Gerry Loose
New

 

Home | publications | bio
online | links | contact | editing
gardens | new | offcuts

      

2015

June: publication of An Oakwoods Almanac (Shearsman) with cover and interior b&w images by Morven Gregor. A prose book of two oakwoods, Sunart in Ardnamurchan and Morvern and in and around the Turku archipelago in Finland :

                           

April 4th: exhibition of Sunart work with Morven Gregor alongside Tim Collins and Reiko Goto's work on the Black Wood of Rannoch at Summerhall in Edinburgh (until May 22nd).

*****

2014

September 
22nd:
my new book fault line -  will be the first book to appear with the brand new Vagabond Poets press (part of the Vagabond Voices imprint).

July 
30th :
Key Speaker at University of Glasgow's Solway Centre: Walking: Textual Landscapes, followed on 31st by a walk.

May 
25th - 31st:
invitation to install work in Berlin's rivers 
(with microbiologist Simon Park) as part of SOUNDOUT! festival

17th - 24th: Residency in Sweeney's Bothy, Isle of Eigg 
(with photographer Morven Gregor).

11th (until SEPTEMBER 14th): landwriting installation at 
Caol Ruadh
Scottish Sculpture Park.

April 
17th - 25th
: I'll be walking the 134-mile brand new John Muir Way from Dunbar to Helensburgh right across Scotland with US poet & Sanskrit scholar, University of Naropa Professor Andrew Schelling (visiting for this event). We'll be making poems and sowing seeds
(RBG sourced and SNH approved) native to both US & Scotland along the way to bring to life a schemata-poem by Alec Finlay. Reading at Glasgow Botanic Gardens 25th April & Edinburgh's Botanic Gardens 26th April. We'll be informally sent off on the night of the 16th April in Dunbar. Somewhere along the way we'll be accompanied for a spell by Peter Manson, Jeffrey Robinson, Colin Will, Amy Porteous & Morven Gregor. John Muir might be with us in spirit. Hannah Devereux will document the whole way. All will appear in a blog as we walk.

February
25th

reading at the Scottish Writers Centre event at the CCA, Glasgow "Another kind of north:poems from and about Finland."


2013

September: to Slovenia to read at Vilenica International Literary Festival.

August: to Finland for part 2 of my landwork for Saari Manor: Sanctuary.

July: Changing Ground: land and art exhibition, Barony Centre, West Kilbride; two neon works and a land flag.

April: appointed to Walking with Poets Residency with Royal Botanic Gardens / Scottish Poetry Library at Dawyck Botanic Gardens.

February: appointed to By leaves we live Artist's Residency with Planning Aid for Scotland / Forestry Commission: Forest Restructuring.

2012

Now: a tune from the soon-to-be-released-for-free download self-titled dick jitsu album can be heard here: sister jasmin with lyrics from my '87 Holy Loch Soap

November

3rd / 4th a commission for the first Alloa Poetry Jam, organised by John Goodby - readings in Alloa Tower and Dollar Glen

August 2nd

Orchard, my exhibition with Donald Urquhart opens at the Scottish Poetry Library - up all summer until 29th September

9th 

Artists' talk at the SPL tweeted by Jennifer Williams here: http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/

19th

A talk and reading at Uncivilisation: The Dark Mountain Festival - "Nothing not wild".

May

in Nuremberg reading at the German American Institute, recorded by Andrei Dosa and posted here: http://andreidosa.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/lectura-gerry-loose/

March

Awarded Hermann Kesten Stipendium for 2012

January

An invitation by the Slovene Writers' Association to visit Maribor in Slovenia, one of this year's European Capitals of Culture to work with a Slovenian writer: the brilliant Milan Dekleva.

