracks of
Weather. Keeping us
Warm like birds of a
Feather lost on a wing
And a prayer.

Adrian Fox

Shutter

Things are not even.
Taking the strain,
cracks show up on the surface,
change is irreparable.

And the question;
can we be saved by our own failures?
Life at the limits
is what it is.

And though it goes against the grain
to let the hare sit
to let the dogs stay sleeping,
what then?

After everything is lost.
Faith, thin and all as it is; pale, malnourished
hopeless as it is –
there is nothing else –

Today, anyway.

Images # Offbeat Antibes 9

In the second of what will probably be a very short series of collaborative working. Adrian Fox and I are continuing to experiment with responding to some images. No MLA’s have been harmed in the writing of these poems. No expenditure of public money has been incurred.

Cassis

Cassis

A WIRED UP POME

Neon birds flap along.
the lights are out but
nobodies home. The blue
beyond blue shoots through
even cloud disperses this way
and that. The lights will come on
soon and the flock will migrate into night.

Adrian Fox

Source

Here’s my wishes for you,
a vantage point,
the sky, lit, always,
its source, the moon, sun and stars,
a light-house,
gathering-spots, along a safe harbour,
a boat of whisperings,
the sails; all that is not yet written –
shelter for you.

Venture out then.
Airborne and untethered.
Go scoping. Get the lie of things.
Tell everything.
It takes an army of us, friend,
to serve what goes un-noticed otherwise,
to see farther, to check for all that rests
in spaces in between, to say
what might otherwise go unsaid.

Images # Offbeat Antibes 8

Poet Adrian Fox and I have been playing with responding to some of the images I have taken while in Antibes. This is the first of, what may be, a short series of images and corresponding poetry.

No decision-making MLA’s or ministers have been harmed by these poems in spite of the appalling cuts in funding. No public funds of any description have been expended in the writing of them 😦IMG_1740

PYRAMID MAN

The man in the window

is calling to me

In a glazed hieroglyphic look

an old language

Wrapped in wrought iron curls.

The portraits mean

Nothing to me.

Opening in but

The man

Opens

Out.

Adrian Fox

On the inside, he’s still standing –
dancing. He is potent and wild.
He is backlit, by fire and the morning sun
a hot shoe do-daddy, without rest.

His incantation is to the morning.

Maria McManus

Digging deeper on sleep…….and anxiety

I look back on this massive period of transition  and realise there are many angles I could come at to have something to say about sleeping. I sleep normally now – the eight hours or so a night; but it has been bumpy at times within the period of transition. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that while it was an unexpected benefit of making other massive changes, it wasn’t until the anxiety, which I lived with and accommodated as ‘normal’ , began to alleviate that things changed for the better.

I was never really bothered about being awake at night. Perhaps it is the lot of someone who drives themselves hard, as I did, that being awake at night, far from being a time of worry, was, oddly, space to think, to dream, to imagine. It was a time when I could consciously allow myself the solitude I needed and revel in it – in that sense I was colluding, but I’m letting myself off the hook from a whipping. It was a constructive place to go – longing is real; it comes through in its own way and its own time.

I have learned that I am an introvert – I need a lot of time to decompress. I need a lot of silence and a lot of stillness. I am smiling as I remember that in first year of university, as a group of students, we volunteered to join a cohort of under-graduates to take a series of psychological profiling tests. Part of the deal was that we could get the results – I don’t remember what all the tests were, but I clearly remember thinking it was absolute nonsense that I profiled as an introvert……Thirty years later, I realise they got it right.

Things I did to comfort myself  in the period of change which contributed to improved sleep………

I did a lot of time lying alone in a darkened room – some may think this a sad thing – not me. I loved it and it was a great way to be good to myself. I didn’t want the stimulation of television and I have to manage an obsession with social media. I had the concentration and attention span of a gnat – reading was so difficult, and often pointless – I could not retain anything. The dark was my friend.

I put flowers in my room (- good on you Joni Mitchell.)

I took great care with bedlinen. I bought myself stuff I really liked. I made a point of ironing it and took care about making my bed, tidying my room. It was, after all, defensible space – the one place I had control over. I also bought an electric blanket – oh, yes, the life of the singleton! Getting into a cozy bed…… bliss.

Lighting – I made sure I could dim the lights.

I stopped taking showers. I took baths instead. I had come to associate showers with a high-speed lifestyle. Showers were about getting clean and out the door to the next task and the next job, the next meeting or the next flight ASAP……To take a bath, was to take time for myself. Baths were by candlelight and I read poetry.

Showers are not book-friendly. Poems suited my attention and concentration span – a single poem could be read and re-read – if necessary a single line or a stanza could be mulled over for some time. I could let the water out a bit and heat up and full up the bath again, if I needed to. If I wanted a bath, twice in the day, I took it…… it was good for soothing pain.

I experienced a lot of physical pain, during the time of transition. It was non-specific mostly – lower back, joints, aching muscles. Sometimes, my skin felt like it was smarting. Mostly it was a physical manifestation of just feeling raw. Somatising is the word. It was real, prolonged and was grounded as a reasonable reaction to the huge changes I was experiencing , in my circumstances and in my self, in my sense of well-being.

I was and remain – hyper-sensitive to noise. On the occasions when my adult children came to visit me, I realised I would prefer to text them, or ring them to the top of the house, to let them know to come for dinner – I could not bear to raise my voice to call out to them. I could not bear when they would call out to me. I needed ordinary conversation, at an ordinary level of decibels and the physicality of shouting out or calling out was too much.

Meditation- a friend had told me about the meditations podcast. It’s available on iTunes – Google it.  It was a  place to go in the night if I happened to be awake. Sometimes, I fell asleep, which defeats the purpose of meditation – but achieves the purpose of sleeping.

I walked. Another friend had helped me set up a routine of daily exercise and worked with me specifically on the habit-forming aspect of it. Somedays this was just 10 minutes, but on many days I walked for an hour or more. I could think at that pace, or not think. I could just be.

I did ‘morning pages’ – Julia Cameron’s ‘The Artist’s Way’ was the source of this particular tool – notebooks were a home within which to externalise the ‘white noise’ in my head, as well as to process a lot of ‘stuff’ and to clear the way for creative things. It was invaluable.

These were all simple ways to be gentle with myself – to be loving with myself.  I was miserable.., it was reasonable to feel miserable and let it have its day, so it could pass. Misery in itself is not a crime –  but doing nothing about it just might be – it does nothing for you and isn’t likely to win you the kind of friends you need. The repertoire of ways in which to sooth myself developed, but simply. It sounds like such old stuff and the kind of thing that gets trotted out easily…… ‘love yourself’. It is true – you do need to love yourself – but you need to know what it is that makes you tick and what works for you.

The ultimate thing that sealed good sleep into a habit.. was the love of another person…… but that’s for another day. Stay tuned!