‽ Interrogation – Ross McCleary

If you were one of the VIPs who was able to snag a ticket to The Ambassador’s Reception, Interrobang’s very exclusive event with Poetry AF, you’ll be as excited as we are to spend more time inside Ross McCleary’s brain at this Friday’s launch party for issue three of 404 Ink’s literary magazine – POWER!

But that's not even The Ambassador!
“The Ambassador’s parties are known for their exquisite good taste…”

Ross McCleary is still from Edinburgh. He has had work published recently by Five2One and Cease, Cows. He is an editor of the spoken word podcast Lies, Dreaming – which has a new call for submissions out – helps run Inky Fingers, and is overjoyed by the return of the Edinburgh Watch twitter account.  His novella, Portrait of the Artist as a Viable Alternative to Death, is published by Maudlin House.

Ross’s Interrogations are always good value, so we’re looking forward to reading his reflections on Power. Continue reading “‽ Interrogation – Ross McCleary”

POWER‽

Congratulations to our pals at 404 INK, who won the Saltire Society’s Emerging Publishers of the Year for 2017 last night. We’re sure you’ll all agree that it’s hugely well deserved.

Meala-naidheachd, 404 Ink!
Countdown to the National Trust for Scotland plaque starts here…

And congratulations to us for having the opportunity to host the launch of 404 Ink Issue 2: POWER in Edinburgh this coming Friday, 8 December. The mag includes work by Interrobang veterans, pals, and known associates Andrew Blair, Ever Dundas, Rebecca Raeburn, Ross McCleary, and Stuart Kenny, so we can’t wait to encourage people to get it in their hands.

Danger of levitation‽
Thanks to Flint & Pitch’s Cameron Foster, it looks great, too.

Even better, the launch event features performances from Ross, the incomparable Kaite Welsh, Siobhan Shields, and the fabulous Helen McClory – author of Mayhem & Death, coming March 2018 from 404.

We’re also promised wonderful music and more shenanigans, so get your tickets now, follow 404 INK on Twitter @404Ink, and STAY TUNED!!!

The launch party for 404 INK’s Issue 3: POWER takes place this Friday, 8 December from 7pm at Summerhall. Get your tix here while you can.

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We’re Ba-ack!

The nights are drawing in, and that can mean only one thing.

Backstreet's back‽
Don’t go down to six°north’s cellar!

Yep. INTERROBANG‽ have recovered from our first birthday celebrations and we’re back with  brand new show! We’re teaming up with Poetry AF to create something a bit different. And it’ll be like nothing you’ve ever seen before… Continue reading “We’re Ba-ack!”

The Interrobang Interrogation – Ross McCleary (HINGS)

For the Edinburgh launch of his brilliant short story collection HINGS on Friday at 7pm at the Biscuit Factory, Chris McQueer has assembled a bunch of his favourite writers and spoken word performers. And we’ve subjected them to the INTERROBANG‽ Interrogation so you can learn a little bit about them before the big night…

If you’ve ever seen Chris and Ross McCleary interact on Twitter, then you’ll know that we’re in for something a bit – Well, read on….

Or shoulders. Or head. Whatever.
Ross up to his shoulders in art

Ross McCleary is from Edinburgh. He has had work published recently by Five2One and Constellations. He is an editor of the spoken word podcast Lies, Dreaming – which has a new call for submissions out – helps run Inky Fingers, and is obsessed with Flat Earth memes and the Edinburgh Watch twitter account.  His novella, Portrait of the Artist as a Viable Alternative to Death, is published by Maudlin House.

Saboteur Award nominated Portrait of the Artist as a Viable Alternative to Death And here’s how he answered our questions:

‽:  We reckon Chris has assembled just about the best spoken word/live lit/poetry line-up  that anyone can see this year for the Edinburgh HINGS launch event. We’re super-chuffed to be hosting it. How did you come to be on the bill?

RMcC:  How I got here, how I was selected, and what I choose to interpret as the reasoning for these decisions cannot be shared. What I will say is this. I get a head. I am shoulders above everyone else. All other information is provided on a knee to know basis and you, dear audience, do not knee to know. Suffice to say, though, I toe the line.

Mmm, spare ribs... 🤤
Wait – can you say that again, slower?

‽:  A picture question – have you seen all the awesome HINGS photoshops on Twitter? If you haven’t, you can check them out here. Which one’s your favourite?

RMcC:  The Rafiki / Lion King one is wonderful.

‽:  Innit? Sarabi looks a little nonplussed, though. Guess you’d expect a queen to be classist…. Is there a particular story of Chris’s that you’re hoping to hear in the flesh at The Biscuit Factory on Friday? And if so, why that one?

RMcC:  Chris is a head of the pack, as we all know, and he’s shouldering his way into the Scottish literary scene whether people think they knee to read his work or not. That’s the way it toes. And if you open yours eyes and ears, and think of the way that the mouth moves and the nose twitches at the bodily nature of Chris’ work, you’ll figure out exactly what I’m doing well in advance. You don’t knee any more clues than that I shouldn’t think.

‽:  The HINGS launch is going to be a bit of a party, so we’d like to play some walk-on music for you. Care to nominate a HINGS-y tune?

RMcC:  On Bended Knee by Boys II Men.

‽:  We’ll hold you to that. OMG. So much dramz. Finally, without giving away to many spoilers, what can you tell us about what you’re going to be sharing with us on Friday?

RMcC:  I am a member of the order of knights who say knee.

Thanks to Ross for… whatever that was‽

Want to find out more? Already got your copy of HINGS from 404 INK or a good bookshop near you? Then book a free ticket for the launch via Eventbrite. Not got a copy of HINGS? Book a £3 ticket, also via Eventbrite, and enjoy a discounted £5 copy of Chris’s awesome debut.

ekki-ekki-ekki-pitang-zoom-boing!' SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave

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The Interrobang Interrogation – Ross McCleary Redux

Since Ross McCleary is an artist who writes about an artist who creates art as an artist – and we feel an appropriate amount of time has passed since his rapturous reception at INTERROBANG – The First Time?! – we thought he’d be a perfect guest for But Is It ART?!

Also, we get to ask him to complete another Interrobang Interrogation. Strap in!

We're saying he's a work of art. Keep up!
Some art. And a bunch of writing.

Ross is still from Edinburgh. He has had work published recently by Five2One and Constellations. He is an editor of the spoken word podcast Lies, Dreaming, helps run Inky Fingers, and is obsessed with Flat Earth memes and the Edinburgh Watch twitter account.  At INTERROBANG – But Is It ART?! he will be reading from his novella published by Maudlin House.

And here’s how he answered our questions:

?!:  Do you have a favourite piece of art you’d like to tell us about? It doesn’t have to be visual. Or does it?!

RMcC:  My favourite pieces of art at the moment are Orange & Yellow (1953) by Mark Rothko and Sailing at Night by Mary Ellen Bartley. Abstract Expressionism is one of my strongest influencuse es. I enjoy the strength of colour and the surprising amount of depth in something seemingly so straightforward.

?!:  If ‘you’ (in whatever capacity you define that to be) could be represented by an established piece of art, what would that piece be?

RMcC:

Yes, but is it art?!
Erased de Kooning Drawing by Robert Rauschenberg [?!: Well, that’s on point.]
?!  Pick a song or piece of music that you would have playing as you walk into the most important moment of your life?!

?!: We like! Squelchy!!

Now, define ‘not art’?!

RMcC:  ‘Not art’ is all the things that people who say “that’s not art” about conceptual or abstract art consider to be art.

?!:  Draw us a picture? Go on!

RMcC:

I see clouds
“I Used To See Faces”

Thanks a lot to Ross for eduring Interrobang’s Interrogation again. Come along to INTERROBANG – But Is It ART?! on 18 February and experience art in the flesh!

ESAF are selling advance tickets through social enterprise company Tickets for Good.

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But is it ART?!

So. The world didn’t end for INTERROBANG?!’s End of the World Party. We can’t get ’em all right.

Hey, we all make mistakes.
Man. *You* were surprised?!

But it’s not all bad news. The End of the World Party was tremendous fun. Headliners RYAN VAN WINKLE, KATHARINE MACFARLANE, ANDREW BLAIR, and LAURA WADDELL were entertaining, funny, heartbreaking, and wise. Open mic-ers New Writers Award 2017 winner SIMON K BROWN, and Book Festival Story Shoppers HEATHER PARRY and NANDINI SEN were transporting, too! And of course, Edinburgh’s Novella Award shortlistee and greatest living writer of the humorous volunteer-performed two-handed playlet – JACQUES TSIANTAR – brought the goods as always.

Since we’re all still here, we’ve got more awesome INTERROBANG?! to bring you…

But look! PAINT!
But is it ART?! – No. It’s a play. A bunch of words.

We’re very pleased that INTERROBANG?! is part of this year’s Edinburgh Student Art Festival. Beth and Ricky had the good fortune to do a short set at the ESAF opening night party, and the audience were awesome. Put an ESAF audience together with an INTERROBANG?! audience, and we’re sure it’s going to be a great night of spoken word, music, storytelling, theatre, and live painting.

HOW?! WHERE?!?! WHEN?!?!?!
iknorite?!?!

We’re looking forward to hosting:

  • ERIK PETRIE, as the painter and photographer of country and city landscapes shares real life experiences of art at the sharp end?!
  • ROSS MCCLEARY, as the Billy Crystal of experimental prose presents a Portrait of the Artist as an Artist Creating Art?!
  • SUPER INUIT, who’ll be dropping a live set of inspirational tunes for LIVE VOLUNTEER PAINTING?!
  • CHRIS MCQUEER, as the fresh new Glasgow writer returns after wowing Edinburgh at the War On Christmas?! launch of 404 Ink’s Error.
  • AMANDA and JONATHAN CURRIE, as the multi-instrumentalists team up to bring you all live music to sooth the savage artist?!

We’ll be letting out more info about the show as the week progresses, but it’s all gonna kick off in the fantastic surroundings of The Biscuit Factory at 7pm on Saturday, 18th Feb. You can get advance tickets at the social enterprise ticketing company Tickets for Good here.

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How Was It For You?!

We’ve had our First Time, and let us tell you, it was pretty memorable!

CUE: Applause!
Can’t wait for more Interrobang?! Scroll down for details about our forthcoming appearance at the Oxjam Edinburgh Takeover!

Thanks to our featured guests, Stuart A. Paterson, Kaite Welsh, and Ross McCleary. Thanks to our brilliant volunteer performers. Thanks to our intrepid “Margery” and “Gerald” for submitting to Jacques’ Big Two-Hander.

Thanks to Jacques Tsiantar for gently initiating Gerald and Margery into our recurring bit, and for handling the sound desk. Thanks to Ricky’s bandmate in Nerd Bait, Paul, for providing music. Thanks to Andrew Perry for these awesome photos, and for mucking in at the door. Thanks to the folks at Woodland Creatures for taking such good care of all of us.

Weren't they brilliant?!
“Gerald” and “Margery” prepare to shake hands vigorously for THE FIRST TIME!

Most of all, thanks to our audience for taking a chance on our first time as Interrobang?! – your enthusiasm really made the night for us! We think Stuart put it best:

Not a single appreciative, reverential ‘mmmm’ was heard after any poem. Great crowd, loud crowd, love it!

Now Interrobang?! is booked in for two more preview shows at Woodland Creatures on the first Friday of November and December. Keep checking in here or on our Twitter or Facebook for more details as they emerge. A cracking second night is already taking shape!

Do they like us?!
Great crowd! Except beardy speccy at the back!

But first, Beth and Ricky will be performing in a half-hour slot at the Oxjam Edinburgh Takeover this Friday, 15 October. Their set will take place at the Grassmarket Community Project, and begins at 2:45pm.

For its spoken word strand, Oxjam is particularly interested in

poetry and writing that experiments with music and material that addresses feminism or poverty

and we can exclusively reveal that Ricky Interrobang’s bit will hit at least two of these bases with the help of Nerd Bait. Beth Interrobang has some awesome stuff up her capacious creative sleeves, too!

But keep the JAAMs – they're fab.
Kick out the jams – it’s Interrobang?! time!

As a friend of Interrobang?! you can take advantage of discounted tickets at this link. And your ticket will give you complete access to five venues around Old Town and 30+ acts from Edinburgh’s music and spoken word scene!

All the money raised will go to support Oxfam’s Emergency Fund, which provides clean drinking water and sanitation to communities hit by disaster.

Big round of applause for you!
We hope to see you there!

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The Interrobang Interrogation – Ross McCleary

The first of our featured guests for Interrobang – The First Time, Ross McCleary, has taken a few minutes to complete The Interrobang Interrogation. Bangin!

Aye, it makes everyone feel like that
Ross’s Interrogation begins

Ross is from Edinburgh. His work has appeared far and wide, near and a little too close. He has a pamphlet published by Spacecraft Press, and a novella/book/text published by Maudlin House based out of Illinois. How cool is that? He is a writer for poets against humanity, an organiser for Inky Fingers, and an editor of podcast journal Lies, Dreaming.

And here’s how he answered our questions:

?!:  The theme of the first Interrobang is The First Time. When did you first realise you wanted to write?

RMcC:  I don’t think I ever didn’t want to write. I remember writing when I was very young, then again in my teens, and beyond. There are huge weird gaps where I didn’t but those are hard to remember insofar as I can’t explain why I didn’t write in those periods. Some time after university I began to write on a semi-regular basis. Then some time after that, at some point caught between writing and not writing, I chose writing and after that I’ve tended to write every day. So while I haven’t ever not wanted to write, there have been periods in which I’ve had to rediscover the need to write that I have always had.

?!:  And what’s the first book you remember reading?

RMcC:  The Worst Witch? Or maybe a Roald Dahl one? I reckon it’s likely that my first book was one of those Magic Key books – there was one where they get shrunk down and go inside a dolls house. That’s probably one of the first.

?!:  What song would you like as your entry music? Or should we just choose something?

RMcC:  Hmmm. I’ll get back to you on this, but I’d be intrigued to know what you thought would suit!

?!:  In honour of the Artist of your book on Maudlin Press, and in light of your alleged Billy Crystalness, how about This Charming Man? Or What (S)he Said [see next question]? …Yep, we’re feeling the second one…?!

RMcC:  Haha, yes!!!

?!:  What are your most and least favourite words?

RMcC:  Most – Expression. My favourite words come and go.

Least – The refrain in my book is “he says” and because I have performed it a lot I now hate the word “says” .

?!:  Anything else you’d like to share with us?

RMcC:  I’m probably going to be reading something about working in an office and I wrote this instead of working so if I am unemployed by the time the night comes around you’ll know why.

Thanks a lot to Ross for indulging Interrobang’s Interrogation. Come along to Interrobang – The First Time on 7 October and find out whether Ross is still employed!

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The First Time?!

7th October sees the first preview of a new monthly spoken word and music night in Edinburgh that has a slightly different flavour. What is INTERROBANG?!

Thanks, Sparta BlokeWell, not exactly. Read on…

INTERROBANG?! is a new spoken word and music night in Edinburgh. It’s not in competition with anyone – we’re fans of the Edinburgh spoken word scene. But, like we say, it’s a new thing with a new flavour. And you can participate!

INTERROBANG?! is democratic spoken word & music and meritocratic prizes. It’s a land of exclamation and question making and all the nuances in between.

Interrobang 0.1 is a preview. A warm-up. A soft opening. Your chance to let us know how we can make INTERROBANG?! something special to you.

Or in a field, in Hampshire.
I’ve left a very important part of my brain somewhere on Leith Walk

Interrobang 0.1 is three invited and established writers and spoken word performers, as well as three audience members who have brought along 5 minutes of material and been pulled out of the hat. They’ll all be entertaining us on the topic of THE FIRST TIME. And Interrobang 0.1 will also the first outing for what may be recurring bits.

Your hosts Beth Cochrane and Ricky Monahan Brown will be introducing, among others, ROSS McCLEARY, STUART A. PATERSON, and KAITE WELSH. But we need you, too – INTERROBANG?! is your show, and we’d love your feedback on how we can make it what you want to see.

Connect with us here, at Twitter @InterrobangEdin, on Instagram, on Facebook, and on Eventbrite.

And we’d love to hear your pieces on THE FIRST TIME!!

A TARDIS holds the capacity of Odl Trafford, 1976
A bunch of interrobangers

Interrobang 0.1 will be Edinburgh’s version of the Sex Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hall. You’ll want to say you were there. Bring a friend. Bring many friends. We can’t wait to introduce you all to INTERROBANG?!

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