A Word For Light

"In Icelandic the word for light is ljós
And the word for poem is ljoð
What happens at the end can change everything
One ending starts in the middle, makes a left, circles back slightly off mark, then makes a right, slides a little further down and ends in the middle again, looking back at where it’s been, knowing exactly how far it has come
The other ending starts in the middle too, drops down, finds its way back and then goes further, pointing a sword at some high heaven, never looking back
It is said everything in the universe contains the same matter
That we begin somewhere in the same place
The matter responsible is as close as one last end veering off"


Souvankham Thammavongsa, Ljós, from Light

An Announcement Of Exciting Proportions

This is probably slightly overdue, but after it was announced in Publisher's Weekly at the beginning of October, I got excited all over again. I think I haven't said much because to some extent it felt like you already knew, which is ridiculous.

A little while ago, I signed the contracts for my third book. My third book! I thought it was probably time to shout about it officially, because as the weeks turn into months, it’s likely that this is going to be all I ramble about. The working title is ‘An Illustrated Guide to the Universe’, it lies somewhere within the intersection of science and art and the existential, and it will be published initially in the US by Penguin, something which I think I’m still processing. I’ve already fallen completely in love with my new editor, Meg Leder, who is a wonderful writer herself, and I just don’t know how it’s possible to sit still enough to write or draw anything when you’re wriggling this much with apprehension and glee.

universe.jpg

On Reading

"Read for yourselves, read for the sake of your inspiration, for the sweet turmoil in your lovely head. But also read against yourselves, read for questioning and impotence, for despair and erudition, read the dry, sardonic remarks of cynical philosophers like Cioran or even Carl Schmitt, read newspapers, read those who despise, dismiss, or simply ignore poetry and try to understand why they do it. Read your enemies and your friends, read those who reinforce your sense of what’s evolving in poetry, and also read those whose darkness or malice or madness or greatness you can’t yet understand because only in this way will you grow, outlive yourself, and become what you are."


Adam Zagajewski, translation by Clare Cavanaugh, from A Defense of Ardor: Essays

Chapter 89

A short while ago, I answered some questions for Chapter 89, a 'simple aesthetic online magazine' which publishes personal interviews with artists from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds. The editor, Ivanna, asked me some wonderful questions, and I duly rambled.

You can read the interview here.