Barry Graham the Scrivener

Scottish Author, Poet, Zen Buddhist Monk

Gerard Brennan, author

Gerard Brennan is not only one of the most compelling contemporary Northern Irish novelists (which makes him the cream of a rich crop), he’s also a learned and fascinating literary and political thinker… and a musician.

In this podcast, he discusses his novel Shot (which, along with its sequel, Drag, is published by Dockyard Press, as is his early novel Fireproof), humour in noir, Northern Ireland’s history, culture and politics, and the country’s support for its writers. And he has some kind words for Dockyard Press’s boycott of Amazon.

And he composed the music for this episode.

#GerardBrennanAuthor #CrimeFiction #IrishFiction #DockyardPress

—Barry Graham

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Nonfiction is defined by what it is not, rather than what it is. Fiction is not called “nonfact.” Is this because we regard fiction as the essence, or ideal, of literature? Does it resonate more with us because we innately understand it as more “real” than “true stories”?

#books #stories #nonfiction #fiction #literature

—Barry Graham

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Beyond the Ruins: The Fight Against Environmental Breakdown by various

Fictitious Capital: How Finance Is Appropriating Our Future by Cedric Durand

Breasts and Eggs by Kawakami Mieko (reread)

Fragrant Palm Leaves by Thich Nhat Hanh (reread)

Things We Say in the Dark by Kirsty Logan

Stonehouse’s Poems for Zen Monks translated by Red Pine (reread)

#monthlyreads #books #barrygrahamauthor

—Barry Graham

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I don’t use G****e, or any of its products, so I wasn’t aware — until a friend gleefully emailed to tell me — that it describes me as a “British author.”

I’m a hard person to insult. There’s not much you can say about me that would bother me, but this one infuriates me. I don’t accept there is a nation called Britain. I’m Scottish, not British. The fact that Scotland is colonised by England, under the aliases “Great Britain” or “the UK,” doesn’t make me British. I reject all “British” authority, and, though not a nationalist, I’m an active member of the SNP. While I have no grudge against English people, or any other people based on their citizenship, I loathe England/Britain as a political/cultural entity, and resent being mentioned in the same sentence as it, never mind identified with it. My only interest in “Britain” is in helping Scotland separate from it.

One more reason you can’t trust G****e.

#britishimperialism #scottishnotbritish #scottishindependence #nationalidentity #barrygrahamauthor

—Barry Graham

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Man about to be executed by guillotine

But who needs healthcare when you can enter an AmaZen “mindful practice room,” one of a number of “coffin-sized booths,” in the words of Vice, that Amazon is planning to introduce at its warehouses? There you can watch a video of a baby deer leaping through a field or whatever as you try to stave off intrusive thoughts about, say, your upcoming eviction.

This article by Jessa Crispin reminded me yet again why I dislike meditation separated from religious practice, and why I ask readers not to buy my books on Amazon. (My ebooks aren’t sold there, but I can’t stop them from selling my paperbacks.)

Meditation that isn’t part of a religious practice is a useful tool for making exploited people better able to tolerate their exploitation, and easing whatever consience the exploiters might have. To teach — or, rather, sell — meditation in such a setting is a violation of Buddhist ethics.

I don’t want scabs to read my books, and I’m disgusted by heretics pretending to teach the Buddha Dharma.

#amazon #mindfulness #meditation #wageslavery #unionbusting #zen #buddhism #jessacrispin

—Barry Graham

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The latest books from Dockyard Press are published, and they’re all very different from one another, even though two are by the same author...

There’s Belfast author Gerard Brennan’s second Shannon McNulty crime novel, Drag. And there’s a reissue of his first novel, Fireproof, a unique hybrid of urban fantasy and crime thriller.

And there’s Poetry: Not Optional, a meditative memoir in verse by American poet and mystic Lisa MoonCat, charting her journey from childhood to adulthood and beyond.

The ebooks are available direct from Dockyard Press and all the usual outlets except for Amazon, and the paperbacks from all good bookshops… and the bad one, Amazon, because we can’t stop them. Please don’t buy them there.

#books #crimefiction #urbanfantasy #poetry #gerardbrennan #lisamooncat #dockyardpress

—Barry Graham

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The Life and Zen Haiku Poetry of Santoka Taneda by Sumita Oyama, translated by William Scott Wilson

passing through by Tom Leonard

The View from the Train by Patrick Keiller (reread)

General Intellects by McKenzie Wark

Comradely Greetings: The Prison Letters of Nadya and Slavoj by Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Slavoj Zizek (reread)

The Clouds Should Know Me By Now: Buddhist Poet Monks of China (reread)

#monthlyreads #books #barrygrahamauthor

—Barry Graham

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