February 2014


Well, not quite at Dove Cottage, because that would both be astounding (to read where Wordsworth stood!) and pretty much impossible with any audience larger than five. Instead it’s for the Wordsworth Trust at the Jerwood Centre, part of the Wordsworth Museum.

I’ll be reading as a member of the Poetry Business Writing School – we come to the end of our eighteen months together with a grand reading here at Grasmere this coming Sunday, 2nd March: 2.30 to 3.30.

It’s a free event, and you’ll hear Jim Caruth, Jennifer Copley, Lydia Harris, Fokkina McDonnell, Jane McKie, Kim Moore, Alan Payne, Paul Stephenson, Pam Thompson, Liz Venn, David Wilson, Gina Wilson and River Wolton, along with yours truly. This group is a truly gifted set of poets, positively swimming in prizes and publications, and a very varied bunch, too. You’ll hear largely new poems written during the Writing School and some recently published.

Full details here about the Jerwood Centre reading 

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It looks like I may have a full house for the launch of Out of Breath. More than sixty people have said they’re coming and, whilst I know that in the nature of things, some won’t make it, I’m beginning to worry that Waterstones won’t be able to fit everyone in!

Unfortunately, there are quite a few people who I’d like to be there who won’t make it, but that’s the way of the world, of course. And I’ll find myself reading to some of my favourite people in the world (as well as an audience containing 50% excellent poets, which may become a cause for stress when I realise I have to excite them with my own reading!)

Sally Goldsmith, Jim Caruth and Suzannah Evans have all agreed to read a small set, too, so the evening is bound to be entertaining.

Somehow, though, I’ve to select half a dozen poems from the book which represent it and make the evening worthwhile for all these people. Each one of them will probably want something different.

Any advice on constructing the set?