Wednesday, November 18, 2009

La Liz Gallagher est arrivé





TFE: Hello Liz and you are most welcome to EEjit castle. Not to keep like, just to visit. Jimmy The Butler has made up a nice comfy bed in the solar.Come on into the Throne room and sit down by the fire, mind you don't trip over Dylan Thomas, he's beaten his record of 18 straight whiskeys and is sleeping it off. I'll bring you through to meet the other guests when we've had a chat.
(Looks like Jimmy is enjoying your book Liz.)


LIZ: Hi TFE,it's a pleasure to be here with you and Mrs TFE in the Castle. I can now see where the mystery element comes into play. It is indeed a wonderful place and Jimmy, the Butler is just like the character from Joe Orton's play 'What the Butler Saw...' might try to have a private word with him later... (joking!); ) And Mollie is looking a treat, I can see she has settled in well here, what a lucky dog.


MOLLIE: Well Liz as you know us Collies are highly intelligent and I have to say that your book is one of the best debut collections I have ever read.And thank you,yes, I am happy here ,though my owners are, I have to confess, a right bunch of feckin EEjits and the fat baldy one is rarely sober.

TFE: Ah, thanks Liz but the luck was all ours the day we got Mollie The Collie, we all love her to bits.


LIZ: TFE, I know you have an avid following of guests and sure hope they enjoy the visit...my oh my, what an amazing number of bottles you have, TFE, all the better to drink the house dry, I suppose. Can't wait to start clinking glasses with all those guests, Scooby is bound to find a ghost here and Lassie will come to someone's rescue no doubt, the gathering round Oscar will be massive, mustn't let him bog down John Wayne, the quiet man that he is...can't wait to see all the interaction...should make for a great night, hope the camcorder is running...
Thanks again TFE for going to all this trouble, you are definitely the host-it with the most-it...


TFE: Not a bother Liz and yes the whole place is full of camcorders, I'm hoping to make a fortune in blackmail by threatening to post stuff on Youtube.here have a glass of poteen, Maris piper this one bit cloudy but still good.
Now Liz, how do you write your poetry, they read almost like they come out in one inspirational genius gush, or stream of consciousness, but if not , how long do they take to write? Also if they are more crafted then it makes them even more amazing, to be able to think controlled thoughts as wonderful as yours. (is that a question or a statement??) How do you do that? Do you even know? Do you fully know what you have written before you read it?


Liz: TFE, I am a big believer in daily writing, even though I'm not actually doing that now due to having to put poetry to the oneside for a while this year. I have written most of my work while under pressure to get a poem out each day while doing the 30:30 challenges in ITWS that I have talked of before (in Arlene's interview http://arleneang.blogspot.com/). It is a mixture of free-writing or more provocatively known as mental-rioting ; )...I get an image and go with it or I write into the screen in invisible colour text for 10 minutes or more to see where that takes me and then I do a massive re-read and sorting out, using my words and phrases collections from my notebooks and generally trying to guide things along. Sometimes, it works and other times it can be very messy and then I usually just save it for another day ….or I may extract a line or two and use that to take me somewhere else. I rarely set out to write on a particular theme and never know where the poem is going until things start clicking into place near the end...the poem is usually finished in one foul sweep....I return to the poem a few weeks later to tighten up and re-draft...usually, I never do more than three or four drafts but sometimes there can be a tricky one that I really want to work with and it might take up to 7 or 8 drafts, my top number to date. Generally though, the essence and bones of the poem is done in one sitting. I have to feel surprised by the poem myself to know that I can work on it further...if I don't get that 'kicking alive/surprise' element then I usually abandon the poem....but salvage some general ideas/phrases/images.



TFE: I love that image of 'Mental rioting' that really is what a poem should be! And I like the idea of invisible writing too, just waiting to see what you have at the end.

Brendan Behan: Jaysus Liz that's a mighty book you've written, I loved every scrap of it. Have you tried mixing the poteen with Drambuie and Cider? Lovely.



Shane MacGowan: Wheeere ...............2 mins pause ............ THEFUUGHHAMMI?


TFE: You're grand, Shane, you're at EEjit castle with Brendan, remember? You always wanted to meet him. Here sit yourself down and have another pint of poteen and some Tayto.


Shane:Are.....theeey.....cheese....and.........................................................Onion?


TFE: Yip.


