dreadful-monster

If you click this link, you’ll find my snappily named poem ‘The creature runs through the Arctic ice, pursued by Doctor Frankenstein’, just published at Cordite. The issue has the name ‘Monster’ and was edited by Nathan Curnow. I’ve been sitting on that monster of a poem for ages, so it’s nice to see it out and about.

There are some wondrous monstrous things lurking there, so do have a read. If you dare. (I always wanted to write that sentence.)

FrankenFriday the first

March 20, 2015

As we move towards 2016, and the 200th anniversary of the night when Mary Shelley came up with the story of Frankenstein, I intend to blog from time to time about the author, her circle, and her creation. Friday will be my posting day, as you may gather from the header.

Mary Shelley’s Cookbook

Bind this book
in the skin of man.
Keep your place marked
with fingers,
or tongues to taste
the lineaments.
Take kidneys, lights and liver
and animate the contents
with diseased and wandering imagination.
Forget your sex.
Just write.

‘Diseased and wandering imagination’ is from an early review of Frankenstein in The British Critic. Possibly the first reviewer to realise that the author was female, the writer criticised Shelley for ‘forgetting the gentleness of her sex’. I think, somehow, that ‘The British Critic’ was most often a white man…I stand to be corrected.
liver

Here I am playing with what was seen as a proper interest for middle class women, in at least overseeing a household’s consumption of food, and contrasting it with Shelley’s recipe for creating a novel in which a man was scientifically constructed.

As with cooking, he was made of various ingredients, and heated…at least in some filmic versions of the tale. In the novel itself, lightning is not used as the means to vivify the creature, although the phenomenon does appear in the book, almost as a character in its own right. The Modern Prometheus is the book’s subtitle, and Prometheus was tortured by the Gods for giving people the secret of fire.

A bird ate his liver, again and again.

Thiel Grant Shortlist

March 11, 2015

https://teacherintherye.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/thiel-grant-shortlist

Who is the only shortlisted person to use words in capitals in their application title…THAT WOULD BE ME!

Yes, I am shortlisted for Philip Thiel’s grant for on-line writing. My suggestion is to look forward to the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley creating the story of Frankenstein, and to blog about the book, the author, her times and the science. Also, I would consider the use of Frankenstein in culture generally, and how the book seems even more vital today. Gender, genius and monsters; literature, film, science and ethics. A big stack of of material there! Eight feet high like the creature himself.

I must say that it is an honour to be shortlisted with such a great list of on-line writers.

The winner will be announced next week, and receives $5000 to blog for a year on the short-listed topic.

A celebratory tipple

A celebratory tipple

UPDATE 18/3/15:
https://teacherintherye.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/thiel-grant-winner/
Congratulations to Patrick Lenton who won the grant. I look forward to following his blog.

I think I’ll still be writing about Mary Shelley here, but perhaps a little less intensively than if I had won.