Thursday, November 20, 2008

Is That Really A Computer Screen In Front of You?


Only just noticed that it's World Philosophy Day today - though quite what that entails, I'm not sure. I would've found out sooner, too, but there doesn't look to me much media coverage (in this country at least), and Google haven't bothered to alter their iconic logo in honour of the event, as they usually seem to do for other, often much lesser, events. Mind you, as a friend of mine pointed out, how would Google pictorially interpret 'Philosophy' even if they decided they were going to? Answers on an e-postcard, please.

Little coverage aside, however, there's an interesting article by philosopher David Bain in the BBC online magazine, titled 'Four philosophical questions to make your brain hurt' (certainly one way to sell it). Reading through them, it was a pleasure to be reminded of some of the fundamental philosophical debates that've fascinated philosophers since the beginnings of ancient Greek civilisation (Ethics, Theory of Mind, Scepticism, Free Will vs Determinism); those which I enjoyed - and was occasionally infuriated by - when studying the subject during my years as an undergrad.

On the whole, it's obviously an article aimed at those who haven't approached philosophy in earnest before, but definitely worth a look for those who have, too. I think philosophy's an often underrated subject and it would be good to see a wider interest in it - especially in a time when rigorous, clear-headed and rational thinking is as important, and needed, as ever.

Oh, and for those who would accuse philosophers of lacking a sense of humour (as if Derrida weren't proof enough by himself), the caption that accompanies the article's image is a good 'un...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Sparks & Stingray Fevers - Launch Tomorrow

I'll be heading down to London tomorrow for the launch of the two newest editions to tall-lighthouse's Pilot series (publishing poets under the age of 30) - Emily Berry's Stingray Fevers and my own, The Sparks. Do come along if you're able - full details below.

For those who can't make it who want to get hold of the pamphlets, you can buy them from the TL website here (by PayPal or a cheque through the post).


tall-lighthouse invites you to celebrate the launch of two new poetry pamphlets:

stingray fevers emily berry
the sparks ben wilkinson


7pm Friday 14th November

@ The Aquarium L-13 Gallery
63 Farringdon Road, London EC1M 3JB

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Current Issues

A little update on the mag front: I've poems in recent issues of Poetry London (No.61), The London Magazine (Aug/Sept 08) and the revamped Magma (no.42), which also has an impressive new website and blog.

In Poetry London, there're also excellent poems from Helen Mort and Jack Underwood, alongside Daljit Nagra, Andrew Motion and my fellow Hallam MA student, Susan Burns. Well worth a look. The London Magazine includes a wide selection of poems and reviews, including new work by Matthew Sweeney and an interesting review from Christopher Horton of new collections from Salt poets Chris McCabe and Simon Barraclough. And there's so much in the latest Magma it's hard to know where to start - highlights include a feature on the Gregory Award winners with a new poem from each, poems by Claire Crowther, Mark Waldron, Beverley Nadin and Vicki Feaver, and Blake Morrison's thoughts on Larkin's 'Poetry of Departures'.

Next Friday also sees the launch of mine and Emily Berry's debut tall-lighthouse collections: The Sparks and Stingray Fevers. I'll post an invitation up for it later this week, but for those interested, the Facebook group's here.