2011

March 16th

At some point in 1995, on the main gate to Queen's Park in Glasgow, the words EAT THE RICH were painted in red. It struck me then as now to be a reasonable suggestion, bringing to mind Jonathan Swift's 1729 Modest Proposal For Preventing The Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being A burden to Their Parents or Country, and For Making Them Beneficial to The Public (by eating them: a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.) After this I began to notice in newspapers instances of this happening. In the following year I noticed DOG BITES MP in The Guardian; WOMAN BITTEN BY ANGRY SEAL (Scotland on Sunday) & SCOTTISH HEIRESS EATEN BY CROCODILE (Daily Record). These cuttings I filed, storing them as I do. 
Then, this year another two came my way: 85,000 BITTEN BY SHARKS (from the typeface, I think this is a cheap free newspaper often found on the train I use to get to town) & yesterday from i: DOLPHIN JUMPS ON WOMAN SAILOR. 

Bankers, Politicians, please take note.

Forthcoming

I'll be in Finland at the 25th Lahti International Writers' Reunion 
from 17th -21st June, reading & watching the midsummer midnight writers' football match.

I'll be in Cork at the 15th SoundEye Festival from 13th - 17th July, reading and not watching any writers' football games.


 

March 9th

a completely free and downloadable postcard with a poem from the 
fault line series is available here, thanks to Andy Spragg. It's the first of a range of poetry he'll be putting out.

February 23rd

from last year (but I was away from home & didn't mention the publication of) an issue of Julie Johnstone's splendid Edinburgh based essence press less series with a one word poem of mine to be seen here 
It was published to coincide with the  Scottish Poetry Library's Small Press Book Fair on 25th September 

also from last year a poem-card from the wonderful Longhouse Press of Bob & Sue Arnold in Vermont; number 2 in the Fabulous Futures series. It follows on from an earlier poem-card by the same press in the enduring Love Thy Poet More (& More & More & More & More . . .!) series.

In all cases small is beautiful.

February 3rd

More from fault line at Free Verse

January

More from fault line to be read on Catapult to Mars

                         A commission to make poems for the new Crichton Acute Mental Health
                         Hospital in Dumfries The poems will be built into the landscape in hospital
                         courtyards and on walks around the grounds, in collaboration with the artist
                         Donald Urquhart.

2010

December

                        Some poems from my new sequence fault line
                                                                serialised daily at Gists & Piths

October 25th

A BBC Radio Scotland programme I took part in is being aired today at 11:30 UK GMT; then available for five days to listen again It's about walking in the Sunart oakwoods. It was made last summer. I'm still in Finland and walking the local woods. The Sunart oaks seem more than the thousand miles and one season away from here that they are. 

Mynämäki oaks send greetings to Ariundle.

September 4th

I'm away from home for awhile, in Finland. I think there might not be many postings to the Carbeth journal. Instead, I've started Saari seasons. I think it complements the Ardnamurchan Journal, in that I walk in another northern oak woodland; this one at a latitude of  60 degrees north.

August 19th

A new show opening today at the Collins Gallery in Glasgow:  
Crossing Alba. It's a record of two trips across Scotland. 
Morven Gregor & I rowed through the Forth & Clyde Canal from the Firth of Forth in the east to the Firth of Clyde at Easter this year. Our trip, in a beautiful Faroese double ended sixteen footer took nine days at Easter this year. Meanwhile, Ian Stephen & Emmanuelle Waeckerle sailed from Stromness in Orkney to Stornoway in Lewis. Their trip took 42 hours. Morven Ian & I had long planned the row, but Ian's boat El Vigo sprang a leak & prevented him from rowing anything but the first day. Getting El Vigo back to Stornoway for repairs was the priority. Nothing ever certain about boats. Both voyages are represented in the Collins show:
"a multi-facetted installation comprising film, performance, photography, storytelling, sculpture, textile, print, prose and poetry" . Logs and images are in the accompanying publication Crossing Alba.  
Morven also re-enacted part of the row which was fillmed and is shown in the Gallery. It's that part of the row at Dalmuir drop lock where we had to portage our 16-footer across a busy main road, waiting for the pedestrian crossing lights to go on for us. You can get the flavour of it here at 
Lady in a Boat
(Lady of the Boat is also the 5th part of Lady Murasaki's Tale of Genji)

