today or tomorrow, can’t rightly remember exactly which, marks five years of me writing only in english. it began with a handful of failed attempts to translate sentences finished on the other’s lips by sheila e murphy into swedish for some reason or other, apart of course from it being a delightful e-chap. one early saturday, or sunday, morning walking home through malmö, severely drunk after a long night at the pub & in somebody’s kitchen i thought i’d give the translation another try. then, passing under the railway, the thought “fuck translation, just finish the sentences. no, stupid. in english.” so i began the next day, from the first phrase of the first part/poem/page to the last phrase of the last one. six days later i had typed it all into a word document & saw i had a chapbook manuscript that it shouldn’t be a problem finding a publisher for. & it wasn’t. it so happened that on stealing lips as i titled it became my second chapbook published. i quickly put mindfulness together & that was published in january 2006 & lips came out in december of the same year. since then there has been a steady stream of others, as can be seen on the “my books” page. i have not even thought about swedish as a viable poetry language, for me that is, since. apart from when writing for my & petra’s first photo/poem exhibition. it has been amazingly easy to get accepted into the north american & australian (the english still resist) poetic community. the first five years have been good (in literary terms), the future is bright. i keep going
March 29, 2010
March 28, 2010
15 haiku of mine have been translated into japanese by Hidenori Hiruta san & published on the akita international haiku network site, along with a couple of emails & a photo Petra took in barcelona in december. i want to extend my deep gratitude to mr. Hiruta for making a very old dream of mine come true
March 22, 2010
once more the english regime has driven the country down so deep into the shit that the politicians need to deflect the attention of the voters
they need some kind of distraction
yeah we can give them that
enter las islas malvinas. some small islands off the coast of argentine populated by people mostly thinking themselves argentinian. the english regime has now decided to take las islas malvinas. with military force if necessary
March 20, 2010
kamini press, an interesting chapbook press in stockholm (all is not yet lost in sweden)
March 19, 2010
Action alert, Haymarket Books, 19 March 2010
Effectively canceling a planned speaking tour, the US consulate in the Netherlands has put an extended hold on the visa application of award-winning Palestinian journalist and photographer Mohammed Omer, scheduled to speak on conditions in Palestine, on 5 April in Chicago.
In 2008, Omer became the youngest recipient of the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, for his firsthand reportage of life in the besieged Gaza Strip. As his prize citation explained, “Every day, he reports from a war zone, where he is also a prisoner. He is a profoundly humane witness to one of the great injustices of our time. He is the voice of the voiceless … Working alone in extremely difficult and often dangerous circumstances, [Omer has] reported unpalatable truths validated by powerful facts.”
Upon attempting to return to Gaza following his acceptance of the Gellhorn award in London, Omer was detained, interrogated and beaten by the Shin Bet Israeli security force for over 12 hours, and eventually hospitalized with cracked ribs and respiratory problems. He has since resided in the Netherlands and continues to undergo medical treatment there for his subsequent health problems.
The US consulate has now held his visa application for an extended period of time, effectively canceling a planned US speaking tour without the explanation that a denial would require. In recent years, numerous foreign scholars and experts have been subject to visa delays and denials that have prohibited them from speaking and teaching in the US — a process the American Civil Liberties Union describes as “Ideological Exclusion,” which they say violates Americans’ first amendment right to hear constitutionally protected speech by denying foreign scholars, artists, politicians and others entry to the United States. Foreign nationals who have recently been denied visas include Fulbright scholar Marixa Lasso; respected South African scholar and vocal Iraq War critic Dr. Adam Habib; Iraqi doctor Riyadh Lafta, who disputed the official Iraqi civilian death numbers in the respected British medical journal The Lancet; and Oxford’s Tariq Ramadan, who has just received a visa to speak in the United States after more than five years of delays and denials.
Fellow Gellhorn recipient Dahr Jamail, expressed his disbelief at Omer’s visa hold. “Why would the US government, when we consider the premise that we have ‘free speech’ in this country, place on hold a visa for Mohammed Omer, or any other journalist planning to come to the United States to give talks about what they report on? This is a travesty, and the only redemption available for the US government in this situation is to issue Omer’s visa immediately, and with a deep apology.”
Omer was to visit Houston, Santa Fe and Chicago, where local publisher Haymarket Books was to host his Newberry Library event, “Reflections on Life and War in Gaza,” alongside a broad set of interfaith religious, community and political organizations.
Rather than cancel the meeting, organizers are calling on supporters to write letters and emails calling for the US consulate’s approval of Omer’s visa. They are also proceeding with the event as planned, via live satellite or skype, if necessary.
