Hometown Reading – 23 December – Blackstone Library

December 13, 2010

That’s right! I’m coming home to Branford. I’m bring books. We’re drinking warm cidery booze, we’re listening to music from John Farias, we’re hearing poems and stories from me. Please, if you are in the North East (or around Branford, I guess), come come come. I hope to see you there!

You can check out the book and EVEN BUY IT — HERE!!!

Dec. 23rd. 7pm.- Blackstone Library, Branford, CT — FREE FREE FREE
Ryan Van Winkle and Friends
Poems from Ryan Van Winkle’s prize-winning début collection ‘Tomorrow, We Will Live Here ‘.
Music from John Farias.
Free drinks and nibbles.

This is a terse, tough début by an award-winning American poet with punch in the language. What you find here is the grist of life – death, love, sex, departure – honed by a voice obsessed with the gravity, fear and the humour of being human. Van Winkle’s understated, plain spoken, narrators are as diverse as the America they live in – the lonely night nurse, the conflicted son of a preacher, and the cross-country runner – are all ill at ease in the world. Through road kill, September 11th, and death row they address their own bitter faults with noir-like melancholy, seeking redemption and absolution.



‘Tensions and exchanges between the generations, together with a fearless scrutiny of the self, distinguish this driven and forceful collection.

Here is a new and authentic voice with a punch in the language.’

Penelope Shuttle, author of Redgrove’s Wife (Bloodaxe, 2006)


“This luminous collection begins with the workings of the author’s ghost and ends on a bar stool contemplation of days lived and quietly lost. In between is all the richness and wonder of things. Like a ghost, he returns again and again to concern himself with the workings of the dead, gravity, the passage of time; growing up and growing old. If he had picked up a guitar rather than a palette,  these are the songs Edward Hopper would have sung. They are songs of the season past, of the waning day, of the half lived life.  But there’s nothing melancholic about this book – far from it – the poems are shot through with light, with a determined joy. Van Winkle’s strength as a poet lies in his ability to focus on the quiet epiphanies that transform loss into wonder and wonder into art.”

John Glenday, author of Grain (Picador, 2009)


“’Let the dust dance/ in the shotgun/ beams’…Van Winkle lights a Tom Waits lightbulb in these melodic snapshots, an elegy to the loved, the lost, the fallen, and to America itself.” Emily Ballou, The Darwin Poems

‘These are thrilling poems in a confident and rich collection.’Tom Pow, author of Dear Alice (Salt 2008)

Golden Hour – Winter Warmer.

December 9, 2010

THE GOLDEN HOUR gets fa-la-la-la festive!

December 15th, 2010
Forest Cafe, 3 Bristo Pl
Free! Free! Free! (byob)


Samuel Taradash + Jarred McGinnis – Release a special double chapbook, boom!

Jason Morton – the annual roar

Tim Turnbull – Beware the tinselled Succubus

Ben Lancaster – Live from Canada with Holiday Tidings.


Pockets & Alex — Fantastic Uke Boogies!!!

Forest Choir – A full chorale opens their lungs.

John Langan Band – Do you like the party?

Feel Good – Buy a Book

December 8, 2010

Good Books are Chapbooks

In our continued quest to keep The Forest alive and in Edinburgh (you DO know, Berlin and Bristol are nice cities too, folks!) I remind you that Forest Publications has supported a lot of great writers through the publication of beautiful chapbooks. These are excellent, reasonably priced collections of stories and poems which we’ll mail to you in time for the holidays. This is just one of the many ways that The Forest has helped support Edinburgh’s artistic community over the past decade. I bet you are curious about what else The Forest has done. I’m glad you asked. You can download this brilliant press pack to learn all about why YOU (yep, unfortunately, Forest needs YOU) should dig deep and  pitch in. Here’s the Press Pack. And here’s a link to the Guardian Blog which is growing every day. And, below, you’ll find a list of all the chapbooks we’ve made and links to where you can buy them. All proceeds will go to the Buy The Forest funds.



Forest Publications
3 for £5 Special Deal!

Item Details: A selection of three chapbooks from the Forest Publications Chapbook series for a bargainous £5! Choose which ones you want  and we’ll ship them right to you. (Or leave it blank and we’ll send you our favourites!) Save on postage by buying in bulk!

Choose THREE Issues: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.51, 1.52, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 1.10, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7

Amount: £5+ P&P

Item Details: Vol.2 Iss.7 ‘Swimming Pools and Gardens’
Author: Nalini Paul

Excerpt from The Speaking Sea

White breakers send words
convey messages for miles
waves murmur blue lament.