June 30th: from Carbeth: the unfinished hut :

                         

It’s been a long time since I saw my friend Takaya, since he lives in Kyoto, but last week he visited and we drank and ate and talked and walked as we do at all our meetings. Right now Takaya is making a garden path. He is slowly putting this together from stones he collects on his 5 mile daily walk on Omuro – the little hill behind his house which has 88 shrines. Each shrine is a little hut in itself, dedicated to buddhas (inside each is a seated buddha, or sometimes the founder of Ninnaji), and the whole walk along these shrines is in the grounds of Ninnaji temple. The course of the walk echoes the 88 temples’ pilgrimage of Shikoku Island south of Hiroshima.


(replaces June 8th entry; continue reading at the unfinished hut site: link below)

May 20th

I've made an entrance into a new sort of almanac/journal: Carbeth: the unfinished hut. This will probably change in appearance over the next few weeks; but I've made a start. Changes won't be fast (nor maybe will entries) but will come. If you read the entrance, you'll understand why. 

Carbeth huts have been there for  getting on a hundred years. After fourteen years of dispute & rent strike with the landowner, Carbeth Hutters Community Company has the chance to buy & manage the hutting areas. A phased community buy out. You can read more on the remarkable Bella Caledonia site here (scroll down to the entry for April 20th 2010)  & here. The response you'll find in the unfinished hut, however, will be wider than the purely political aspects of landownership - it'll take in what it means to inhabit a hut. And what it has meant to others in other places. A place of both community & solitary reflection.

April 30th

The poem-plant labels made for StAnza 2010 have been retained in St Andrews for an indefinite period. 
They may be seen still in the front & back gardens of the Preservation Trust Museum & one at the Town Hall. The labels for plants which St Andrews Botanic Gardens supplied have been removed: the plants needed the expert care of the Botanic Gardens & were returned there.

March 23rd

Some poem-plant labels are currently to be seen at St Andrews as part of StAnza 2010, the annual poetry festival. They are standard botanic plant labels with a sort of errant guerrilla text as well as the botanic & common names of the plant they refer to. In a couple of instances the plant is not there, since it's the wrong time of year, in which case there is an extra label by way of explanation. Of sorts. They can be seen until 29th March at the Preservation Trust Museum, the Byre Theatre & at the Town Hall.  The plants in question are a mixture of native & exotic: hart's tongue, phlox, mignonette, Japanese banana, another ornamental banana, lavender, rue, fennel, two apple trees, a rose, and mind-your-own-business. There's also a plastic wisteria. They'll be seen later this year at Glasgow Botanic Gardens.

February 2nd 

Not long confirmed, Peter Manson & I will read together in Poland at Bydgoszcz University on 17th March & at Poznan University on the 19th.        

January 2nd 

BBC Radio Scotland programme Out Of Doors has some words from me in Glen Fruin & a few of my poems from fault line concerning the area. The programme also features Ian Stephen in Lewis, Alec Finlay at Little Sparta & Helen Boden in the Pentland Hills. Listen for four more days here

fault line (100 short poems concerning the landscape round Faslane, Scotland's nuclear submarine facility) will be published in its entirety in 
issue 10 of The International Literary Quarterly, the online journal, (
www.interlitq.org) on February 1st.

2009

December 16th

Newly published:

Bob & Susan Arnold’s remarkable & unrivalled Longhouse press in Vermont has published a beautiful fold-out booklet of mine – Starworks. To find it, go here & link to What's New at Longhouse Fall 2009. Scroll down slowly - there's news of many fine publications from the imprint. You'll come to Starworks soon enough. 

In a roundup with other publications, titled Some Beauty, Bob Arnold mentions my Oystercatcher Press pamphlet the deer path to my door (see below at the March 18th entry). 
Go here: http://longhousepoetryandpublishers.blogspot.com/ 
& scroll down to December 11th, but again, don’t scroll down too quickly, it’s all rewarding reading.