Shane: Grand. (laughs like Mutley out of Wacky races and falls over)


TFE: I'm also fascinated, Liz, that you use little noteboks and are always losing them,it would be a lovely thing for a stranger to find but have you ever lost a great poem, line or thought in one? How do you cope with that or are you so prolific that it doesn't matter.I' thinking of Garrison Keillor who lost his 1st Wobegon novel and never got over it,thought it his best and has spent the rest of his life trying (unsuccesfully in his opinion) to recreate it.



Liz: It would be awful to actually lose a novel...I have lost notebooks, the last one I left behind on the plane coming back from Ireland, I think it was after the summer of 07. I usually take lots of notes in Ireland and was really disappointed to lose it...the notebook didn't contain full poems as such. I didn't try to remember what was in the notebook...I just tried to forget about it and actually felt embarrased at the idea of somebody finding it and hoped I had not left any identifying details on it...
Another notebook that I remember losing was on a beach in Greece. It fell out of my rucksack and I didn't discover that the front pocket of my rucksack was open until I was half way across the beach....it was really crowded and warm and I didn't have the energy nor the wherewithall to go back and look...so I just kept going!
I wish I could lose notebooks in ordinary places and then there might be a chance of finding them. : )
But yes, generally I am a big notebook user, I type poems into the screen but keep notebooks nearby.

TFE: You only started writing quite recently,why is this and what prompted you and what made you want to publish a book?

Liz: I started writing about 4 years or so ago, I had over-saturated myself with academic study at that stage and wanted to escape into a different type of writing world. I found myself browsing writing forums. I came across the BBC Get Writing site (which is now defunct), joined it and pulled out from under the bed a biscuit tin box of poems, written over 15 years previously. I had never shown them to a living being before...I eventually plucked up the courage to re-read them and I remember publishing the first one to the forum and being absolutely terrified. Luckily, I 'met' some wonderful people there and got great feedback and learned to give feedback.....it became addictive and set the ball rolling for writing more poems. One of the people who encouraged me a lot in my writing was Jenni Doherty, another Donegal woman, and prominent member of the Get Writing site, a great writer herself and an ex-member of The Poetry Chicks. She works for Guildhall Press in Derry and at that time she began editing a book of creative works from women writers in the North West of Ireland and I was very lucky to have some poetry and photographs selected. The name of the book was Eve: A Celebration of Creative Women from publishers Guildhall Press (http://www.ghpress.com/pub_detail.php?publicationId=530). This was one of my first experiences of being published and it was very exciting.
A year or so later, I joined Inside The Writers' Forum (ITWS) and met very accomplished writers who had been published widely and who encouraged me to submit my work to magazines, both online and print. So I really started publishing in the States before submitting to UK and Irish magazines. I became very disciplined in my writing and did daily challenges with the poets from ITWS. I also won a few competitions which helped me develop some faith in my work.
(TFE, sorry this is going to be rather long-winded...)....so getting on to why I decided to seek book publication...I had heard about SALT publishing from different sources online and last Oct. I began checking out the type of work they published and their general philosophy and liked it a lot. Out of sheer curiosity and with no definite intent, I checked their website and saw that they were looking for submissions for The Crashaw Prize, I read the conditions of entry and was disappointed to see that because I lived in Spain I couldn't enter. I sent an e-mail to Chris, the director of Salt. to ask if he had a general submission period that wasn't connected to The Crashaw Prize and he replied that I could send him 6 poems whenever...within a few days I had selected 6 poems and sent them to him. The next day, he e-mailed and asked me to send a full collection of poems for consideration. I was excited and motivated by his speedy response and I had more or less 70 or so poems that I began organising into sections and sent them to him within about 2 weeks. Around Christmas time, Chris replied to say that he was interested in the collection but wanted me to take out one section that I had which was related to the theme of 'Poems about poems' and to forward him the collection again with that section removed and about 10 other poems to take their place. In about a week or so, I forwarded the collection again. Actually, the way I found out SALT was going to definitely publish me was in a sort-of-roundabout way.... In January, I think, Chris had put a list of the writers he was going to publish in 2009 up on Facebook and my name was on the list. I was on Facebook at the time but was not very active on it so didn't see the list...Irish poet, Barbara Smith, sent me a congratulatory note saying she saw my name there....and that was how I discovered it...I sent an e-mail to Chris asking him if it was really true and he replied Yes! So really, I suppose, I am a total slush-pile poet! ; ) It all happened so fast that it is only now I've had time to reflect on the sheer-speed of it all as it has just been a year between submitting to Salt and having a 4 month old book ….I was lucky in that it was my first and only experience of submitting the full collection.
TFE, time has flown by. I have so enjoyed talking to you, I hope I didn't go on too much for your readers and guests but the poteen may have made me get slightly carried away...now it is time for a re-fill, must circulate, Amy Winehouse looks pretty lonely, think I'll say hello...
TFE, just to say that next week, on Thursday the 3rd of December, I'll be with Rachel in Scotland visiting her very popular 'More About the Song – Rambling with Rachel Fox' Blog http://crowd-pleasers.blogspot.com/ I am very much looking forward to that even if her questions are tricky and unusual but certainly interesting....; ) !