The swell sighs
breathes meaning
exhales anticipation.” Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.2 Iss.6 ‘It Starts So Sweetly’
Author: Lynsey May

Excerpt from A Taste
“…you were not like anyone who’d been this close before and not at all the way I imagined, and the buzzing in my head was so loud I didn’t know why you froze. Until I heard my mum shouting hello from the hall as she laid down crinkling plastic bags of shopping. We embarked…” Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.2 Iss.5 ‘Mosquitoes’
Author: Krystelle Bamford

from The House at Westerly, Rhode Island
The house was the sea.
Or a ship on the sea.
Or a deer-blind
deep in the woods.
From the deck, they watch bitterns
skulk at the hem of vernal pools,
while green-heads
bomb through the dusk.
Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.2 Iss.4 ‘Chicks Dig Scars’
Author: Katie Craig

I will never pull hair from a plug-hole without thinking of the ovarian cyst Celia had. It was made entirely out of hair and teeth – apparently that’s what cells find it easiest to mutate into… Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.2 Iss.3 ‘Snow’
Author: Chloe Morrish

bare trees, a crow shape
neatly cut out of the snow
behind it, the dark

the snowflake symbols
on the weather forecast
are all identical…
Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.2 Iss.2 ‘Parallax (For Justin)’
Author: Helen Mort

From While You Weren’t Listening
I heard the glass
say to the tabletop:
I like the way you hold me.
I heard the table
answer back:
I like the way you feel.
The barstools
thanked the floor
for all the nights it propped them up…
Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.2 Iss.1 ‘The Ones You’ve Had, The Ones You Get & The Ones You Want’
Author: Lawrie Clapton

Excerpt: There are plenty of great ways to introduce a story; you can start with a death, like Albert Camus, or you can start with rainfall, like Edgar Allen Poe, or a wedding, or an introduction, or an elaborate pratfall, drunk, down a set of stairs. Being original and being clever were never my strong suits – besides it should probably be with what you remember best that you start off a story. I remember the songs the best. This song is My Generation, by The Who, and… Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.10 ‘Vignettes from Below’
Author: Julia Boll

Excerpt: When the fires broke out, I was so high on endorphins I didn’t even notice the overwhelming stench of smoke. We had been sleeping on the roof of a warehouse, and Sean had woken me up by crawling into my sleeping bag and pushing up my shirt, his hair still smelling of the river, of oil and amphibian nightmares. But his hands were warm and insistent, and what he said was so filthy I momentarily forgot where we were.
So, yes. While the government set fire to its capital city, I was being fucked silly on top of the bonded store,…
Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.9 ‘Dreams of the City’
Author: Kirsti Wishart

Excerpt: The final straw was lying in wait for them on the doormat when they came back after a fortnight’s holiday. Both of them had taken turns trying to barge the door open until James brought out the thin wooden spatula Chris had laughed at him for taking. ‘See. Told you this would come in handy.’ After a good two minutes of shoving, the wad of paper jammed in the gap between door and floor, gave and… Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.8 ‘The Island’
Author: Craig Bayne

Excerpt: As the plane descended through clouds, and geometric wisps of coastline opened up before us, I looked down, taking in the enormity of the bible-black sea. We lowered, and the sharp colourless rocks of the cliff edge swung into view, stabbing up from the breaking waves. When I was a child, my father told me stories of brave seamen who, having disrespected the water with boasts of their own brilliance, had been wrecked upon these very rocks and drowned only metres from the island’s shore. I believed him, in the way a child always believes his father, and even today the fear lingered in me. Looking down from the sky, I still felt my own inferiority to the waves. Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.7 ‘Old and New’
Author: Jason Harrison Morton

Excerpt: I then drank in relative peace, until the requisite thoughts when I’m alone in any crowded place kicked in: What the hell am I doing here? Who are these people? Look at that guy – he looks like a dick. Wandering around the room, stirring around these unanswerable questions, and arguing with myself – maybe he just LOOKS like a dick – brings me back round, and the two girls both look at me and laugh – this time I’m certainly being fucked with – when I realize they’re right in front of me… Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.6 ‘The Last Refuge’
Author: Russell Jones

