Listowel Writers' Week Fringe

Blogging Listowel's Literary Scene
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Fringe reading: Patrick Stack reads “Jungle Warfare” (with oboe)

June 21, 2010 By: Patrick Stack Category: 2010, fringe, poem, poet, poetry, video

[flv:http://www.clarepoets.com/lww/fringe-reading_Patrick-Stack.flv 480 360]

Work in progress to maintain the blog…

August 05, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: blogs, connections

I’ve just deleted 200 comments – all spam.

I wish there was a way to highlight all the spam, so that I could simply press a button and vanish them all.

Perhaps saying anything about spam is unwise: might it draw spam here?

Patrick Stack is so stretched with other work that it may be a while before he fixes this issue.

Meanwhile, if anyone has any bright ideas on how I could deal with spam quickly, I’m listening…

If I ever meet a spammer in person I’ll …

June 18, 2009 By: Patrick Stack Category: blogs, poetry, Reflections

… kick their teeth in, and that is a promise. I don’t mind the odd comment spam in Cryllic from some Russian with nothing better to do, but when we get flooded by rubbish from that bastion of rabid capitalism, the, in this case, not-so-good old U S of A, trying to sell everything from cheap insurance (automobile and home) to pharmaceuticals (a minority of which claim to increase the girth of one’s manhood) to College degrees, my normal sanguinity in the face of computer problems goes to white hot, and I have this overweening urge to shove their spam up their virtual rear ends which of course I never get to do as they remain untraceable apart from an IP address.

Now I know, as ever blogger does, that one of the downsides of blogging is that it brings with it the unwanted attentions of the bottom-feeding spammer scum (those self-styled “bulk marketing consultants“) which rarely amounts to no more than a passing, if daily, annoyance.
However, it does become a major problem when the number of spam posts dramatically increases making it nigh-on-impossible for the blog admin. (the person who oversees the proper running of the blog) to stem the tide of filth.

Some years back I suffered one such attack on my first blog and was forced to close the blog down while I searched for a solution. Not being sufficiently skilled at php coding at the time I could not implement any of the solutions I found on the web, nor could I afford to pay somebody else to do it for me. I kept a record of the IP addresses of the offending posts over a few days. The vast majority of the relevant IPs originated in China. So I banned entire ranges of IP addresses associated with China by adding them to a .htaccess file on the server. A bit extreme I know, but it worked!

Why am I telling you all of this? Firstly I’m writing it as an extension to Paul O’Mahony’s contention, in his Literary Festival in Digital Age post, that we writers ignore the tools brought to us courtesy of the Web Revolution at our peril. Secondly, because I love Web technology every bit as much as I love writing. For me the two are inextricably intertwined. There is a web site devoted to poetry written in or using the Perl programming language – Perl Monks. There has even been a Perl Poetry Contest. According to its inventor, Larry Wall, Perl stands for either Practical Abstraction and Report Language or Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister depending on his mood at any particular time!

Any good programmer, mathematician, musician, or indeed scientist will be familiar with the idea that a solution, formula, function, theorem, piece or proof must have beauty if it is to be considered great. The concept of coding as poetry has always appealed to me, ever since I first came across it in Larry Wall’s classic Learning Perl or it may have been Programming Perl. What matter which?

[to be continued]

Going to recover after thrill of writing for you

June 13, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: Imagining, painters & paintings, Reflections

I’m going to take a complete break.

Going into a different zone in south west France for 3 weeks.

Complete abstinance from any form of blogging, internetting, texting, twittering, facebooking, mobilephoning

and, hardest of all

no writing… not even a poem.

Not since I learned to write in St Philamena’s school in Limerick, not since I first practised the art of loading ink from inkwell onto a nib, not since I was in short trousers…

have I abstained from writing for 3 weeks.

Why give all that up?

I got a phone call from a wonderful person whom I met at Listowel Writers’ Week. She said:

“You need to paint. Take paint, brushes & paper with you. It’ll take you out of yourself…”

I hardly know this person. I’ve never painted more than blank walls. But, who am I to turn the messenger away?

I leave you in the hands of Patrick Stack & Jeremy Gould, to whom I leave a few draft posts for possible posting.

You, readers, can run this blog without me. You can send loads of comments in, together with photographs & pieces of your writing.

Hopefully, I’ll return a regenerated man. It’ll be really hard not to log on.

Thursday’s “Open Mic” session with MC George Rowley

June 11, 2009 By: Patrick Stack Category: events, participants, photographs, poets

Thanks to Pauline Fayne who kindly sent me on a photograph she took at the “Open Mic” session in the New Kingdom Bar on the Thursday night (May 29th 2009). In the picture are Patrick Stack on the left and John MacNamee on the right in pensive mood as we concentrate on a poem being recited or a song being sung (I don’t remember which).

