Monday, December 28, 2009

New Year's Resolutions - Bovine Avoidance

I've just come back from a week in Northumberland. We stayed near Lindisfarne and, in such northern climes, my thoughts naturally turned to the simplicity of Celtic Christianity - the uncomplicated life, the closeness to nature - and to Basil Bunting. Here is the great man's advice to aspiring poets:


1. Compose aloud; poetry is a sound.
2. Vary rhythm enough to stir the emotion you want but not so as to lose impetus.
3. Use spoken words and syntax.
4. Fear adjectives; they bleed nouns. Hate the passive.
5. Jettison ornament gaily but keep shape

Put your poem away till you forget it, then:

6. Cut out every word you dare.
7. Do it again a week later, and again.

Never explain - your reader is as smart as you.

We could all do to remember such advice in the coming year; and maybe take time out to visit places like Holy Island, and get away from the bull that seems to be endemic in our culture.

Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Black Death Audiobook

My book The Black Death has just been released as an audiobook. It's available on Audible here. No one told me that this was out - it seems the author is usually the last person to know!

The Templars' Lost Treasure

A bit more info about The Templars' Lost Treasure - including a photo of three out of work actors wearing costumes - can be found here.

For those who may miss it, you can sleep easy: it's being repeated almost immediately! (And I kid you not.)

Deus lo volt, indeed...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Return of the Philosopher's Secret Fire

Just a quick plug for a book I love: Patrick Harpur's The Philosopher's Secret Fire: A History of the Imagination has just been republished by the good people down at The Squeeze Press.

It will make your Christmas a far more profound affair than may have otherwise been the case!