Excerpt: from Ghazal Jigsaw

From the small, closed window of our study table the stars are set
like the pieces of your space jigsaw. I ask if you’re any closer. The stars are set

you mutter as you slot another nook into the realised corner, and yet
you seem unsure which cosmos you’ve just pieced together. The stars are set

upon like foxes: your hands are hungry dogs. Your eyes are ready trumpets…Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.5.2 ‘Find It In The Dictionary’
Author: Fiona Morrison

Excerpt: dandelion, dan’di-li-en, n. a common yellow-flowered composite (Taraxacum officinale) with jagged-toothed leaves. [Fr. dent de lion, liontooth]

It was the first word she’d looked up in the dictionary and the first flower she’d ever picked. How the white whiskers that floated softly through the wind were anything like lions’ teeth she did not know. As she lay on the ground to reach the mass of white flowers that strained upwards to break free from the edge of the towering cliff, she had leaned in for the kill and blown them completely bare. All except one… Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.5.1 ‘Cover Story’
Author: Dave Coates

Excerpt: from Train to London

I give you birchwood. I give you
the white flowers of hawthorn.
I give you witchhazel and alder
with sunlight strobing through their branches.
You give me the fuzz-yellow buzzcut fields,
heather like coral, gaps in stone walls, a scarecrow,
faces of cliffs like ellipses, the sea,
the sea…
Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.4 ‘The Cats’ Gravity’
Author: Jane Flett

Excerpt: Suddenly you realize that if you could dare to hold eye contact, you could begin anything. There are entire subways packed with people with whom that is all it would take; catch their eye and hold it tight in your fists, keep it. Once you have it they will follow you anywhere, perhaps, leap headfirst into clouds that smell of burnt hair and insanity, that curdle like plastic in flames. Can you feel the incredible surge of opportunities, multiplying ferocious and exponential like amoebas? Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.3 ‘Here’s To Wang’
Author: Sandra Alland

Excerpt: from Sliced

Amy Winehouse sits on a patio in Camden Town. She is drinking. Amy Winehouse is in love again

In the recording studio, the sound man sheds a tear. This woman can sing. She also has fresh scabs up and down her left arm…
Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.2 ‘The Succubus’
Author: Ericka Duffy

Excerpt: Annika absentmindedly inspects the tear in the center of the cushion. She trails her fingernails down it, feeling, abstractly, as though the vinyl is skin, and the sponge inside guts, when she notices a crumpled piece of paper wedged down the side of the booth. She pries it out. It resembles a white carnation before she smooths the page against the tabletop… Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.1 ‘The Wolves’
Author: David Gow

Excerpt: Arch couldn’t rest. There was a wolf on the mountain that took his grouse and killed his deer and sometimes came down murderously amongst his farmer’s sheep. It was not a real wolf but an animal descended from the dogs he’d turned out to die or go feral, so it was no mystery why it knew and despised him especially… Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

A Note To Our Overseas Customers:

If you’re buying more than one selection at a time to be dispatched abroad, you’ll find that our shopping-cart lacks the sophistication to combine the postage, but if you would care to send us an email at, either before or after you order, we will work out something more reasonable [BUT please be aware that our helpdesk isn’t manned 24/7, so please be patient in that regard. Thanks for supporting Forest Publications!!]

Tomorrow, We Podcast Here…

Ryan Van Winkle Audio Book Launch

It has been oddly embarrassing to have my own book released by Salt Publishing. The book (Tomorrow, We Will Live Here) won Salt’s 2009 Crashaw prize and is available in the UK and US. Colin Fraser, the man behind all these podcasts, thought it would be nice to do a little podcast in celebration. So, here we have it. A virtual book launch. For anyone who missed the events at Blackwells or down in London. Which, I suppose, is a lot of people. I hope you enjoy the podcast and, if you want, please buy my book. You can find it here — on the Salt Site for a reasonable price. Max, I apologize for the hype. x

Ryan Van Winkle by Ericka Duffy

Presenter Ryan Van Winkle turns the spotlight on himself for a change and recreates the reading he gave in Edinburgh this week for the launch of his first book, Tomorrow, We Will Live Here. Includes themes and language of an adult nature. Produced by Colin Fraser of Anon Poetry Magazine. Music by Ewen Maclean. Twitter: @byleaveswelive & @anonpoetry. Mail:

Subscribe with ITunes

Or subscribe without iTunes (RSS)Listen now…

Or download as MP3.

