Displaying items by tag: rosie garland

Blimey! I'm being used as the poster girl for next week's (sold out) Literary Death Match event The Hospital Club in Covent Garden.

This event is sold out but you can sign up for the waitlist - as tickets become available you will be contacted:

Waiting List

Here's the lineup of THE READERS

  • * Rosie Garland, the debut author of The Palace of Curiosities
  • * James Benmore, author of Dodger
  • * A.L. Kennedy, actor, writer, comedian
  • * Peter Rosengard, record-breaking life insurance salesman, founder of The Comedy Store

Literary Death Match London - link

Published in News

Nice review for my recent workshop for Manchester Literature Festival - Postcards from the Past.

  • Stories from the city, stories from the sea
  • Postcards From The Past Workshop, Saturday 11th May, 2-4.30pm, Stanley Suite, The Midland Hotel

Words by Desmond Bullen.

Long before the supposed modishness of flash fiction, prior to the chirpy burst of Twitter, wit at its briefest found its way inked onto the back of a postcard. Denuded of the envelope's discretion, its commonplaces and tidings were status updates on mass-produced cardboard. To come across one now, forgotten between the pages of a secondhand book, is to have the past blossom with the delicacy of a Polaroid before one's eyes.

The postcard is of a room. The room is in a hotel, the kind with a history; one whose inlaid angels have witnessed the relentless ebb and flow of guests and staff over years weary and gay, over decades heavy and light. The tales they could tell are on the tips of their tongues, but their tongues are still. The people in the room are not. They prowl and declaim, with varying degrees of self-consciousness, giving rise to an unintentional poetry, part Dada, part poetry.

And conducting this displaced cabaret is the quicksilver figure of Rosie Garland, a protean figure – neither poet nor mistress of ceremonies, neither March Violet nor author, but all, and more – now coaxing ink from pens in a workshop that is far more play than toil.

There is paper, too; the inevitable flipchart, the outpourings of the group in marker pen across it, like benign graffiti. And the pads and notebooks, their lines no longer flat, but beating with prose of which its authors might be cautiously proud. Each table has a soul or two brave enough to voice their new-found words to the room at large. Each has a postcard to send that's funny or thoughtful, angry or melancholy, flirtatious or droll.

Wish you were here? I was glad I was.

The Postcards From The Past competition, sponsored by The Midland Hotel, closes on 20 July.
Published in News

Dealing with the internal critic

Or

A 12-Step Programme for Coping with Mavis

I have a voice in my head. It never says anything nice. It undermines any attempt I make to write. Examples of the things it says are you're a fraud, you'll never amount to anything and who told you you could write, anyway? On and on and on, wittering ad nauseam.

Sound familiar? You're not alone. It seems like whenever I 'fess up to this internal censor, a common response from fellow-creatives is a stunned good god, you get that too?

Simply put, this inner censor wants me to stop writing. It's been there since I was in my early teens, and shows no sign of going away. Sure, it's had to change its script a little over the past few months what with the launch of my debut novel 'The Palace of Curiosities', but it has simply developed nasty new mantras. One example: when people say they like 'The Palace of Curiosities', they're only being nice.

I used to listen and believe every word I heard. Result? I stopped writing. For years. Call it writers' block if you will. An important part of my writing life has been improving how I deal with these internalised put-downs. I've shared some ideas below – if any of them help, that's great.

1 - First off, I worked out when the voice first appeared. 'Forever' was not an acceptable answer. Speaking personally, my earliest creative efforts were encouraged. However, that changed in my teens when I started to explore the weird, the odd, the different, the opposite of sugar and spice. Suddenly (and it was sudden) the support and praise evaporated. Ta-dah! My internal censor was born at the precise moment in my life when I was developing into an independent person, and it grew fat on raging hormones and adolescent angst.

2 – We are born free of internal censorship – it comes later. My ability to write and my love of writing were both there before the censor. It helped to separate that out.

3 – Another key was to recognise it was a voice in my head, but not 'my' voice. I can separate my self from the put-downs. Who first planted doubts in your head? You sure as hell didn't.

4 - Part of the externalising process was to create a character and give it a name. I call my internal censor Mavis, because it's silly and helps diminish the yap-yap-yap. She is not a huge terrifying demon; she's small and she's squeaky. It's much harder to take such a creature seriously.

5 – She makes herself pretty easy to spot, as her script lacks originality. She trots out the same old tune, the same old words. I recognise Mavis on one of her rants, rather than believing that what she says is true. It isn't.

6 – However, I don't try to ignore her: she just shouts louder. I acknowledge she's there, say hello Mavis; listen to what she has to say, then I get on with whatever it was I was doing. My suggestion? Hear it, note it, move on.

7 - Develop your own practical strategies. One of mine is writing early in the day. Mavis isn't a morning person. I get up before she does, while she's still snoozing. Once I've started and am on a roll it's not so difficult: the blank page is when she's at her most undermining.

8 - I write longhand when I'm starting out, whether it's a novel or a poem. There are many reasons why I do this (and they're the subject of a different blog). As a strategy for getting round Mavis it works like this: to the censor, handwriting is 'scribbling', ie not serious or important. She stops paying attention - and I get to explore ideas without her peering over my shoulder and sneering 'well, that's not very good is it?' If she does start snooping around I say I'm just scribbling. Nothing for you to bother about. I work under the radar and sneak my words past her – rough, unedited words – but words. I can't edit nothing, which is what she's aiming for.

9 – Don't try to reason or argue with the censor. You'll use up all your creative energy and never, ever win. There's no point trying to reason with the unreasonable. My censor says things which logically I know aren't true. But oh boy, does my fearful emotional jelly of a self wobble. That's her power. If I try to engage logic, I end up going in circles. She always has an argument to top mine. She always gets the last word. She's always got a 'yeah, but - '. These arguments leach away time and energy when I could be writing.

10 - Speak out. Say she exists. Stop being ashamed. Stop believing her.

11 - Talk to other creative people. Find out what their internal censors act like. Share strategies for coping.

12 - For years I tried to repress her, ignore her, make her go away. It didn't work. I've accepted I'll never be rid of her. And maybe, just maybe, there's a positive side to all of this head-talk. It keeps me on my toes. With Mavis around I won't become one of those writers who think that every word they commit to paper is perfect and woe betide any foolish mortal who dares suggest they might need to edit the hell out of it.

And if I do become big-headed, blasé or swan around saying do you know who I am? – tell me. Loud and clear.

Published in News
Thursday, 04 October 2012 08:45

Creatures of the Night

 OUT OF PRINT
Creatures of the Night - performance poetry

Published by purpleprosepress, 2003 under Rosie Garland's stage name of Rosie Lugosi.

Published as part of Rosie's residency at 'Creatures of the Night' at greenroom Manchester, Manchester's longest running poetry slam.
Including poems such as 'Two Queens', published in Mslexia magazine.

 

 

Excerpt…

“Two Queens

I’d arranged the Palace Hotel bar, at seven. Figured
The cavernous hall, high gilded ceiling would suit
World-changers. They were already there;
Had ordered beer in straight glasses. I knew them at once:

Her, from the bas-reliefs in the Met; and her,
From technicolour gloss in A level History.
“You both look fatter,” I said, “than the pictures.”
“There’s court portraitists for you,” boomed Nefertiti,

Halfway through her pint. Patted a teak-stained
Roll of fat which hung about her navel. “Likewise:
When did you last see a royal virgin painted fat?”
Blared Elizabeth, and thumped me on the back…”

Published in Poetry
Thursday, 27 September 2012 10:14

Coming Out at Night

Coming Out At Night - performance poetry


Published by purpleprosepress, 2005 under Rosie Garland's stage name of Rosie Lugosi

Poem excerpt –

“Lights Go Out

The lights go out; there's a rustle of silk at the corner of earshot
The dark swims in, and ink closes over your head
Back row or back room my hand finds yours
Pulls you cheek to cheek, lip to lip
Go down for the third time and come up choking
And down again with my hand on your head.
The lights go out.
You said you wanted this
Screamed and bawled till mommy said
Come and tuck your little head in here
And I will stroke you, stroke you, stroke you
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John have left the bed that you lie on
As you lay you down to sleep
Pass your soul to me to keep
I'll lock it in a box and prick it with a pin
And you will never see morning again.
The lights go out...”

