Not posted for a while because I’ve been to Scarborough to watch the sea and write. Following the end of my Exploding Poetry exhibition, I’ve switched attention mainly to writing my children’s book: “How to Kill Francesca. Twice.” I hope to finish it in May, which means I need to write something like 1000 words a day between now and then.

I’m very fond of Scarborough, both for its memories (we regularly stayed with our three children, now all grown) and for the many little pleasures it offers. But particularly for the drama of its landscape and seascapes. This time we were particularly lucky in the flat we found, which had a nice view of the North Beach, but a fabulous panorama of the harbour and the South Beach, and much of the town was well. It was also sited only five minutes from the castle and the historic church where Anne Bronte lies (in fact, we parked our car in her graveyard – it seems somehow sacreligious, but also slightly charming, as much of the rest of the town pitches cultural stereotypes against daily reality).

So I could sit all day in the window, staring at the sea and occasionally dropping words onto the page. In this idyll, I managed 16000 words in five days (okay – it’s only a draft, but I was still pretty pleased with myself).

And then we came home, and I found notice of five more poems being published. Except, when I looked at it, I had to withdraw two, because they’d been taken for publication without letting me know, and I’d meanwhile re-sent them elsewhere. This is the first time I’ve had to say “don’t publish” my work – and it felt pretty miserable.

So three poems are due to appear soon in Champion Poems #2, published by Sentinel Poetry Movement. They’re “Found Objects”, which came out of the MA Writing at Hallam, “A Civilised Woman”, which has come from my “Woman and War” project, and “Unspoken”, a little love poem.

Sentinel Literary Quarterly is an online cultural journal with a multicultural remit, that runs regular poetry and now also short story competitions (see An email tonight told me I’d won the latest, with a poem called “Instamatic”.

It’s at:

I seem to be doing something right at the moment. The Sentinel Poetry movement have also recently published Champion Poems which contains one of mine, “Undine” . See: