I Ching
By Martin Burke

Martin Burke -poet and playwright
Founder of the bilingual Theatre group 'Zonder Thuis'

Martin Burke

"Burke is the eloquent essayist of the sublime"
Projected Letters

"His style is far ahead in terms of imaginative inventiveness:
This is startling, original work"
Kiosque Review

Biography is always of two kinds. There is the external biography of places lived in, books published and plays preformed. This is legitimated and this is included -but it is not the full story. True biography occurs in the mind that confronts certain issues and then gives them form in books and poems.
So it is that when I say I live in Flanders I am not just referring to the northern Flemish speaking area of Belgium. When I say Flanders I am touching an imaginative source that covers place and history, archetype and existential fact that roots into all the work I do. It was the Welsh poet Vernon Watkins who wrote "I have been luck in this one thing alone" -and this luck in living at a centre which proves to be a Temenos of the imagination both forwards in time and backwards in memory is something for which I am grateful. To live here was not a conscious choice. At least not initially so. I came on a holiday to visit a friend intending to stay for ten days or so. That was twenty seven years ago and still the holidays has not ended.
Not that the rooting into the roots of this place was instant. It wasn't. initially all poetry ceased when I moved here and for more than twenty years there was no poetry to be written. No thought which I could express. No word to which I could give expression. And then, four years ago, the mystery returned. All that had lain dormant sought utterance and brought with it the means of utterance. Since then I have applied myself to following this word down to its roots and into its future. And it is here that all that is implied by Flanders seems to me to be the perfect figure of time and timelessness of this borderline expression. The books have flowed and the word has not ceased and twenty years of wonderment are finding their long suppressed expression.
This then is the biography behind the biography -a biography locked into and bound up with the word Flanders.
More will follow and surprises await and yet I think I will always be able to centre it on this imaginative centre and that no matter how far I move I will not move far from it. The bio that follows should then be seen in this light

Born in Ireland but living now in Brugge, Belgium

Recent Publications

The Other Life

-FootHills Publishing, USA

The Weave That Binds Us

-Inner Circle Publishing, USA

Into History

-Arabesques Editions, Algeria/USA


-Default press, Ireland

(five poems for the theatre)

-World Audience Publishers, USA

The Easter Ballad

-Wordsonthestreet Press, Ireland


-Mighty Erudite Press, UK

Solstice Song

-Lapwing Press, UK

Forthcoming -Beowulf Revisited, Červená Barva Press, MA.

Gilgamesh -Červená Barva Press (Poetry Kit recommendation)

Six Scenes From A War -New Theatre Publications, UK

Plays produced in USA and Belgium
His version of The Oresteia had a play reading in Brussels
Plays have been published in Scene4 (USA), Oregon Literary Review (USA), The Roundtable Review(UK) and Electica (UK)

The Proclamation at Baghdad (Antigone) -India,
Rituals -Ireland




Copyright 2008 by Martin Burke

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