September 2009

You can find an interview with me, mainly on my approach to writing, posted on 17th Sept at:

And a piece on coping with rejection (of poems) on the same site at :

The Coffee House have just written offering the chance for me to be their featured poet in an issue next year. Deborah Tyler-Bennett, the editor, called the five poems “incredible”, which is probably the best adjective I’ve yet had for my work. Three of these poems come from the women and warfare theme I’ve been working on, a fourth is a “spin-off” idea from that theme, and the fifth a sort of love complaint from a ghost (I think).

Well – it makes a good title.

My story “The Ogre’s Elevator” was Highly commended in the City of Derby Short Story competition, by Sarah Maitland. My poems didn’t make it, however.

And a slight update to the previous post on Cinnamon Press: two poems made it to the anthology: “Snow on the Edge” and “Return to High Force.”

Okay – I still haven’t convinced anyone I’m worthy of a pamphlet but at least this time I made it to the “narrowed down” long list (it’s the list between the full long list and the shortlist). This means one poem at least will make it into the Cinnamon Press anthology The Visitors (2010), although I don’t know which one.

The prize was split between two poets whose work I’ve not come across: Anne Caldwell and Sally Douglas. But I’ll be looking out for their work now.

Just received the programme for October’s Off the Shelf (Sheffield’s annual literary festival). Some really interesting events planned- probably rather too many, if I want to actually get some writing done, too.

I’m involved in three. Please come along if you can:

– on 15th October, starting at 10.00, I’m holding a day long walk-in workshop at Bank Street Arts Centre. I’ll post more details later – or contact me if you want to know what’s on offer. It’s free

– on 21st October I’m reading as one of the poets in the launch of Matter magazine, at Blackwells (near Hallam University), starting 6.30. Also free.

– on 30th October I’m reading as a member of Tuesday Poets, an excellent local poetry group. We’re at Fusion Cafe in Arundel Street. Admission is free, but by ticket only (contact me or one of the other Tuesday poets for one). You’ll have to pay for food, though (which is excellent, BTW).

Two other small magazines have recently taken several of my poems:

Sarasvati will publish in November: A thought experiment (a kind of metaphysical poem for depressives), Dandelion clock (a short poem about time), The Emperor’s New Clothes (which I wrote for the Vivienne Westwood exhibition in the Millenium Galleries) and Gratitudes (on the failure to recognise what matters).

Inclement will publish in the Winter several small poems largely of a sentimental nature, though they all come from a genuine emotion. I don’t rate these as amongst my best. I think they generally come from a need to write to a particular emotion, but I don’t always work with a particularly incisive introspection of that emotion: A Rose (for my wife), Gerontius Today (how landscape makes us feel there’s a purpose when there isn’t), Husbandry (for my sister-in-law), Rainflowers (a descriptive nature poem), Woodland rain (a purely phonic exercise which I really like, though it says nothing).