May 2009

Just returned from The Poetry Business writing day, always a wonderful workshop, and this time every poem was interesting. It’s amazing how many different tacks poets can take. And I collected many useful suggestions for my work-in-progress “Refraction” (which I’ll put up temporarily on the What do you think page?, in case anyone else has things to say about it).

Today the Grace Dieu Writers competition announced their judgement. My poem “The Cake Plate” was shortlisted and commended but, unfortunately, I didn’t quite make it over the threshold into a prize. Still, always nice to be considered.

Been shortlisted, too, for a local literary festival: Woodseats Literary Festival. Only a small affair, but you might like to come along: 7.30pm Monday 6th July, Woodseats Methodist Church. More info at:

And thanks to everyone who has given me feedback on this site and, especially, the poems. I’m certain that the many wonderful comments I’ve had will have helped persuade the Arts Council I was worth supporting. I know how lucky I am – so, time to get some real work done and justify that decision.

Just had two excellent pieces of news:

The Arts Council (England) have decided to support my Poetry off the Page project, so suddenly lots of exciting ideas begin to become real. Fantastic!

And, in the same post, heard my poem “Consolations of the Geriatrics’ Porter” has won a third prize in the Red Shed poetry competition.

[And, a little later, I discovered a poem that failed in another competition, “Into, not from”, has been selected for inclusion in an anthology called “Blue Hyacinths”]


NW May 2009

I’ve removed the poem “Talisman”. After comments (thanks) I’ve revised it to my satisfaction. (But we all know that’ll change the next time I read it!)

There’s a new work-in-progress poem to examine and comment on for me: “Talisman” if you’re interested [POEM REMOVED ON 12 MAY], and I’ve added a chapter from one of my children’s works-in-progress, “Mordred’s Tooth“, for a little variety.

Unfortunately, due to illness, I won’t get to read at the Scottish National Galleries in Edinburgh tonight. A big disappointment.

But there was some compensation last night, as I went to one of the best poetry readings I’ve ever attended: Simon Armitage (whom I hadn’t realised was quite so funny) supported by local poets Matt Clegg, Chris Jones, Liz Cashdan and Ben Wilkinson, all of whom gave us a good set, with quite different offerings. (When I update my links, I’ll connect to each of their sites, so you can see their different styles).