October 2009


We had a great evening at the Sheffield Launch of Matter magazine, issue 9, in Blackwells (by Hallam University). The magazine is perhaps the best issue of Matter yet (I’m not biased, of course). There’ll be a London launch on Thursday, October 29 as part of Sheffield Hallam’s London Showcase at the Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9BX at 6.30pm. Unfortunately I won’t be able to read there, though my two poems went down pretty well in the Sheffield show.

There are photos of the evening, including one of yours truly, at: http://www.makingwritingmatter.co.uk/news.php You can also find out how to buy the mag (and so read my two pieces). There are also some brilliant poems by Ruby Robinson, Fay Musselwhite, Angelina Ayers, Helen Cadbury and Lou Wilford; and stories by Helen, Kate Hainsworth, Marian Iseard, Susan Clegg, Rebecca Swirsky and Kate Mitchell. Also included are works by guest authors of repute: Alison MacLeod, Adam Marek, Maurice Riordan, Julia Copus and Tim Turnbull.

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Learned yesterday that I’m a finalist in the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, which is exciting, as it’ll mean publication in their Aesthetica Annual, and a rather smaller competition by Trowell and District Writers gave “honours” to one of my children’s poems, which will go in their Chapter and Verse magazine, and Highly Commended two grown-up poems.

So, once again the Bridesmaid and not quite the Bride.

The New Writer has just taken two poems: A Stone’s Dream and Anticipating Farewell.

A couple of e-zines published two of my more “off the wall” (experimental, if you like such things, weird, if you don’t) pieces. I’m not very sure of the reasoning behind such pieces, merely that they’re interesting to play with.

Whether merely experimenting with form really leads anywhere is hard to say, but probably such experiments open up channels that otherwise wouldn’t be there. I suspect, for me, such experiments are on the edge of what I really want to do: they seem on the one hand relatively glib and on the other likely to be impenetrable – but then maybe that’s simply because I don’t know what I’m doing.

“Burning Bush” is in Little PinkShack at http://littlepinkshack.webs.com/poetry.htm

“Stop” is in Streetcake magazine at http://streetcakemagazine.com/files/issue%207.pdf

(Also, found myself joint winner of a little article-writing competition at Ladder Writers. I’d rather have won the short story comp, but didn’t rate in that. The article, on “How To Reject Rejection”  is at http://ladderwriters.com/bonuswinner.shtml This came out of an online interview I did for the “Essential Writers” website, who posted a piece on rejection based on what I wrote, and, more recently, a slightly pompous piece of pontifcating by me on how to succeed as a writer (as if I knew!) Findable at: http://essentialwriters.com/exceptional-3947.htm