TFE: Well Liz it's been great talking to you glad you're enjoying the poteen and don't worry the blindness is only temporary.I'm really looking forward to Rachel's questions in December. We better go through now to the Great Hall with the other guests. Elbow are kicking off the entertainment and here is a virtual reproduction as a taster.Great video but one fatal flaw......I think they spelled Condom wrong... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hooPU2mdsH4
Later Shirley bassey will be singing 'Goldfinger' with Frank Sinatra and Padre Pio,I'm really looking forward to that.
In the meantime look what one glass of poteen can do to a human. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gK2kyXYIkew (Mr Dominic 'I only have eyes for you ' Rivron)
If anybody else would like to sing a song, or recite a poem ,do a dance etc just post a link in the comments.
Don't forget everybody to leave a comment on either mine or Liz's blog http://agcaint.blogspot.com/ saying you'd like to enter the prize draw to win a free (signed!) copy of 'The Wrong Miracle' posted to anywhere in the world ,even Carlow. And finally many thanks to the talented ArtSparker http://artsparktheatre.blogspot.com/ for the brilliant drawing of Shane MacGowan in the header.

38 comments:

willow said...

Well done, Eej. Excellent interview with Ms Gallagher. It was fun to see I'm not the only one who has little notebooks scattered around to jot words and phrases into.

Yes, please do put my name in the drawing!! I've got my fingers crossed. (and toes) I'm feelin' sooo lucky!

Jeanne Iris said...

Perfectly superb perspectives from two potently poteened poets! I enjoyed this immensely and look forward to Liz's visit to my humble blog in January, when Connecticut will be in the midst of either a bitterly cold, blustery, blizzardy Nor'easter or the annual January Thaw.

Thanks much! Hope you enjoyed the uisce beatha. Please be sure to add my name to the drawing, Sir.

ArtSparker said...

Wow, this is a very heartening story about creative recognition. Limbering up here for swinging from the chandelier - please count me in for the book draw.

Rachel Fox said...

Lovely phrase the mental rioting. I am the opposite I think...in mental riot the rest of the time and calmer when I'm writing poetry!
Hence our fairly opposing styles perhaps.

Interesting conversation, you two.
x

Titus said...

Ah, illumination for a dark, dark day!

Lovely interviewing TFE, and knew I was really going to enjoy it when Liz Gallagher mentioned John Wayne and The Quiet Man. One of my few favourite films which doesn't feature Charlton Heston.

I found the bit about free-writing very interesting, and the whole idea of writing invisibly to screen seems insane - yet obviously works for this poet. And, as ArtSparker says, so good to read about creative work being recognised.

If I don't win the draw I shall purchase soon, and look forward to the interview at Rachel's. Cheers to both of you.

Poetikat said...

I really enjoyed this interview, Liz and TFE.
Liz, your journey towards publication is inspiring for someone like myself who is treading a somewhat similar path.
Your book looks fantastic! I do love the cover and I'm sure if it's anything to go by, the work inside is stellar!
(I hope I win a copy, but if not, I can always get my husband to buy me one for Christmas, can't I?)

TFE, Shane is looking exceedingly well in your header. I've never seen him look so good! Is he on a health kick? Did he get his teeth done? I'm astounded.

Off now to corner, PP. See you later. (Look for me in a large black hat with an ostrich feather. I just feel like being a bit flamboyant for some reason. Oh, and pass the grog!

Mollie's a corker, by the way.

