I’ve written about the clarity and excellence of Simon Chard’s haiku before, here, and I make no apology for doing so again. Over the last few years, his haiku have been as consistently good as those of any English-language haiku poet and it’s no wonder that he’s won several competitions, including the Haiku Presence Award … Continue reading On Simon Chard
On Saturday, fellow poets Ian Parks, Simon Beech, Tracy Day Dawson and I walked the route of Ted Hughes’s paper round up from Mexborough to Old Denaby, as described here. Ian, born and brought up in Mexborough, led us on the route which took in the former newsagent’s where Hughes and his family lived from … Continue reading On Ted Hughes
The Monday before last I went to the Bedford, Balham, for the Live Canon launch of Mary Mulholland’s pamphlet, What the Sheep Taught me. It was and is a beautiful old pub, with an amazing performance space. Before Mary read, her guest readers were Simon Maddrell, Alice Hiller and Chris Hardy, all of whom read … Continue reading On Mary Mulholland and Larkin
I’ve been to see the Sickert exhibition at Tate Britain, having meant to go and see it in Liverpool when it was on show there. Poster for Sickert exhibition at Tate Britain Sickert’s long been among my favourite British artists – and artists per se. The exhibition traces his development from his beginnings as Whistler’s … Continue reading On Sickert
My reviews of these two fine pamphlets are up on the Sphinx website, where, as always, there are many other reviews to read. Thanks to Nell Nelson for her encouragement and skilfully editing of my chunter.The review of Amanda Dalton’s Notes on Water is here.The review of Greg Freeman’s The Fall of Singapore is here.
Who knew legs could hallucinate,mistaking uphill for the flat? a windmill’s arms as still as the roadkill ox-eye daisies Toad Lane road sign
Today is an exciting day for me because my essay on the poet (and writer per se) Ted Walker has been published on The Friday Poem, here. I’m very grateful to editor Hilary Menos for finding space for my rambling observations and, moreover, for Ted himself.The essay took a good deal of reading and research, … Continue reading On Ted Walker
The summer is invariably a quiet time for me, writing-wise. There are too many distractions for one thing, but, in any case, I rarely get in the mood to write when it’s warm and pleasant outside.Reading, though, is a different matter. Sitting out in the sunshine with a good book is, of course, one of … Continue reading Hiatus
I have a poem, ‘Accommodation Strategy’, in the second issue, here, of Public Sector Poetry, which is a rather niche journal for people like me who work in the public sector and also happen to be poets. The events of the last two years have already rendered my poem’s content out of date, but it … Continue reading Public Sector Poetry
I’ve written before on this blog about the excellence of Kathy Pimlott’s poetry - a review, here, of her first Emma Press pamphlet Goose Fair Night (2016). Kathy’s second pamphlet, Elastic Glue (2019), was just as good, and contained several poems concerning the gentrification of her neighbourhood of Covent Garden and Seven Dials in central … Continue reading On Kathy Pimlott
With thanks to editor Hilary Menos, I have another piece on The Friday Poem today: a review, available here, of Sarah Mnatzaganian’s marvellous Lemonade in the Armenian Quarter, published by the estimable Against the Grain Poetry Press. As ever, though, there’s plenty of other, excellent stuff on there.
set fair the pop of the dubbin tinThe haiku above, one of the April contingent in The Haiku Calendar 2022, still very much worth buying from the incomparable Snapshot Press, here, has been talking to me for the past week and a half. Few haiku as short as this – just nine syllables – do … Continue reading On a haiku by Simon Chard
Over on The Friday Poem, I have another essay, here, entitled Considering the Effects; on three poems about bowls (yes, really) by Stephen Payne, Pauline Stainer and Ted Walker. My thanks to editor Hilary Menos, and to HappenStance, Bloodaxe and London Magazine Editions for permissions to quote the poems in full.
Last Friday, April Fool’s Day perhaps appropriately, marked thirty years to the day since I started working in local government. I joined Kingston Council all those years ago thinking that it would do me for a few months while I thought about what I really wanted to do with my life. I’ve moved local authorities … Continue reading On leaving dos and public service
My latest ‘one point of interest’ (OPOI) reviews are on the Sphinx website: of Alan Brownjohn’s The Ship of Endurance, here, and Martin Figura’s My Name is Mercy, here. As ever, though, there are lots of other reviews to read.