Five star reviews on Amazon

“A delightfully eccentric and funny collection… I found the book to be like a favourite record or cd that you will return to time and time again.”

“Coming out at night is the latest collection of poetry by the ever charismatic Rosie Lugosi… pure comic genius”

“Witty, entertaining, thought provoking, funny, sad and spooky all in one delicious package. I liked it so much, I had the cover picture tattooed on my thigh. No, really.”

Published in Poetry
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 16:47

Things I Did While I Was Dead

Things I Did While I Was Dead - Flapjack Press, 2010

Click to purchase book at Flapjack Press

Reviews:

‘Peerless and passionate award-winning poetry’

Powerfully articulating themes as diverse as relationships, childhood, serial-killers and gender, this passionate and thought-provoking collection showcases Rosie's affecting and award-winning poetry.

"Candid, tender and surprising, these are poems about love and longing, myth and mirrors, the self and the other self. Things I Did While I Was Dead packs a powerful punch" - Jackie Kay MBE, poet & novelist

"One of the country's finest performance poets" - Apples and Snakes

"She is the mistress of language, whether it's making you laugh or informing your emotions. Here is a courageous artist with guile and expertise in equal measure" - Gerry Potter, poet

Rosie's book is available from the Flapjack Press shop [via PayPal or cheque payable to Flapjack Press].

Poem example -

Angry Goddess Seeks Similar

Mary! Call the babysitter and let me
take you dancing. You used to be such a mover
before all that God wore you down to milquetoast plastic.
Blow your nose, remind your hips how to shimmy.
Show them how it’s done. Stick out your bloody tongue:
I’ll lend you my spare necklace of severed hero’s heads,
a set of brand-new steak-knives.
Aren’t you sick of their prayers? Their excuses?
Start by smashing what’s left of the wedding china;
ink your foot into the earth. Twist rage
into a rope trick and climb through your halo
up to where the dark is giddy. I’m laughing
sequins to light up the dancefloor. Write
your own horoscope. Make this your auspicious day.

Published in Poetry
Thursday, 04 October 2012 08:53

Everything Must Go

Everything Must Go Everything Must Go - Holland Park Press, 2012

Read one of the poems here:

A donor’s card

"There’s nothing here that I’ll be needing.
I don’t do souvenirs. No grave-goods,
no grave. No-one will do their back in
digging me a hole; nor have the job

of unpeeling rotten carnations from my marker.
Stretch me out in a place of arc-lights. Open me up.
Reveal my inner workings, the plot twist no-one was expecting.
Let the harvesting commence. May my heart thump love

in the warm nest of another’s ribs, my liver filter
someone else’s happy anniversary, my lungs give voice
to laughter and whistling out of tune at bus stops.
Lay me to rest under the bright faces, the white coats of angels."


Being told you have cancer is a life-changing event. Especially when you are a singer and performer and the diagnosis is throat cancer. Everything Must Go is Rosie Garland’s unflinching perspective on her relationship with the illness.
‘A wry look at what life can do to you, expressed with poetic clarity’ (Bernadette Jodh)
Neither melodramatic nor tearful, it paints vivid pictures, so you can see the waiting room or the ward and feel that you’re joining her on this journey. Rosie is a true performer and this shines through in the poems, which have a dynamic and rhythmic beat, especially when things get tough. Most importantly, she shows how any disease – and cancer especially – attacks your humanity and more specifically your femininity. Yet the way she puts this into words is also uplifting.

“Who is this stranger who crept in and stole my body, and left me with a sack of sticks?”
and
”Throwing up over the consultant when he asks you how you’re feeling.
Throwing up so hard it comes out of your nose.
Acquiring the skill of throwing up accurately.”

You can read each poem on its own, but together they tell the story of a journey. This is a rather rare occurrence in poetry collections and makes Everything Must Go something special.

