Monday, July 13, 2020

Marching Season

Marching Season

He had no truck with the Billy Boys, my dad.
When cameras cut to Drumcree
and the crowds on Garvaghy Road,
he would leave the room, ignoring 

the brass band pomp and TV holler,
hectoring preachers and speech of fury.

He escaped at twenty, but was drawn back

at sixty-five. We went over, me and him.

I was given a new first name.

‘I might have to call you John,’
he said, as we called on distant kin.

Small talk disturbed a living room

in the shade of the shipyard.

Pleasantries strained, an old boy 

waving his cane: ‘Is he Catholic, your son?’ 
My father would not be drawn 

on his son’s Fenian name. 

He didn’t give two figs for the Orange 

or the Boyne. Let the bloodied hand 

of Uí Néill glad-hand the parasites. 

He had no time for the Twelfth
and left this world on the eleventh

as if to make a point, I’ve always thought, 

to sneak the last word.

© Seán Martin 2020

Monday, June 08, 2020

Blues for James Whitney at Experiments in Cinema, 1-22 June 2020

A film-related post, for want of any literary news. My new film, Blues for James Whitney, screens at this year's Experiments in Cinema. This festival, usually held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, this year is online for obvious reasons. The films are screening 1-22 June, and are FREE TO WATCH.

My film is part of a programme called Anxiety and Invocation: Artists' Films from Scotland, and is curated by Richard Ashrowan. The programme also includes new work by Rachel McLean, Duncan Marquiss, Alex Hetherington and others. It's an honour to be part of such a line-up!

You can see the programme here. Select 'Experiment 13'. My film starts just before 30.00, but please watch the whole programme if you can.

Here is some more info about the film:

After completing the series Film Exercises in 1944 - made in collaboration with his brother John - James Whitney (1921-1982) renounced everything but the dot. This radical shift reflected James's interest in Eastern philosophy, where the dot can be interpreted as the fixed point of attention in the meditator's mind (among other things). This new approach to filmmaking resulted in his landmark 1957 film Yantra. Blues for James Whitney is made in response, both as a tribute, and an investigation. 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

'The Silence in the Hall' shortlisted for 2020 Fish Poetry Prize

My poem 'The Silence in the Hall' has been shortlisted for the 2020 Fish Poetry Prize. Two other pieces, 'Alderwood' and 'Ghost House', made the longlist. The judge was former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins. For more about Fish Publishing and to buy their poetry anthologies, go here.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Tarkovsky: A Slovak translation

My book on Tarkovsky - or rather, the first two chapters thereof - are now available in a Slovak translation (by Alexandra Strelkova). This was undertaken for the current Tarkovsky retrospective that is on in Bratislava until 21 November.

And very nice it is too! It has an ISBN, so is theoretically obtainable outside Slovakia. Good luck finding a copy.

More info and tickets on the retrospective can be found here:

And further info here:

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Donate Options Now Available

I am thinking of setting up a Patreon when I know I'll be in a position to offer monthly pieces of writing. Progress on this front is being hampered by the main order of the day - completing a PhD! But until then, donations, should anyone be willing to help support a writer, can be made via this new PayPal link: Any donations will be gratefully received, and acknowledged via email.

Right, back to the PhD...

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Interview on Poplitiko

An interview with me about writing is just up on Alex Ness's blog.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Bridport Poetry Prize

I am now allowed to reveal that my poem ‘Near Westhay’ was shortlisted for the 2018 Bridport Poetry Prize.