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An Interview with Poet Farah Ghafoor

by Amee Nassrene Broumand

 

Farah, welcome! Thanks for speaking to me here on Burning House Press. You’re seventeen and not only an accomplished poet, but also the editor-in-chief of Sugar Rascals, your own literary journal for teens. What is it about poetry that calls to you? What role does it play in your life?

 Thanks for having me!

Poetry has always been the perfect outlet for my joy, anger, sorrow, and opinions. It means that I can come home after a long day, usually tired, and turn my emotions into something beautiful, something that other people can enjoy and connect with. A relief from the tedious busyness of life, reading and writing poetry forces me to slow down, spend some time in other people’s brains, and relish in the incredible complexities of language. Though it’s occasionally a little draining, if I don’t write for a week, I start to suffocate with words.

The adventure of poetry really calls to me, too. I love the tough questions, defensive answers, confessions, secrets, glorifications, histories, judgments, and other elements that poems can present in a condensed form. I love how you can control this kind of adventure. I love how you can use language to its limit. I love how this kind of raw, pristine communication is of endless potential. And I love how a poem can truly be anything.

“if I don’t write for a week, I start to suffocate with words”

Continue reading “An Interview with Poet Farah Ghafoor”

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The grammar of silence

The silence of grammar. The silence of morning fog. The silence of a tiger’s paw. Wandering silence. The I told you so silence. The silence of violence. The silence of the catacombs contained in a sheet of paper. The shimmer of summer night stillness silence. The ruins of love silence. The silence of God.

Continue reading “The grammar of silence”

The Fire, the Eclipse, and the Spiders

photos & an experimental essay

by Amee Nassrene Broumand

 

It’s raining at the moment. Calling it rain might suggest a downpour or perhaps a steadiness of purpose, but this rain is too ambivalent for any of that relative cheeriness. This is slacker rain. This rain drizzles on and off all day, turning the landscape into a listless void. It’s hard to even tell the color of the light in such rain—is it grey, or is it a lurid shade of green?

I’ve never been sure, yet I know it well: as I child I stared out of myriad windows into this rain—into the glistening trees that slouched with waterlogged branches—and tried to imagine the sun. It didn’t work, of course; the rain had seeped into my mental eye. Instead of sunlight, the inside of my skull grew lush with moss. Forests sprang up, haunted by arboriform spirits and carnivorous umbrella monsters. Predatory ferns infected my temporal lobes and burst outwards in Medusa-like fronds, marking me as forever coiled, an absurd Beardsleyan grotesque.

The sun is out of reach. Continue reading “The Fire, the Eclipse, and the Spiders”

‘Boredom’ by Liz Zumin

Boredom

 

I find myself thinking about boredom. Boredom, is a feeling that seems to be prevalent amongst the modern world’s most dominant social experiences of fatigue, depression and various neuroses which are effected in today’s society. It is an inevitable consequence of modern technological advancement where the borders between work and life have become blurred, the world made smaller by the internet, and the news broadcast continuously twenty four hours a day, extending even further into our subjective experience.

Continue reading “‘Boredom’ by Liz Zumin”

‘Our survival deserves a dirty prayer praising our divine faults and everlasting selves.’ – Rachel McKibbens Interview for Burning House Press

On the release of her latest poetry collection – blud – Adrianna Robertson interviewed Rachel McKibbens for Burning House Press.

 

I first contacted Rachel McKibbens because I had been—as I often am—considering what it means to write about mental illness. I wanted to have more conversation about why it matters to write poems about mental health, how it factors into one’s identity as a human and a writer, and what it is to attempt to put the experience of it into words. At the same time, I was reading more and more of Rachel’s work (I picked up Pink Elephant and couldn’t put it down) and I felt like I had to tell someone—or as many people as possible, that these poems were opening a door. The new poems in blud left me with that same breathless feeling. Again, I found myself reading them aloud, handing them to friends and my students. Yet, when I sat down to type my questions for this interview, I knew it was impossible to say all I wanted to say—how to describe all that these poems bring forth in me: sorrow, heartbreak, awe, kinship…and always surprise. Finally, I settled on some questions and what follows are Rachel’s eloquent and evocative answers, though they would have been this regardless of what I had asked. And, perhaps more important than any perfect word I could come up with to describe this collection, is this: we need these poems and I am so grateful to Rachel for writing them.