Left to right: Patrick Stack and John MacNamee

Left to right: Patrick Stack and John MacNamee

We have “Tag Clouds” coming to this blog

June 08, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: blogs, connections, preparations, starting up

Like me, most of you won’t know what this means.

Would someone who understands the term “tag cloud”, please explain to us all what having “tag clouds” will mean?

What value to listowelwritersweekfringe.com are “tag clouds”?

Audacity is the key, but Paul’s my name…

June 04, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: audio podcast, connections, starting up

Oh, I’ve been told what to do:

  • load “Audacity” and you’ll be able to sort out your audio recordings.
  • you’ll be able to edit the audio files, tidy them up, tart them up, put them up…

I’m one of the dimmest learners you’ve ever met:

I struggle with everything. The first day I tried to take in cash from bus drivers in London, I made so many accounting errors, it took the bank to sort my mess out.

The first night I operated the security system in Holloway bus garage, I locked all my colleague’s coats in the time-locked night safe.

The first time I tried to make love, I cocked it up.

So, of course, I can’t figure this out.

Loads of audio recording, made live during session at Writers’ Week 2009, lie dormant.

I rang Patrick Stack and he said I should download “lamelib” for Windows. I think I’ve done that, but I can’t find where it’s gone…

If you ever have difficulty doing something on your computer, and you catch yourself berating yourself, think of me. That should cheer you up.

Lynn Roberts won the poetry collection prize @ Listowel Writers’ Week

June 04, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: competition, creative writing, participants, poem, poet, poetry

Lynn Roberts with Dillon Boyer

Lynn Roberts with Dillon Boyer

At the “Meet the Bloggers” event in Lynch’s Bakery & Cafe,
Lynn Roberts gave us this poem from her winning collection of 12 poems …

Isn’t it a beauty?

Let us consider the translator:

amphibian; moving between elements,
breathing water, breathing air; ingesting
complex planktons under the shark’s
political eye; excreting guano
to fertilize mutual incomprehension;

immigrant loomsman, weaving
from diplomacy’s exquisite fine wool
interlaced carpets of Isphahan or
coarse drugget; making peace or trade;

oenologist, brain yeasty
with spores; fermenting words, converting must
to Chateauneuf du Pape, and standing wine
to vinegar; Homer to Pope, or
poetry to motion;

psychotherapist,
interpreting the shuttered circles of
a zoo-bound bear into the ordinary round,
or moonlit howl into doleur de vivre;

intermediate woman,
sieving the Sanskrit grunts and verbal
hieroglyphs of teenage speech
through mesh of instinct, winnowing out
the little knotted, folded seeds and grains,
searching for meaning in the alien corn.

Let us consider the translator,
through whom words pass, like water, like wine.

Lynn Roberts.

first published in the book of Writers’ Week Competition Winners.

122 recorded pieces from Listowel Writers’ Week

June 02, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: audio podcast, participants, photographs, Song

I’ve come away with about 122 digitally recorded pieces. Patrick Stack also has recordings.

Songs, interviews, personal reflections and reports, extracts from readings…

An archive eh…

History, to quote Billy Keane, who told me he thought what we were doing by blogging was recording history …

["Pub Theatre entertainment can be found in some of Listowel’s finest hostelries during July & August. Tuesday & Thursday nights the place to be is John B. Keane’s Bar featuring the inimitable Billy Keane presenting is distinctive one-man comedy show & Lartigue Theatre Company presenting the works of the great playwright including the famous “Letters” series – Letters of a Matchmaker, Letters of a Successful T.D."]

What am I (what are we) to do with them?

I’m no podcaster but I suspect I shall be before I’ve finished with all these recordings. I have no intention of wasting a drop.

My first disappointment of the festival

May 30, 2009 By: Patrick Stack Category: poems, poetry, poets

As we have a later start this morning (noon instead of 11am), I thought I’d go and purchase Georgina Edison‘s book “Standing in the Pizzicato Rain” which was launched yesterday at The Seanchaí bookshop. I was sorely disappointed to learn that the bookshop had been unable to acquire any copies of the book, and that Georgina herself had only managed to obtain 6 copies from a bookshop in Tralee, which promptly sold out. It was with a twinge of disappointment that I headed uptown to purchase some lip balm from John Maguire’s Pharmacy – the wind has been playing havoc with my lips – I had been so looking forward to gorging myself on her poetry.

Georgina read “Tragedy” at the Open Mic poetry session compered by George Rowley in the New Kingdom Bar last night. On a foray to the bar for another pint our paths crossed and I seized the opportunity to tell her how much I enjoyed her poetry. She told me that her daughter really enjoyed “Spell of the Wicked Fairy” which I had performed sometime earlier. It’s nice to get feedback, and even nicer when that feedback is of an affirming nature.


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