Saturday 29 October 2011

Jack Little's introduction to Rocío Cerón and contemporary Mexican poetry

Today sees a guest blogger, Jack Little, come to Rogue Strands. Jack lives in Mexico City, where he edits The Ofi Press magazine and manages the national cricket team of Mexico. This is his introduction to Rocío Cerón and contemporary Mexican poetry:

Since I moved to Mexico last year, I’ve met some wonderful, exciting and strange people. One of the wonderful ones was Mexican poeta Chilanga, Rocío Cerón whose work uses a multi disciplinary approach bringing poetry into dialogue with music, performance and visual images, taking participants on a multi sensory journey.

Rocío´s collaborations on works such as La mañana comienza muy tarde, Amérique/Urbana, Tiento and Imperio have melded the photography of Valentina Siniego and musical pieces of Enrico Chapela to bring echoes of common rhythms and rich images of life to her work. Seeing her perform is truly a wonderful adventure for the senses.

Perhaps my favourite of her works is the bilingual collection Empire, which explores the wars of ideas between nations, evidencing destruction and debris through the short and biting syllables. The struggle of agony and of lost names is explored in Nombre, her last poem of the book:

(…) Estoy sentado frente una ausencia (cuerpo / saliva / osamenta) que lleva promesa de estaciones. Su mirada son todas las palabras / pabellón del grito / que escriben, día a día, la historia de un Nombre.

Her work takes us takes us to death as our own starting point, it looks at the bleak and vast space of Mexico City with her millions upon millions of inhabitants: Rocío, Valerie Mejer, Luis Cortés Bagalló among many others burn bright the rich and deep wealth of poetry available in Mexico from the smells of the streets to the crashing colours of Mexico City’s night polluted sunset-dirt skies.

Rocío Cerón is an inspirational woman from a city where dark meets colour, light and music. You can read more about her latest work and projects here:

Saturday 15 October 2011

Hearing Voices Issue 4

Hearing Voices, run by Jonathan and Maria Taylor at Crystal Clear Creators, is a relatively new magazine for poetry and prose.

Issue 4 is being launched at The Western Pub in Leicester at 7.30 p.m. on Monday 24th October. I won't be able to make the event, but I'm delighted to have two poems in the magazine, my first publication since Inventing Truth came out in April this year. What's more, I'm excited to find myself in excellent company, alongside poets such as Alison Brackenbury, Helen Ivory, Todd Swift, Tony Williams, etc, etc, etc...

There really is a terrific array of work in Hearing Voices and I'll be reviewing it in due course. In the meantime, I suggest you get hold of a copy yourself - it provides a great insight into the most thriving facets of the U.K. poetry scene.

Sunday 9 October 2011

Terminology - mainstream or experimental?

The mainstream is not the mainstream and the experimental is not the experimental.

The winners of this year's Forward Prize have just been announced, leading to an inevitable burst of praise and criticism, of labelling, grouping and tribalism. In the current climate of mentors and creative writing courses, this annual phenomenon makes it even more difficult yet even more important for poets to plough their own furrow.