The Old Straight Track by Alfred Watkins

My contribution to the Guardian Books ‘Summer Journeys’ series is online today.

Most journeys are planned in advance and start out with a clear goal. This one started quietly when, on 30 June 1920, a respected businessman and photographer was visiting the Herefordshire village of Blackwardine… (read more)

More Logical Fallacies

Wonderful settings of my poems by David, and great performances by Andreea and Liz.

David Bremner

Here are a few excerpts from my recent song-cycle of poetry by Billy Mills, Logical Fallacies. The performers are Andreea Banciu (viola) and Elizabeth Hilliard (soprano).

Manor Street






This song

this song is not
the world is

this song is not
the world

(For Larry)

a poem
is always a poem

a moth
a moth

a stranger

in a room

no exit

in a park
by a river
in another city

not the one I was born in
not the one I live in now

a city at war
with itself

All texts are from Lares/Manes (Shearsman Books, 2009) © Billy Mills

Our previous collaboration, Loop Walks, a work of scored polyphonic poetry, is available from and

We’re planning to work on another project this year…

View original post

LANDscape UL • Place, performance and imagination research seminar – all welcome

LANDscape UL • Place, performance and imagination.

Place, performance and imagination

Wednesday, 28 January 2015, 4-5.30pm,

Tower Theatre, Irish World Academy of Music & Dance

LANDscape research seminar – all welcom


Dr. Niall Keegan, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance

‘Mapping the Linguistic Turn – language, space and place in Irish traditional music’

Billy Mills, poet and critic.

‘Words for Music; Music for Words’

Niall Keegan is a traditional Irish flute player and an ethnomusicologist. His PhD, The Art of Juncture – Transformations of Irish Traditional Music, focused on the language-based structures used by traditional musicians to account for and shape their performance practices. His research also engages the diasporic experience of traditional music, particularly in the UK. He has performed extensively throughout the world with musicians such as Sandra Joyce, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin and Clive Carroll.

Billy Mills is a poet, editor, literary journalist at Mills was born Dublin in 1954. After some years spent in Spain and the UK, he currently lives in Limerick. He is co-editor (with Catherine Walsh) of hardpressed Poetry. His Lares/Manes: Collected Poems was published by Shearsman in 2009, and Imaginary Gardens and Loop Walks by hardPressed poetry in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

Getting to the Academy:

Place Quotes

A handout from the International Literacy Day conversation.


“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” – Gary Snyder

“I hate scenery.” – Denis Devlin

“Landscapes are culture before they are nature; constructs of the imagination projected onto wood and water and rock.” – Simon Schama in Landscape and Memory 

“The sudden change of ambiance in a street within the space of a few meters; the evident division of a city into zones of distinct psychic atmospheres; the path of least resistance which is automatically followed in aimless strolls (and which has no relation to the physical contour of the ground); the appealing or repelling character of certain places–all this seems to be neglected.” Guy Debord, Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography.

Following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, James Joyce wrote to the philosopher Bertrand Russell that had Dublin been destroyed by an atom bomb, “it would be possible to rebuild the entire city, brick by brick, using Ulysses. Though God alone knows why anyone would want to. The place is a shithole.”

“If you don’t know where you’re from, you’ll have a hard time saying where you’re going.”  – Wendell Berry

Don’t be descriptive; remember that the painter can describe a landscape much better than you can, and that he has to know a deal more about it.

When Shakespeare talks of the ‘Dawn in russet mantle clad’ he presents something which the painter does not present. There is in this line of his nothing that one can call description; he presents. – Ezra Pound

He (the Dalai Lama) asked me for my participation and I rejected the plan to make a kind of sculpture there in this old way, to make in a kind of special place this special modern sculpture. I told him that my idea would be this time to plant seven thousand oaks in Kassel, seven thousand trees. And to mark every tree with a little stone, so that everybody after three, two, five or six hundred years can still see that in 1982 there was an activity. After the radical destruction of the forests here in Germany for all this technological nonsense, that there was an impulse that came in the same time, to plant seven thousand oaks. This is such a kind of activity during the Documenta (in Kassel) , that has to do with the ‘Documenta’, but is a real other thing in the conventional understanding of art. – Joseph Beuys

Gavin Prior – Babbleon Cork:

International Literacy Day Event

This is the press release for my Limerick event this Sunday at six in the evening.

On Sunday 8 September, The Hunt Museum and Ormston House will celebrate UNESCO Literacy Day with a free discussion event with poet Billy Mills of hardPressed Poetry. You are invited to join us in exploring questions about place, representation and sustainable art practices from the perspective of practising and aspiring writers and artists, to share your own insights and, we hope, learn from the insights of your colleagues.

Billy Mills was born Dublin in 1954. After some years spent in Spain and the UK, he now lives in Limerick. He is co-editor (with Catherine Walsh) of hardpressed Poetry. His Lares/Manes: Collected Poems was published by Shearsman in 2009, Since then he has published one collection, Imaginary Gardens (hardPressed poetry July 2012) and a work for choir in collaboration with composer David Bremner called Loop Walks, a book/CD set.