Check This Out: In Brigantia

This is an online interview with writer Linda about my new book In Brigantia

El Space--The Blog of L. Marie

It’s raining authors around the blog! Today, the amazing Andrew Murray (or Andy as many of you who know him and follow his blogs, City Jackdaw and Coronets For Ghosts, call him) is here to talk about his latest poetry collection, In Brigantia. (His first was Heading North, which we talked about here.)

  

Stick around after the interview to learn about a giveaway of this collection. Now, let’s talk to Andy.

El Space: Four quick facts about yourself?
Andy: Thank you! (1) I’m (at least) the fifth generation of Murray born in Manchester.
(2) My favourite place is Orkney.

 

Photos by Andy Murray © 2019

(3) A big Whovian, I once stumbled across a scene being filmed for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode, and was totally unaware of it until it aired on TV.
(4) My dreams begin while I’m still awake.

El Space: Please…

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Blue Saturday, Blue Monday

I’d tried to prepare my son. You know, just in case.

I’d previously been to Wembley three times. The old Wembley once, this new Wembley twice. Three visits to the renowned, fabled stadium. And three times I’d seen my team get beat. I’d once proclaimed that I’d retired from Wembley. Who’d have thought that of a Manchester City fan, a few years ago? But then my boy came along.

“Even if we lose,” I’d told him, “you’ll get to experience Cup Final day. A match at Wembley. You will come back again.”

I needn’t have worried. For once everything went as planned. A crushing, 6-0 win and quite a memorable day. An historic domestic treble, although this was actually our fourth trophy of the season.

When the fourth goal went in, the man sat on the other side of my son hugged him, and then said to me, while beckoning towards his own young boy: “They don’t know how lucky they are, do they?”

I knew what he meant. The 90’s were a nightmare. Schooldays were insufferable.

“What do you think we’ll win this season?” James had asked me back in August.

Listen to him, I thought, the new City fan. Full of expectation.

There is a ‘knowing’ among we older fans. A wisdom built on pain. But on Saturday we could forget all that, that part of our DNA was lost in celebration.

And the music was great, too. Belting out adopted, and adapted, anthems by Mancunian bands such as Oasis, James and Joy Division. And that certain band from up the East Lancs: The Beatles.

Before the game I met up with some familiar faces from my past, camaraderies of work place and youth.

I never got to go to a City game with my Dad, but I know the stories. The ’56 Trautmann final. He and his friends reported missing, later found sleeping in an otherwise empty train in the Manchester sidings.

I was conscious I was making new memories for my lad. Life is all about passing on the baton. Saturday was a marker for him.

And then Monday night, a time to celebrate in our own backyard, my son and daughter decked out with replica kits and flags.

We went into Manchester to see the victory parade, as the Manchester City players milked the acclaim while showing off the four pieces of silverware that they’d won this season.

And to say goodbye to Vincent Kompany, our most successful captain and our leader, whose stature is just as great off the field. An adopted Mancunian from Belgium, he had married a local girl and wanted to give something back to the city that had given him so much in his eleven years here. He’d set up, with the mayor of Greater Manchester, a charity called Tackle4MCR, to help the city’s homeless, and all of the money from his testimonial year was going into that.

It was loud and jovial, (blue) Mancunians at their best, people gaining vantage points from bus shelter roofs and clinging halfway up lampposts, singing songs and cheering on their heroes.

In the middle of this lot, this throng 100,000 strong, my wife turned to me. “I need a wee.”

I suddenly imagined another use for one of those trophies.

Kompany’s charity:

http://www.tackle4mcr.co.uk

In Brigantia Out Now

City Jackdaw

I’m very pleased to announce that my second poetry collection, In Brigantia, is out now.

‘Andrew James Murray’s second collection invites you to Brigantia, territory of Celtic tribe the Brigantes.

It is a Brigantia of both geography and imagination, where Queen Cartimandua rubs shoulders with screen goddess Marilyn Monroe, and Tom Cruise is proselytising upon the streets of Manchester.’

For readers in the UK it is available here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brigantia-Andrew-James-Murray/dp/1731271360/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=In+brigantia&qid=1558264687&s=gateway&sr=8-1

For readers in the US you can get it here:

https://www.amazon.com/Brigantia-Andrew-James-Murray/dp/1731271360/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=In+Brigantia&qid=1558264804&s=gateway&sr=8-1

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In Brigantia Out Now

 

I’m very pleased to announce that my second poetry collection, In Brigantia, is out now.

‘Andrew James Murray’s second collection invites you to Brigantia, territory of Celtic tribe the Brigantes.

It is a Brigantia of both geography and imagination, where Queen Cartimandua rubs shoulders with screen goddess Marilyn Monroe, and Tom Cruise is proselytising upon the streets of Manchester.’

For readers in the UK it is available here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brigantia-Andrew-James-Murray/dp/1731271360/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=In+brigantia&qid=1558264687&s=gateway&sr=8-1

For readers in the US you can get it here:

https://www.amazon.com/Brigantia-Andrew-James-Murray/dp/1731271360/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=In+Brigantia&qid=1558264804&s=gateway&sr=8-1

 

 

Cover Reveal: In Brigantia

This is the cover, in full, of my second poetry collection, In Brigantia, due to be published soon.

It shows both the back and front cover. The spine of the book will run through the middle of the horse’s head, with half of the face appearing on each side.

I wanted this image as Cartimandua, queen of the Brigantes, translates as ‘sleek pony’.

Horse, pony, it’s close enough 😃

After Speaking With A Parisian

Surviving Revolutions and World Wars, Notre Dame’s spire has long been a familiar sight to generations of Parisians, puncturing the capital’s skyline for over 800 years.

Back in the 1500s, the culture that we had built in the West embraced multigenerational projects quite easily. Notre Dame. Massive cathedrals were not built over the course of a few years, they were built over a few generations. People who started building them knew they wouldn’t be finished until their grandson was born.

-Jamais Cascio

Maybe it’s hubris, but we expect our creative monuments, our works of art, to last forever. Fixed points in man’s timeline.

Last night I spoke with a Frenchman, a Parisian, who was in mourning, speaking of a devastating cultural loss. I began to think of iconic buildings whose loss would affect we British people similarly. And then, as a Mancunian, a particular building in my own city, regularly seen and taken for granted.

I struggled to make a connecting comparison.

Then, the morning after that conversation, I woke to a photograph and the idea that, within all of those images of destruction and despairing I had lost touch with: there’s always hope.