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Muses Walk
Christodoulos Makris
Yes But Is PoetrySoftcover
20 pages
110×150 mm
ISBN: Not available

Muses WalkWhere do you find your muse? Can you find it on a street? And if a street is destroyed, can you use words and pictures to begin to rebuild it, and not just your memories, but other people’s?
These, and other questions, are obliquely posed in Christodoulos Makris’ limited edition chapbook Muses Walk. It is more than just a chapbook though. Makris has described it as artist’s book, and also a ‘performance’, in the sense that he has no plans to reprint in its current, lovely form: 32 A6 pages, hand-bound, on heavy, ivory card.
This emphasis on the form the words are delivered in is important because it is also a tribute to the power of literature, and a specific street where it was challenged. On 5 March 2007, a bomb exploded on Al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad, the historic centre of bookselling and intellectual and literary life in the city. Located in a mixed Sunni-Shia area, bookshops, outdoor stalls, cafes and stationery shops were destroyed – with 30 people killed, and over 100 injured.
Makris, Cyprus’ representative in the recent Poetry Parnassus in London, was one of 250 writers and artists around the world asked to produce something to re-create the ‘inventory’ of some of the physical stock that was lost in the attack.
His starting point is one of his existing poems, from his last collection Spitting Out the Mother Tongue, and a rather tricksy challenge: writing a new poem based on, or inspired by, each line within the poem ‘Muses Walk’. It’s almost a form of exegesis on his own work, or rather, an attempt to create a ‘para-poem’, the ‘poem’ that’s lurking within every line of an already existing poem.
‘Muses Walk’ the poem is, in Makris’ words, ‘an attempt to write a specific street in the centre of Nicosia as it stood at a (less) specific period of time’. Short, sharp lines butt up against observations made by a cold, detached eye, which doesn’t miss a thing.
Christodoulos Makris was born in Nicosia in 1971. He studied in Manchester and has also lived in Preston, London and Dublin. He is now based in north county Dublin and works in the public library service of Fingal County Council. His poems have appeared in several journals (including Southword 13) and his chapbook entitledRound the Clock was published in March 2009 by Wurm Press. He is the Dublin regional editor for Succour magazine and co-founder and organiser of Poetry Upfront, a series of poetry readings and events in north county Dublin.