P Nolan said...

mental rioting - I think I've been doing a bit of that, unawares like. Great interview - nice and chatty.

Me want book please!

the watercats said...

Excellent and interesting interveiw! I used to be a member on that get writing site, it was a real shame that it got defuncted. It's an interesting thing about the use of invisible writing.. i like that! and lovely notebooks! It's such a romantic idea to travel around losing notebooks :-)

It's nice to hear of someone actually making a go of writing too, I send my best wishes on to the lady! Thank you for sharing!

Sandra Leigh said...

Sorry to be late, TFE - but I had to round up Leonard Cohen, and that's not always easy. He's here now, though, and we're on our way to the poteen barrel.

I enjoyed your interview with Ms. Gallagher, especially the part about writing in invisible ink. What a great addition to my NaNoWriMo toolbox! We're not supposed to look back as we write our NaNovels, just keep moving forward. Writing in invisible ink would make that a given. Thank you - and please do enter my name in the draw.

Oh, and the poteen? Wow.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Hello Willow.Tankxs for dropping by.Another notebooker? Me too. You're in the draw.Good luck! Oh it's so exciting.Must go Alexander the great has fallen off his horse onto Amy Winehouse and she's beating seven shades of shite outa him.

Totalfeckineejit said...

You're in the draw Jeanne.G'luck with that.And looking forward to some intelligent questoonies in ole Connectandcut in 2010!

Totalfeckineejit said...

The chandelier has been polished specially, we are all ready for you Sparkey,borrow Alex TG's horse and reach up.Tankxzs a million for the brilliant pic of Shaney Mac!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Mental rioting struck a chord with me too.Interesting that your writing is the calm time, Padhraig Nolan said the same.Looking forward to spot onthe Maximus Miracle tour.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Isn't a totalt feckin dark day Titus? We have lashing rain cascading down the windows and the moat is flooded.Win or buy the book ,either way ye cannae lose! Tangxzs ye Titus.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Here's the grog , Kat, with a straw and a little paper umbrella just for you! Just take the skin out, it'll be fine, you won't notice the tate of bleach after the fourth drink.Sparkey draws Shane in his younger days, which is how I remember him best.And tankxs we really do love Mollie.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Thanks for dropping by Padhraig and good luck with the launch of your anthology.Yer in it to win it, the draw that is.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Hello Watercats ,Yeh ,I love the idea of invisible writing too! Don't know how you do it,but I just keep typing without looking at the screen(or breathing) till the yoke is out.Intersesting thatye were on the same writing site, I'd never heard of it before.You in the draw?

Totalfeckineejit said...

Sandra Leigh, great to have you here. You're not late Parties often last several days or until the hooch runs dry.Thanks for bringing Leonard, will he sing Allelujah and the Chelsea Hotel later?
Invisible ink, it's the way to go.I sign all my cheques with it.Glad ye likes da moonshine!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Hello TFE and Liz - really enjoyed the interview! How awful to lose notebooks - I write notes on bits of paper, so if they get lost it's not too much!

I'd love to enter for the draw! Will you post it to anywhere beyond the world too?

The aniseed liqueur is in the carrier bag with some Gleeful & Greedy Custard Pudding. Necky Becky has gone to find Jedward to dance with - she says they've really got the Nex Factor!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Phew! Just about made it to the poteen party (and am bringing my blackberry whisky and sloe vodka too) - enjoyed your interview - I felt it was greatly enhanced by the views of your dog too, so often they are left out of things and many of them are deep thinkers. The books sounds great - add to to the draw please -
The interview was most interesting - hope you didn't mind me attending in my yellow mini skirt (last worn circa 1964) - I have been waiting all these years for just such an occasion to wear it again - it was my favourite garment of all time. Lovely poteen party - found it hard to leave though as there were so many bodies to climb over on the way out. That Dylan had really had a skin full.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Whey! Weaver, great to see you and thanks for the sloe vodka,ours has been going quite quickl! You look a knockout in that yellow mini, nobody wears cars anymore.DT is a hardy boyo he was crawling round on all fours barking like a dog till he passed out.Best of luck in the draw Weaver, don't leave yet, the night is but young,here have a glass of the rare ould drop and relax. Old blue eyes is singing next, followed by Frank Sinatra.

Dominic Rivron said...

Evening!