 

All we misfits, weirdos, black sheep, outcasts and witches who have managed to crawl out of the mud and hold our faces up to the light are family.

Continue reading “‘Our survival deserves a dirty prayer praising our divine faults and everlasting selves.’ – Rachel McKibbens Interview for Burning House Press”

An Experimental Conversation with Writer Erin Calabria

by Amee Nassrene Broumand

 

ANB: Autumn begins to pulse from leaf to flavescent leaf, beading—here and there—into cardioid splashes of pomegranate. The hum of the forest alters. Over the hills, in a dilapidated garden choked with honeysuckle vines gone wrong, sunbeams curve down upon a mud-eaten shoe. In places such as these, even saints grow timid.

EC: Currents of light and wind thread a passage. I trail my hands through the leaves, and they come away doused in bergamot, verbena, thyme, traces of care still scattered in this tangled place, death not reversed but charmed into a feral green. I crush rosemary needles between my teeth, think how I must have gone wild too early, trying to possess some other shape. The wind pushes me like a weathervane through the bramble, up to the hollow brink where a house once stood. A granite threshold left sunk in the ground marks where ghosts should step. How can it be the only things that seem real to me now are ruins. Continue reading “An Experimental Conversation with Writer Erin Calabria”

‘visions of the end’ by Clark Chatlain

we live today with the sense that the apocalypse is underway. our world is a world lit by revelation. we believe we have seen our own end, that it has been revealed to us, for that is one meaning of the term apocalypse: to reveal, to uncover. when John of Patmos narrated his vision he gave us his apocalypse, and though it was rooted in his Christianity and even more in his time and his world, it is still now our most common exemplar of an apocalypse. this meaning of apocalypse, this revelation and uncovering of the end, is closer to our understanding of our world than we might think. while the generations and centuries before us found themselves, for the first time, living in a disenchanted universe, we are today the generations that hear and read daily that our world is ending. Continue reading “‘visions of the end’ by Clark Chatlain”

‘Pairty’ by A.G. Kayman

Pairty

 

Goat an invite fae the boy up the stair. A wee pairty he wis huvin fur his birthday, an he wondered if Ah fancied comin up fur a couple o beers. At first Ah thought, Christ, a room fu o folk Ah dinnae ken, drinkin, gettin pished, mibbie talkin aboot fitba or politics or that. Ah cannae be daein wi aw that cairry oan. Continue reading “‘Pairty’ by A.G. Kayman”

Announcement: BHP’s 2nd book to be published 2018

Burning House Press are proud/excited to announce our 2nd publication in 2018 will be the 1st poetry collection by the amazing Anna Wall. More details to follow shortly Xx

 

annawall2018

Hi-Vis Press Podcast – Interview With Miggy Angel

Hi-Vis Press interviewed Burning House Press’ chief Arsonist Miggy Angel – Covering the subjects of art, recovery, class, mental health and addiction, and his journey from South London to become a writer and poet – check it out here! Xx

 

Shrinking Ultraviolet by Rebecca Bird – reviewed by Adam Steiner

Shrinking Ultraviolet

by Rebecca Bird

(Eyewear, 2017)

 

Rebecca Bird’s first poetry collection is a fierce, accomplished and empowering call to find your own identity.

 

What makes one writer different from another? As much as any poet is unique and their writing is particular to them, they still work within (and out of) forms and conventions.  

For me, all writing bears the fingerprint of its author’s character, even though we are often using the same building blocks of language – and this is what I find most inciting and insightful in Shrinking Ultraviolet. Continue reading “Shrinking Ultraviolet by Rebecca Bird – reviewed by Adam Steiner”

A Burning House Press Interview With Lydia Towsey

Lydia Towsey interviewed by Trevor Wright for Burning House Press 

 

lti01

We first met at the launch of the Refugee anthology, Over Land, Over Sea. Poems for those Seeking Refuge (Five Leaves Press 2015). What was that project like for you?

It’s been very positive – a great idea. As an ordinary citizen, especially, or even in our current political climate, it’s easy to feel powerless. Ambrose (Musiyiwa) whose poem The Man Who Ran Through the Tunnel stimulated the anthology) thought this would be a way to mobilise lots of voices, not just from Leicester but from across the country and the world. Continue reading “A Burning House Press Interview With Lydia Towsey”

Book Publication Announcement

Burning House Press are excited to announce that our first book publication forthcoming in 2018 will be ‘Gospel Of Aberration’ by Rob True – his first full collection of stories. More details to come.

