It's been a big day - this morning I graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Master of Science in Creative Writing. Exciting! But it's also sadly the last time I'll see many of my coursemates who live in other countries. A bittersweet day of events.
SO, I thought I'd cheer myself up by posting some Edinburgh-Uni-related huge news! Three of my poems have been accepted for the upcoming Czech issue of Edinburgh Review.
My poems are titled 'Malá Strana', 'Hands' and 'Vodník'.
I've not been to the Czech Republic myself, so instead did tons of research in anticipation of the theme, exploring folklore (my favorite!) and the contemporary Czech writing I could find online.
The Vodník in Czech folklore is very similar to the Kappa in Japanese folklore (which I've written a poem about for Sidekick Books' new Obakarama anthology - more on this later). Both of these are similar to nixies, sirens, water sprites, rusalka or Naiads in various folklore, and I just thought it very interesting how so many cultures create the same stories/creatures to explain away the mysteries of the sea. We're all thirsty to create meaning to make sense of what is unknown or threatening.
I'm really lucky and pleased to be included in the Edinburgh Review. More about the ER from their homepage:
"Essayist and critic William Hazlitt once commented: 'To be an Edinburgh Reviewer is, I suspect, the highest rank in modern literary society.' Numbered among our nineteenth-century contributors were Sir Walter Scott, Thomas Carlyle and William Ewart Gladstone; more recently, James Kelman, Janice Galloway, A.L. Kennedy, Kei Miller, Tom Leonard, Meaghan Delahunt and Tracey Emin have all contributed to the journal.
The current editor, Brian McCabe, continues the practice of presenting work by established and emergent writers. Under his editorship which began in 2006 while he was Writer-in-Residence at Edinburgh University, each issue offers a view into a particular culture or region."
Recent issues have focused on Iraq (with Andrew Philip's translations of Sinaan Antoon), Scotland (including Jennie Renton's interview with T.S. Eliot prize winner Jen Hadfield), Turkey and China. Each issue offers a really neat peek into a different slice of the literary world.
The issue following Czech (#129), will focus on Japan and I can't wait to see what they'll have in store for that!
Of course, all issues, current and past, are available to buy online from the Edinburgh University online payment system: Get your copy today for just £5.99! Just in time for the holidays!