U.S. consulate information:
Ambassador Fay Hartog Levin
U.S. Embassy in The Hague
Lange Voorhout 102
T: +31 70 310-2209
F: +31 70 361-4688
Background on Mohammed Omer:
Mohammed Omer was born and raised in the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. He maintains the website Rafah Today and is a correspondent for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. His home in Rafah was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer while the family was inside, seriously injuring his mother. Yet, as Omer explained in an article he wrote upon winning the award, “My ambition was to get the truth out, not as pro-Palestinian or anti-Israeli, but as an independent voice and witness.” His reportage features interviews with regular Palestinians in Gazan attempting to survive amidst bombing, home demolitions and the crippling economic blockade, which has created devastating shortages of electricity, water, fuel and other necessities for survival.
Omer was to visit Chicago to discuss, with Ali Abunimah, Chicago-based author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, his reportage, personal experience, and the struggle for Palestinian rights. If the delay on his visa continues, he will take part in the event via live satellite connection or Skype.
March 17, 2010
March 16, 2010
ximena narea, an artist, editor & friend of mine has an ongoing project she calls caps, in which she knits caps for people & asks them to send back a photo of themselves wearing it, if possible also with the number of the house/street address they live in. last week she knitted one for me, which arrived in the mail today, so now we need to get the camera to do the documentation. also, she put a new poem of mine in the intro to the page, it appears a while into it. it’s an interesting thing that i’ve come across two similar projects in a couple of months, this one & alex gildzen‘s ties (& pt 2). both interactive, both asking for documentation from the recipient & both focused on articles of clothing. any more of those around?
this is from Eileen
I’m so pleased that poets who’ve never done hay(na)ku are choosing to do so for the Hay(na)ku for Haiti project. See the list below for the latest editions of H for H booklets, with more promised for the future!
Open Palm Press
(an imprint of Meritage Press)
is pleased to announce the series:
Hay(na)ku for Haiti
— a fundraiser for Haiti, edited by Eileen R. Tabios and blessed by support from chapbookpublisher.com.
Poets who write in the hay(na)ku form (about which more information is available at http://haynakupoetry.blogspot.com) have consented to create hay(na)ku for helping Haiti’s recovery efforts. The results are to be released as “pocket poem booklets” by Open Palm Press. Each will be sold for $3.00, reflecting the hay(na)ku’s three lines, with all proceeds to be donated for Haiti relief.
The series begins with:
#1: PARTICLE AND WAVE and FROM THE CHAIR, two hay(na)ku sequences by Jean Vengua
#2: On A Pyre: An Ars Poetica by Eileen R. Tabios
#3: Hay(na)ku for Haiti by Tom Beckett
#4: when the earth moves in by Lars Palm
#5: After René Depestre’s “My Definition of Poetry”, as translated by Edwidge Danticat, with lines at the end by Lafcadio Hearn by John Bloomberg-Rissman.
#6: Mrs. Quake by Nicole Mauro
#7: Through Having Been, Vol. 1 by William Allegrezza
#8: Through Having Been, Vol. 2 by William Allegrezza
#9: blonde topography: a terse set of tercets by steve dalachinsky
#10: Drop, Portion and Assignment by Peg Duthie
#11: As I Speed to Your Place by Amanda Laughtland
Over time, more releases will occur as it is anticipated that Haiti’s relief requirements will be prolonged and deep. Poets interested in exploring the hay(na)ku through this fundraising effort may contact the series editor at MeritagePress@aol.com
“H for H” booklets are lovingly produced by http://chapbookpublisher.com on lilac-colored paper to fit, at 2.75″ x 4.5 X 2″, on an open palm — ideal for giving engagements.
To order some or all of the series, please send checks made out to “Meritage Press” for $3 per booklet and send to
256 North Fork Crystal Springs Rd.
St. Helena, CA 94574
This offer is also available to non-U.S. residents, but with extra arrangements required for international shipping.
For more information, including on international orders: MeritagePress@aol.com
Those who order five or more “Hay(na)ku for Haiti” booklets from Meritage Press’ Open Palm Press will also receive a complimentary copy of Eileen R. Tabios’ latest Marsh Hawk Press book, THE THORN ROSARY: Selected Prose Poems & New, edited by Thomas Fink.
As five booklets are available for $15 and Ms. Tabios’ book retails for $19.95, we hope poetry lovers will find this offer an attractive way to contribute to Haiti relief.