Che very kindly offered me a lift on his motorbike. We've brought a couple of sleeping bags and I guess there's room under the kitchen table for the two of us as I don't rate out chances on the bike plastered and I'd hate to break the ukulele. I was going to wear my best Che Guevara t-shirt but I feel a bit bashful about that when out with the man himself.

I quite often embarrass myself at parties and I think tonight should be no exception. I just imagined what it would be like to down half a bottle of your hard stuff and picked up the ukulele. It's pretty rough! (Having a cold helps). If you can play the spoons, jam along.

Interesting interview - especially the bits about getting the creative juices flowing and "mental rioting".

Michelle said...

Mollie the Collie, mental rioting, invisible colour text, lost notebooks and temporary blindness - I've been in my element. Thank you, TFE and Liz!

Totalfeckineejit said...

The second Giraffe we've ever had in the castle in over 20 years! you are most welcome ,Raph.
Nex factor?Ha Ha, and thanks a million for the aniseed liquer ,it shold add a bit of colour to the poteen punch that Brendan(Behan) is making. The book can be delivered to even beyond the mysterious beyond, so you are in the draw.Good luck and mind you don't bang your head on ArtSparker, she swinging(and singing) from the chandelier.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Welcome Dominic and brilliant guest! Does Che ever wear a Che Tshirt I wonder? Motorbikes and TVR's are the only way to travel.Can't wait to hear you play the Uke.Always thought Uke not Nuke would be a much better phrase than make love not war. If you can't embarrass yourself at a party where the hell can ye? Poteen will cure the cold, it might kill you, but still.... go for it!
Ps. that's a brilliant rendition of Nancy Spain, I like the quickened tempo.Iknow poteen affects the eyes but that is ridiculous!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Hello Michelle, thanks so much for coming.You are so right a party isn't a party without Riots, temporary blindnessand notebooks!
You in the draw?

Totalfeckineejit said...

Ps Dom, I've put you on the party playlist.

Heather said...

Mollie obviously has brains as well as beauty, and is very well read. You must have had a great time with that interview and the celebrations with all your other wonderful guests. I couldn't join you as I'm still trying to shake off this wretched cold and didn't want to bring my germs to you. No doubt the poteen would have killed any infections but I didn't like to risk it.

Liz said...

Hello,
Lovely to meet all of you...just awakening from a touch of drunken slumberitis brought on by the ever-ready poteen TFE had left on the mantlepiece in supposed safe-keeping...my head is lifting...about to down a black coffee, Wild West style, will see you all for the grand finale of boogeying on down TFE's castle road...; )

(Straw hat filling with names...willing to post to moon if need arises :) Thanks! Good luck in the draw!

Liz said...

The black coffee has kicked in...and I am in the midst of getting blown away by Dominic's rendition of Nancy Spain... am swaying and clicking spoons like an all poteened-up person...brillaint, Dominic, it has made my eyes go pop-a-doo too...cheers ; )

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Who was the first giraffe, TFE???? Necky Becky didn't get there before the rest of us, did she?

Barry said...

I would like to say I enjoyed your interview with Liz Gallagher, but after a full day in chemotherapy and a exhausting drives with a mixture of rain and rush hour traffic, your words are refusing to stay still on the computer screen.

I promise to return tomorrow and bring a bottle of Newfie Screech, Canada's answer to poteen.

kerrycharacters said...

Enjoying your blog - great interview technique!

kerrycharacters said...

And of course please count me in for the book draw.

非凡 said...

I'm appreciate your writing skill.Please keep on working hard.^^

davir said...

It was a very interesting interview. I wish I could read this book, it looks great! The way of Liz is very inspiring and interesting, too. And... I'm glad to see Mollie here at least. :)

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

I'm totally late to the party - sorry guys. Brilliant interview, well done both. I can't believe Liz is only writing 4 years!! Amazing woman! I love The Wrong Miracle.
Nuala x
p.s. Any poteen left over by any chance?!

Liz said...

TFE, just came for a dander to see how the clean-up process was coming along...and have gotten the shock of me life to see that Blogger has chewed up my comments and most likely spat them to hell and back....(sobbing noise to be heard)...this has happened at Nuala's Blog too....there is something afoot here or maybe it is just me and I ain't seeing right...'tis still dawn with me after all...

Nuala, thanks for calling by, hope there was a little poteen left for you and that you didn't get talked into having to help Jimmy with the massive clean-up!