First published Saturday 20 November, 2010

About Ryan Van Winkle

Ryan Van Winkle Ryan Van Winkle is Reader in Residence at the Scottish Poetry Library. He runs a monthly literary cabaret called The Golden Hour and is an Editor at Forest Publications. He lives in Edinburgh but was born and spent most of his life in America. His work has appeared in New Writing Scotland, The American Poetry Review, AGNI, Northwords Now and The Oxford Poet series. He has won Salt’s Crashaw Prize and been shortlisted for the Bridport and Ver Poetry Prizes.

Hello Glasgow, Let’s Be Together.

December 7, 2010

Ryan At Words Per Minute!

I’m super pleased to be brining my book, Tomorrow, We Will Live Here, to Glasgow for the first time! And I’m double thrilled to be on such a lovely bill with old friends and new. It should be a wonderful evening and will be your chance to grab a copy of my new book. Hope to see you there, Glasgow friends. x

Sun 12 Dec 2010, The Arches, Glasgow


Words Per Minute

Spoken word, live music, film and performance on a Sunday afternoon.

Words Per Minute was set up in early 2010 by writer/performers Anneliese Mackintosh and Kirstin Innes, and after a very successful six months at Creation Studios and a high-profile collaboration with the Fence Collective, it’s coming to the Arches.

Previous acts have included novelists Ewan Morrison, Sophie Cooke, Rodge Glass, Suhayl Saadi, Duncan McLean, Doug Johnstone and Alan Bissett, musicians Adam Stafford, Swimmer One, Zorras, Eilidh MacAskill and DMC contender Bigg Taj, and performance from Gary McNair, Martin O’Connor and Kieran Hurley. Every acts gets ten minutes to impress the audience, no matter how famous they are, and it’s all rounded off with a set from resident DJ Miaoux Miaoux.

Coming up this month:
Performance from Kieran Hurley
Dark, sexy new stories from Kirsty Logan
Anarchic NYC poetry from Ryan Van Winkle
A live electronica set from Miaoux Miaoux
Christmas karaoke
+ more to be confirmed

Check out the photos from previous events on Flickr.

“In a short three months, Words Per Minute has enlivened the live literary scene in Scotland with its mix of genres and styles” The Herald

“A fine forum for the connections and collaborations that are the lifeblood of creativity” **** The Scotsman

11 December – A Free Poetry Workshop!

December 11: A Free Poetry Discussion For Everyone!

11 December — The Forest, 3 Bristo Place — 2pm

Fancy a poetry chat? Nothing But The Poem is a relaxed and informal way to meet and discuss poems. Moderated by ECL / SPL Reader-in-Residence Ryan Van Winkle.

* We read a poem * We discuss the poem * Only the poem we’ve read. * No Jargon * No experience needed * Nothing to fear * Nothing but the poem.

UltraChip vs Forest Colosure

December 6, 2010

You Lucky People!

Ultrachip VS Forest Closure Cover Art

Recent threats about the closure of  The Forest (a volunteer run, collectively owned, free arts and events space) has spurred the great folks on the Scottish Chip Music scene into creating an exclusive downloadable album! Wow. How cool! That means — with just £5 you can support The Forest and all the amazing things it does AND rock out to an awesome assemblage of cutting-edge music. How can you resist? I don’t know. For those of you who are unaware of the ChipMusic scene — Forest recently held a UltraChop festival which you can read about on the Guardian Blog — bringing these underground sounds to an unsuspecting Fringe Festival audience (for free!). Chip Music often uses video game consoles re-wired to create lush and unique new beats and melodies. If you have never heard it before, get your start here. It is for a good cause and it is a perfect introduction to a new breed of musician. Dig it.x

Buy UltraChip vs Forest HERE

The People’s Place

Mandy Haggith on McCaig and Assynt

I found speaking with Mandy Haggith about community activism, poetry, Norman McCaig and land ownership to be incredibly and informative. Mandy is not only a cyber-crofter, but a brilliant poet and wonderful story-teller. If you love art, community, culture, landscape and the environment — you will love listening to Mandy. She’s a wonderful writer and activist and I hope we see her again soon. For now, enjoy the podcast! R x

buds by Chris Scott

In the second of our Norman MacCaig themed podcasts, we chat with Mandy Haggith about her relationship with the Assynt loving poet and how his concerns about land ownership and respect for the landscape inform her own work and activism. Recorded at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Presented by Ryan Van Winkle. Produced by Colin Fraser of Anon Poetry Magazine. Music by Ewen Maclean. Twitter: @byleaveswelive & @anonpoetry. Mail:

Subscribe with ITunes

Or subscribe without iTunes (RSS)

Listen now…

Or download as MP3.

