I’ve not been sending out many poems of late, neither to competitions nor magazines. Most of my efforts are focused on finishing How to Kill Francesca. Twice.  which is a children’s novel I’m submitting for my MA in May.

However, I’ve just been told that both the poems I submitted to the Wenlock Poetry Competition were shortlisted, although neither merited a prize. As this was judged by Carol Ann Duffy I guess I feel pretty pleased with the result.   The poems are: “Tying the kite” and “A clear sky. Snowdrifts”. I wrote the first draft of the first of these in response to a class by Helen Farish in 2007, but this is its first success. The second resulted from a walk over Sheffield’s Bolehills and into Crookes Cemetery, the playground of my childhood, shortly after a very heavy snowfall last winter, as I listened to Vaughan Williams on the MP3 – although the poem has virtually nothing to do with that!