Just received my contributor’s copy of Iota #94. They’ve kindly published three of my poems: Melusine, which came from an aborted sequence, Hawkmoth, and In the Dark, a strange fantasy drafted on the lonely platform of Denby Dale station late one winter’s night in 2012 after I’d given a workshop.

I was pleased to find myself rubbing shoulders with poems by my good, and very modest, friend, Stuart Pickford, recent winner of the Yorkshire Prize in the Poetry Business Competition. He has a very dry, laconic observational style, his poems very often grounded in family life, with an honesty and accuracy that attaches the reader’s experience to his. (Somewhat of a contrast to the more histrionic and fantastic voice that seems to creep into my work….but variety, spice, life and all that).

There’s also a review of Will Kemp’s Lowland, a book I’d recommend. You can read my review in Orbis #167 if you want to know why – but, basically, his narrative lyricism carries you through his poems so that you find yourself reading more and more of them to sustain the experience. Will is one of the winners of the inaugural Cinnamon pamphlet competition (I was shortlisted – must try harder).

Most of the other poets in this issue are unknown to me, so this is going to be an interesting read.