is the name of an anthology to be published by Cinnamon Press in Spring 2011. I’ll have four poems in it, as I was shortlisted in their pamphlet competition (but didn’t make the final cut). The poems are: Litany (I wrote for my daughter, Natasha); In the Vice Provost’s Garden (which was written actually overlooking the garden of the vice provost of King’s College, Cambridge); Seven Summers (a sequence of seven haiku I wrote for the Sheffield Haiku trail, describing seven distinct summers of my life); and, The Song of Yellow Skin, which is one of the poems from my woman and warfare sequence on Kim Phuc. Strangely now, four of those six poems have been taken, but not the key, central, poem See Kim Run (although thei was recently workshopped by Michael Laskey, so maybe I’ve now an improved version).

Here’s an update of my events in the near future (mainly within Off the Shelf).

Oct 6th, 20th and 27th, 5pm till 7: Poetry workshop, Methodist Chapel, Denby Dale: A free workshop organised by Art in the Park

Oct 9th, 12.30: The Word Tent: Sheffield Town Hall (with Angelina Ayers) – reading. A free event.

Oct 13th, 1-3: Greenhill Library, Sheffield: an introductory workshop for writers. A free event, organised by Art in the Park.

Oct 13th, 7.15: Launch of Matter #10, Readings at Blackwell’s Bookshop, Sheffield. Free.

Oct 21st, 7.00: Readings by Matter #10 writers, Riverside pub, Sheffield. Free.

Oct 23rd, 10am till 4pm: An Art and poetry workshop (with Angelina Ayers), Bank Street Arts Centre, Bank Street, Sheffield. £4/£3 (Supported by Bank St and by Blackwell’s Bookshop)

Oct 26th, 12.30-5.00: Drop in Poetry Clinic, Bank Street Arts Centre, Bank Street, Sheffield. A free resource. Drop in to the poetry cafe anytime for chat, reading, workshopping, discussion of poets and poetry.

Oct 26th, 6.30-10.00pm: Tuesday Poets on a Tuesday, Fusion Cafe, Sheffield. £12 for food. Book in advance.

Nov 4th, 7.00:  Launch of Matter #10, Readings at London Review Bookshop, London. Free.

Oct 9th to Oct 26th: as part of Off the Shelf, we’ve organised a series of “Poets in Residence for a day” at Bank St Arts Centre, Bank St, Sheffield. Come along to work with a different poet every day (except Sundays and Mondays). Twenty different local poets, supported by Noel and Angelina Ayers, will be on hand to help you with your work, or to talk about their own.

Around now (7.30, 21st July) in Pontpridd the winners in the Welsh Poetry competition will be announced. I didn’t make the trip – but I’ve come fourth, with a poem called “Jetsam”. So “specially commended”, but just outside the prizewinners. This seems to be my story this year.

For the poem, and other winners, see:

I wrote this as part of a small sequence I’m constructing, but its tone and approach is rather different from my usual line. To attempt it, I emulated the work of a fellow student of mine (whom I won’t name here, just in case) and, whilst what I wrote is a world away from what he might have written, I think, nevertheless having his work in mind clearly helped me, so I thank him for work that has made such an impression. He will have several pieces in Matter #10, when it is released in October, which should be worth buying for those alone. (I’ll have a piece in it too, though: an extract from my children’s novel. More details later in the year.)

Here’s a really great idea: a wesbite on which children tell stories for other children to listen to. The stories are written by grown-ups, and read by youngsters.

My story, “Jigstory”, is read by a charming young lady who really puts herself into it. It’s fabulous. But many of the other readers are entertaining or cute or lovely, too. I can see this really catching on.

My story:

The home page:

There’s a new work-in-progress poem to examine and comment on for me: “Talisman” if you’re interested [POEM REMOVED ON 12 MAY], and I’ve added a chapter from one of my children’s works-in-progress, “Mordred’s Tooth“, for a little variety.