First published Thursday 11 November, 2010

About Mandy Haggith

Mandy Haggith Mandy Haggith is a poet, author and activist, who lives on an Assynt croft. Off-grid, away from the mainstream, but still plugged in via the phone line. Looking into the woods, out to sea and askance at consumerist society.

Mandy runs Top Left Corner, a community company which brings people together in Assynt, in the north-west highlands of Scotland, to create written and other artworks. Top Left Corner runs creative retreats, arts activities, events and competitions.

Steal Stories / Buy Forest

December 5, 2010

Save The Forest / Steal the Stories

As many of you know — The Forest is in real danger of losing their premises to property developers who may turn this vital community space into a Tesco, Costa Coffee, or Pub / Club Complex a la Frankenstein’s. Currently, The Forest is seeking community support and donations in order to BUY THE BUILDING and ensure there is an open and free social space for artists and organizers of all sorts to meet and play. Please help The Forest by making a donation or — if you can’t donate — consider Stolen Stories as an excellent Stocking Stuffer. It is crammed with great stories, has a beautiful cover by Martin McKenna and fits right in your pocket. Like all good stolen things. Love the arts / support the arts.  You can read more about The Forest campaign on The Guardian Blog.


Description: Never, ever trust a writer. They cluck and nod and listen and then, three months later, they splash your tragedy/foolishness/very embarrassing incident involving a raspberry jelly and a pair of warm curling tongs over the tawdry pages of a literary quarterly. We feel there is no shame in this.

Quite the opposite: we believe this ugly fact deserves to be celebrated with all the pomp and hullaballoo we can possibly muster. Therefore we have compiled an anthology of the finest stolen stories, the anecdotes and overheard conversations that simply demand to be told. We feel that it is time to be honest.

This is where our ideas come from. Read more!


‘A good series of entertaining stories.’ [Nat Smith, The Skinny]

Interview at Books from Scotland

Featured Authors:

  • Applesauce, Angus Woodward
  • Down on Luck, Lindsay Bower
  • Not Dead Yet, Lily? Ron Butlin
  • A Tree Guards the Road, Lucille Valentine
  • Covers, Rusty Harris
  • One Story Only, Alison Miller
  • I Would Never Eat a Tapir, Sarah Salway
  • Suck, Blow, Lauren Simpson
  • Tandem, Dinh Vong
  • Not Even an Ambulance Can Save You, Jo Swingler
  • The Death Queue, Regi Claire
  • Story, Louis E. Bourgeois
  • Red Wagon, Nicole Reid
  • King of Kings (of Leon), Craig Bayne
  • What is it That You Want? Alison Key
  • Teehanu, Nick Holdstock

Found in Translation

Get Your Foreign Friends to Read ‘Em To You

Along with my first ever full collection Tomorrow, We Will Live Here — November has seen a bunch of poems published in foreign magazines meaning you’ll be unlikely to read them. However, if you speak Turkish or Serbian, and have been dying to read my work — well, this is your lucky day!

This is all the outcome of the wonderful Word Express project which had me travelling in Serbia, Macedonia and Turkey earlier this month. The project involves dozens of excellent writers and translators who it has been a massive privilege to work with.

Many thanks to Milan Dobri?i? at Treci Trg who did the Serbian translations and to Efe Duyan Gokçenur Ç who did the Turkish work. And, of course, my deep appreciation for all the good people who put the Word Express project together.

If you visit the Word Express site you’ll find three short-shorts by  Alex Epstein (trust me, they won’t take long to read!) & Jasmina Topi?’s poetry in translation.

Here’s a run-down of where the work appeared:

November 2010: A translation of “A Raincoat, A Spell of Rain Ago” published in the Turkish magazine Akbük.

November 2010: Translations of “Babel” and “The Apartment” appear in the Turkish publication of the Word Express Anthology 2010

November 2010: Translations of “Untitled (Howe)”, “The Ocean I Call Mine”, “Window” & “Unfinished Rooms” appear in the Serbian magazine Treci Trg

And here’s a little video of me reading “The Apartment” at the  Nazim Hikmet Cultural Centre, Istanbul. This a wonderful bookshop, restaurant, cafe. If one is in Istanbul, one should find it. It reminded me of The Forest.

Ryan Van Winkle reads ‘Apartment’ from Literature Across Frontiers on Vimeo.