Visit http://www.longhousepoetry.com/  to find a world of poetry publication I thought had disappeared – publications by & for folk who make & shape poetry of all kinds.

11th

A Wilder Vein (see below) has been named by The Independent as one of the best nature & environment books for Christmas 2010 : read here
There are other reviews & mentions in the Irish Times, The Scottish Review of Books & The Great Outdoors (but no links to those) as well as a feature in November on Radio 4's Excess Baggage programme & in the Scotsman, here as well as a pre-publication article & extract of fellow contributor Rajah Shehadeh's work in the Guardian here. 

November 29th

that person himself was one of Tom Leonard's choices for his Books of the Year in the Sunday Herald

September
Just arrived my copies of Two Ravens Press anthology A Wilder Vein, edited by Linda Cracknell, with a foreword by Robert Macfarlane.
It contains extracts from my Ardnamurchan Almanac.

       (ISBN 978-1-906120-43-6; £10.99 Publication date November 2 2009)

Peter Manson & I will be reading at the Irish Writers' Centre, 
Dublin to celebrate International Translation Day on September 30th.   
Peter  will read from his  Mallarme work & I'll read  some versions 
from the Japanese.

June
my new book that person himself is now available here
read what's written on the back cover:

"That Person Himself" is a tender, angry and grimly humorous work that confronts the more vicious absurdities of human thought: the chilling blend of doggedly opaque legalese and naked statements of intent that govern troops, nuclear weapons programmes, the strategic use of mass casualties, the "War on Terror". Gerry Loose leads us to face the unthinkable by creating a fragmented narrative of interwoven myths, strange articles of faith, bodily frailty, human anguish, beauty and horror. There is a sense here of minds in flight from injuries beyond description, ghosts of mortality and the threat of impossible suffering in vulnerable lives, vulnerable landscapes, vulnerable flesh. This is an important, powerful book - part prophecy, part lament - an hallucinogenic demonstration of how lost we can become when we conjure the power of our own nightmares.                                                   AL Kennedy

Is that Olson with a Scots burr, a Glaswegian Gunslinger on the road to ruin?  The new world with a new ear, that person himself speeds down the highways to a soundtrack scanned off the AM dial and backed with a missa solemnis sampled from the great books.  Anubis meets Coyotefox in a wild bestiary, spinning the fable of the atomic age, a myth-weave for past and future destruction, forgotten in political euphoria and economic panic.  Now read on.....                                                                 David Lloyd

Gerry Loose’s poem is proof beyond doubt that the Old Ways are resilient, & still full of power and beauty. Building on his earlier work with haiku, Scottish lyrics, and botanical stdies, this book shapes up as something of an epic of the nuclear era. Its grounds are are the roads and landscapes of the American West – a pilgrimage beset by ghosts, military personnel, blues singers, and weird documents – before moving on to Hiroshima & the modern heart of darkness. There is the little miracle of plant life returning to devastated Japanese precincts – despite assertions that nothing would grow for a century – and I read Gerry’s lists of botanicals as one long prayer of great hope.
                                                                         Andrew Schelling

                               May 11th
                       
                       
is Peter Manson's 40th birthday (although by
                        some reckoning he is 80 - ask him)
                        Happy birthday, Peter!


                        April 
                      
                    A long extract from work I made in Ardnamurchan is included in the
                    forthcoming Two Ravens Press anthology A Wilder Vein, edited by
                    Linda Cracknell,
with a foreword by Robert Macfarlane.
                    Other contributors include
Raja Shehadeh, Sara Maitland & Mandy Haggith.
                   
ISBN 978-1-906120-43-6; £10.99 Publication date November 2 2009

                        
                       March 18th
                                                             
                                                             the deer path to my door

                               
                                                   a new chapbook from Oystercatcher Press
                                        

"This wonderful collection by Gerry Loose leads language through its own moving landscapes, as well as others trodden, tended and observed by the author. Wry, lyrical, daft, philosophical – these lines are alert to miniscule shifts in natural phenomena and thought, the tracks of language glistening under starlight, sun and ample Scottish rain falling through, ah, Scotch mist.