‘Everything Must Go’
By Rosie Garland
Published by Holland Park Press
RRP £8.99 (paperback)
ISBN 9781907320224

Reviewed by Lynsey Evans in “Book a Poet”

“Wow. ‘Everything Must Go’ is breath-taking in its laid-bare honesty. Rosie Garland’s poems tell of her battle with cancer from the moment she’s told until she receives the news its in remission. It’s not a pitiful or melodramatic narration, or even negative – Rosie expresses her experiences; her initial numbness and shock, her hair loss, her sickness, the wanting to disappear, the hospital, the pain and weakness, the treatment, the loss of her femininity – it’s heart-breaking but Rosie is so strong in her poems that’s it’s somewhat uplifting. My personal favourites from the collection are ‘Camouflage’ and ‘Dignity’. Quite stunning and bought a tear to my eye.
Highly recommended”
Source: http://www.bookapoet.co.uk/book_reviews/book_reviews/august_2012/

Published in Poetry
Friday, 28 October 2016 15:45

As In Judy

Now available!
Rosie Garland’s new collection of poems, ‘As In Judy’.

Flapjack Press, 2016

I wish to express heartfelt gratitude to Char March for her generous editorial input, without which this collection would be far weaker.
And to Ruth Fainlight, for her inspiring suggestion that ‘As In Judy’ would make a great title.

‘The reason I love Rosie’s work so much is that she provides food for thought. She addresses issues that need addressing, and imagines the inner and outer landscapes we all inhabit with eloquence and grace. Shed your light, Rosie.’ David Hoyle 2016

 

 

  A poem from the collection:

 
 
When You Grow Up

At night, she leaps and does not land. Spreads her arms and soars
above the fenced and neatly weeded garden. Her dreams
are practice sessions where she lifts cars, sees through walls, fights

dragons. She is a pirate captain, a queen, a horse. She is neither girl
nor boy: the distinctions are irrelevant when her small body encompasses
male and female; human, beast. A turbulent child figure-heading

the prow of her beaked ship, she buckles on armour, rescues
princesses from charming princes and spinning wheels,
fearless of the shapes beneath the bed. Too soon

she hears the summons: Breakfast! Now!
Blinks this world into focus. Hushes battle cries,
sheathes her sword between the pages of her book.

Every bedtime her mother tucks in
the sheet of marriage, husband, children: tucks it in tight.

© Rosie Garland 2016

 

Published in Poetry
Thursday, 13 August 2020 13:51

Flash Fiction: online journal highlights 2020

Delighted to highlight some of my flash stories published in 2020.

‘The correct hanging of game birds’ in X-R-A-Y (June 2020)
Click link to read - http://x-r-a-y.com/the-correct-hanging-of-game-birds-by-rosie-garland/fiction/

‘Facts of matter’ was Highly Commended in the Litro Flash Friday Isolation Competition, 2020.
Click link to read - https://www.litro.co.uk/2020/06/highly-commended-flash-story-isolation-theme-facts-of-matter/

‘Waiting for time to catch up’ – featured in the New Flash Fiction Review ‘Disneyland is Closed’ issue 21, May 2020
http://newflashfiction.com/rosy-garland/

‘The first man on the moon’ won First prize in the Lunate 500 Flash Fiction competition, 2020.

“This is what flash can do; condense a moment, a scenario, a dream, and commit to it utterly. The details are just fantastically vivid and unexpected, harkening to an era of apothecaries, leather-bound tomes, angels and demons as corporeal as the rest of us. A delight in tiny form.” Helen McClory (judge)
Click link to read - https://lunate.co.uk/lunate500/lunate-500-winner-the-first-man-on-the-moon-by-rosie-garland

‘Heirlooms’ – in Loss Lit, issue 10 (2020)
Click link to read - http://losslit.com/feature/heirlooms/

Published in Short Stories

i was honoured to be inaugural Writer-in-residence at The John Rylands Library, Manchester from 2018-2019.

Photos by Jill Jennings. Please contact for permissions.
http://www.jilljennings.com/

Published in Gallery

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