August 2013

Only a few days now till Antiphon #8 ( appears. And that will be two whole years of publication! 


Tomorrow night (15th August) I’m reading as part of the Animal Gaze exhibition at the SIA Gallery in Sheffield. This has been arranged by The Poetry Business. Here’s their notice:

“Come and hear Matt Black, Jim Caruth, Liz Cashdan, Suzannah Evans, Nell Farrell, Jenny King, Alan Payne, Adam Piette, Kathy Towers, Noel Williams and River Wolton (and other fab poets also possibly) reading their specially commissioned poems from the Animal Gaze exhibition at the SIA Gallery (maptomorrow night. 7pm start. Free entry. Wine and other refreshments.”

The Sheffield Institute of Art (SIA) gallery is in the Cantor Building of Sheffield Hallam University. The exhibition offers artists’ responses to the idea of the animal gaze – photographs, prints, videos and installations. Poets have been invited to respond with a poem about animals. There’ll be fourteen poets each with a poem of fourteen lines.

(More on the exhibition itself here).

Two poems of mine here on OpenMouse, the website of Poetry Scotland:


open mouse graphic



Cinnamon Press have just sent me the cover design for my book. Here it is:

Out of Breath front small

Suddenly the collection begins to seem real. There’s still editing and organisation to do: and we haven’t actually finalised which poems will definitely be included. But having an image of it turns it from an insubstantial file on my USB into something that bit closer to reality.

Won’t be out till 2014, unfortunately. These things take time. And no press can afford to produce many collections in any given year. Even so, it’s exciting me already. Can’t wait to have the physical object in my hands.

Meanwhile, I’m already thinking I’m well on the way to the next collection. Helena Nelson, of HappenStance, thinks that poets should publish collections three, or perhaps more, years apart, else they risk creating volumes which are not their best work. There’s obvious sense in this: the longer you write for, the better your chance of having a collection of really good work. However, the time between putting the collection together and having it in your sticky palms can approach three years: I put together the first group of poems which won me this chance in June 2012. The book will probably not appear before Spring 2014: effectively over two years between writing and print collection. So, in my mind, if I want a second collection around in, say, 2016, I ought to be making steps towards it now. Which I am.