 

3 Poems by Debra Watson

A Woman Needs A Coat

 

A woman needs a coat

And a hat

And a roof

A woman needs a friend

And an enemy Continue reading “3 Poems by Debra Watson”

An Interview with David Naimon

In the last few years, podcasts have exploded in popularity. Perhaps it’s something about hearing the human voice and feeling that connection with another person. Like many people, I have podcasts that I regularly listen to. One of my favorites is David Naimon’s Between the Covers. On his radio show, Naimon interviews a wide range of writers, from those who are household names to those who are just starting out. He engages deeply with each writer’s work and always gives his listeners a new way of thinking about complex issues related to literature, life, and society. Between the Covers is essential listening for anyone who loves books and thought-provoking, even life-changing, conversations. Just as his show is illuminating, so too was this interview. We talked about writing across difference, what role writers play in these difficult times, and much more.

–Caitlin, Nonfiction Editor for Burning House Press

 

Burning House Press: Thanks so much for agreeing to this interview! How did Between the Covers get started? Were you already in radio or was this new to you?

 

David Naimon: I was already hosting a non-literary show at the radio station (KBOO 90.7FM in Portland, Oregon) before hosting Between the Covers. At some point the programmers of all the shows started receiving emails with inquiries like “Rick Moody is coming to town, anybody available to interview him?” It made me wonder if that show was all of a sudden in need of hosts. It turned out that one of the main hosts of the show had left and that my interest in filling that void was a welcome one. My first interview was with Anthony Doerr. At the time he was a writer’s writer, not the household name he is today, but he was so warm and responsive and enthusiastic that it was infectious. I never looked back.

Continue reading “An Interview with David Naimon”

An Interview with Physicist and Poet Florence Lenaers

by Amee Nassrene Broumand

 

Hello Florence! Thanks so much for agreeing to speak with me here on Burning House Press. I’m fascinated by your bio: you’re a PhD student in physics who also writes poetry. I’ve got to ask, why? What draws you to both physics and poetry?  

Hi Amee! Thanks a lot for this opportunity. Oddly enough, the driving force was, & still is, the same in both cases: a thirst for equilibrium, the urge to build an extension upon my collage-like experience of the world; to challenge myself out of my comfort zone, towards areas left uncharted on my maps; to counterbalance an excess of centripetence; to overwrite certainties; to ride a Trojan horse within my own fortress, then to open the gates to cross-pollination.

“my favourite places to roam are borderlands”

Continue reading “An Interview with Physicist and Poet Florence Lenaers”

What trumps love

by Fredric Nord

You complete me, he says. In the movie. Manufacturing swoon and meme for the masses. Romance aside: I stare at art. I’m stunned by some lines of charcoal on paper. I’m liberated. It completes me. A moment of Eureka soft as morning. An Oh Snap gentle as the night. Our habit is of completeness: Each irregularity will eventually be found by a being that seems born to complete it. Our habit is of individuality, and then overcoming it. Continue reading “What trumps love”

‘1st Weekend’ by Terence Corless

1st Weekend

 

Billy and Ian are walking along opposite sides of the high street in Cambridge, pretending to throw an imaginary ball across the cars that glide by in the darkness. It’s really windy so if there was a ball, it would have flown off in the wrong direction by now, but these boys don’t seem that concerned by the laws of reality at the moment – the party in their fuzzed up heads is much better than what’s going on out here. Continue reading “‘1st Weekend’ by Terence Corless”

3 Poems by Edwin Evans-Thirlwell

//The exorcist leaves our solar system

 

Called by their kindness, some, and

cursed to serve, others, but

I am just hungry, from room

to room nick-nacking

 

He sets the oven doors ajar

and moves the pictures all awry:

the house is breathing on the shore,

the house is angled at the sky. Continue reading “3 Poems by Edwin Evans-Thirlwell”

‘The Good Ghost Bill Moran’ by Miggy Angel

Bill Moran (Good Ghost Bill) is a poet, performer and writer from Austin, Texas – and Bill was in Nottingham to perform for us at Speech Therapy whilst on his recent European tour back in May. Continue reading “‘The Good Ghost Bill Moran’ by Miggy Angel”

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