However exact the registration of wren and sorrel glimpses, Gerry Loose ensures that a generosity of syntactic ambiguity allows room for perception to  think ways through to new thoughts, new ecosystems, in which the term ‘human nature’ ceases to have meaning.  

The poetry opens out in every direction, steeped in alertness and ready for anything, which therefore appears."


                                 March 5th 

Purbeck stone with my poem in the shape of infinity to be read many ways will soon be put in place at Springburn Park as part of Alec Finlay's 
Stobhill Gate project

**

there will (probably) be no new entries to

An Ardnamurchan Journal

which ran from September 2007 until September 2008

**

 2008

September 19th commission to make a Poetry Flag for National Poetry Day (October 9th) to be flown in the Botanic Gardens, Glasgow. 

September 18th reading at Glasgow School of Art (St Mungo's Mirrorball) with Peter Manson.

September 9th launch of poetry on stairwell, in lifts & on 3 panels at Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion, Edinburgh; a commission for Art in Hospitals.

August 18th reading at the Edinburgh Book Festival with Norrie Bissell.

August 16th reading at the inaugural West Port Book Festival. 

August 8th & 9th

reading at the Tartan Heart Festival with Tom Leonard & Mandy Haggith


August 4th

The From Kyoto to Carbeth show has reached its last venue, the Scottish Poetry Library. Kenichi Suganuma, the Consul General for Japan opened the show on 31st July. Thanks are due to all there, especially Lizzie MacGregor, who kindly supplied all the plants for the ikebana.

July 16th

My flag to celebrate the 90th birthday of Nelson Mandela will be first flown from the Glasgow Botanic Gardens flagpole on Friday 18th July at 11am. It was a commssion from Culture & Sport, Glasgow & made by James Stevenson (Flags) Ltd., Glasgow. I'll try to get some images for this site of when it's raised. There will also be music by Allan Tall. 

(flag image below & another on the Home page)

July 10th reading at the 'Activism, Apocalypse & the Avant Garde' conference at Edinburgh University.

June 16th 
read bliss is bliss at Gists & Piths

                        January 25th 
                    Now available to read at Free Verse - some of my poems in a special
                         supplement; including some of the poems in

From Kyoto to Carbeth: poems & plants of the hills

(Scotsman review of this show at: REVIEW)

For  four years I've been collaborating with  Takaya Fujii  in Kyoto. Each day Takaya walks the 88 shrines of the pilgrim path on Omuro, the little hill behind his house in the foothills north west of the city. I've walked this path with him many times. Here he watches the unfolding of the seasons & each month selects a plant  relevant to both the season & to the culture of Japan. He makes an arrangement of this, 

sends me the name of the plant & I make a poem concerning this plant, if I know it, or a Scottish equivalent. The poem is translated, given to a calligrapher, Seigan  Urai, who makes his versions

& to a ceramic artist, Mikako Kawai

who designs & makes a vase for that specific plant. All these artists have an extraordinary grasp of plants.

Poems, translations, calligraphy & ceramics will be shown at the Galerie Weissraum, Kyoto from January 10th until 31st 2008, (where it is called from plant to plant). 

After that, Kyoto to Carbeth will be at the 
Collins Gallery, Glasgow 23rd February - 5th April 2008  
Hill House, Helensburgh 14th April - 18th May 2008
Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries 24th May - 26th June 2008
Scottish Poetry Library during the Edinburgh Festival
1st August - 12th September 2008

There will be a book of all poems & translations, with images of the calligraphy & ceramics by Morven Gregor.


                    December 2007 

A sequence from Printed on Water has been chosen for inclusion in the Scottish Poetry Library's 20 Best Poems for 2007, edited by Alan Spence. You can read it here:  from the deer path to my door.

 

[Home]