Non-Binary Review call for submissions on Dante’s Inferno (deadline 24th Oct 2018)

More info here:

NonBinary Review is a quarterly digital literary journal that joins poetry, fiction, essays, and art around each issue’s theme. We invite  authors to explore each theme in any way that speaks to them: re-write a  familiar story from a new point of view, mash genres together, give us a  personal essay about some aspect of our theme that has haunted you all  your life. We also invite art that will accompany the literature. All submissions must have a clear and obvious relationship to some specific aspect of the source text (a character, episode, or setting). Submissions only related by a vague, general, thematic similarity are unlikely to be accepted.

We are open to submissions which relate to Dante Alighieri’s 14-century epic poem The Inferno, which you can find herePlease bear in mind that we’re looking for pieces that relate to the BOOK ONLY. References movies or television shows will not be accepted.

Submissions which do not tie into the plots or make use of characters/settings from the book WILL NOT be considered–there needs to be a clear connection to the source material. 

We want language that makes us reach for a dictionary or a tissue or  both. Words in combinations and patterns that leave the faint of heart a  little dizzy.


Let it snow!

Let it snow!

I have just discovered Maja Pitamic’s site, much to my pleasure. And it seems somehow fitting to reblog this in the midst of a prolonged spell of overly hot weather.

Maja Pitamic

Seasons Greetings!

Here are some of my favourite snow scenes.


Hunters in the snow by Bruegel the elder 1563

Surely this painting is in everyone’s favourite snow paintings. The composition is flawless, we are there with the hunters surveying the wintry scene below. The ice-tone cool colours giving the feeling of relentless cold.The bending bodies of not only the hunters but the dogs too give the impression of utter weariness. There has been no luck for these hunters today.


Winter landscape by Avercamp c 1620

Here by contrast to the Bruegel we have a classic Avercamp scene. The whole village has come out to enjoy skating on the frozen water. I love all the details from the wobbly toddler, the speeding men showing off and the courting couples they are all there.


In complete contrast to the Avercamp we have this wood cut Winter Evening in Japan by Hokusai c…

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I dabble, with unapologetic amateurism, in drawing. There are all sorts of intellectualised reasons I could give. One influential one was reading Tristan Gooley’s observations on how well artists read landscapes. Ultimately enough to say I quite enough it and it is nice to do something without a particular thought of what others might think… and there is a nice sense of achievement when it isn’t totally awful.

Anyway one thing that dabbling in drawing and sketching has done for me is an appreciation of how skilled artists are, and a realisation that capturing water in all its forms is a stupendous human achievement. I haven’t read Tristan Gooley’s How To Read Water yet, and I wonder if he also refers to how artists treat water.

Therefore I was fascinated by this post on the blog of artist and teacher Maja Pitamic:

Water in all its forms was a source of endless fascination and interest for Turner. It was for him an almost mystical element that gave his work not just a visual impact but an emotional depth. From the rivers of the Rhine and the British Isles to the channel sea off Margate to tranquil smooth […]

via Turner and water — Maja Pitamic

Stained Glass from St Mary’s Church, Aughnacloy, Parish of Aghaloo and Carntell, Co. Tyrone

Stained Glass from St Mary’s Church, Aughnacloy, Parish of Aghaloo and Carntell, Co. Tyrone

This parish has three Churches – St Mary’s Church Aughnacloy, St Joseph’s Church Caledon & St Brigid’s Church Killens. St Mary’s Church is located just beyond the main road of Aughnacloy in the direction of Omagh.

The stained glass here is pleasingly direct and could be called old-fashioned. On the day I visited it was extremely sunny which led to some wonderful effects, which I have not captured adequately here. As well as a crucifixion above the altar, most of the windows had a thread of themes from the Rosary or associated with Mary.

I liked this triptych of windows on the Visitation, St Joseph, and St Anne:

Here are my efforts at taking pictures of the windows above the altar:

Here is the other side of the altar, windows on the Annunciation, the Nativity, and presenting Our Lady (?possible crowned in Heaven):

I did make an effort to capture the light thrown by some of the windows on the floor. Here goes!



Stained Glass from St Patrick’s Church, Crossmaglen (Creggan Upper Parish), Co. Armagh

Stained Glass from St Patrick’s Church, Crossmaglen (Creggan Upper Parish), Co. Armagh

This is the parish church of Upper Creggan parish in Crossmaglen, Co Armagh.

St Patrick’s Church has a photo gallery on Flickr and an informative website. In 2015 this fine church received a grant from the UK Government Listed Places of Worship repair fund for urgent roof repairs.

On the entrance doors there is an image of the shrine of the bell of St Patrick, which I note is also featured on the front page of the parish website:

On the door beside this, is a stern-looking St Patrick:


My skills in photographing stained glass with my phone camera are pretty limited, but photographing the often-magnificent pieces above the altar is a particular challenge (see Killenaule photos for proof). St Patrick’s has an outstanding example, and I tried to take photos of the individual panels, but they were too blurry for inclusion.

I liked these images of St Patrick and Our Lady (at first I thought crushing the serpent but I think on looking at the photo the green band below Her feet is part of her garment) on each transept:

Stained Glass from St Mary’s Oratory, Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone

Stained Glass from St Mary’s Oratory, Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone

St Mary’s Oratory is on the main street of Newtownstewart. It has an interesting history and context which you can read about on the Ardstraw East parish website.

I entered this church on a bright sunny day. Initially the church itself was dark inside. This created a magical, quite otherworldly effect. This was dissipated a little when, automatically, electric lighting came on. However only a little! This is a good example of how the effect of stained glass is difficult to capture in photography. The current sunny weather leads to all sorts of effects both aesthetically pleasing and spiritually uplifting. These panels of strongly-coloured glass are probably not much to look at here, but are very impressive in context:

 Just beside the altar there are long panels, again of strongly-coloured components:


There were also some striking effects from the glass on the outer doors, again the limits of my photographic skill is very much in evidence:

Escher on video and in Lego form

Escher on video and in Lego form

The Escher Museum in the Hague have a page with lots of Escher videos

Here is an excerpt from a National Film Board of Canada film which elegantly animates Escher’s work:

Here is what is apparently the only surviving film of Escher at work:

Part 1 of a 2 part documentary on Escher with Roger Penrose:

I long to attempt some of these Lego versions of Escher images.

Firstly, via the website of Andrew Lipson, here is Ascending and Descending (the ever-rising staircase)


Again via Andrew Lipson, here is “Relativity”:



And again via Lipson, here is “Waterfall”:


Here is a gallery featuring the above images, and other Escher-based Lego creations by Lipson and his collaborator Daniel Shiu, with the originals for comparison.

Here is a Daily Mail article from 2011 on Lipson’s Lego work.