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 The events of the last two years have already rendered my poem’s content out of date, but it … Continue reading Public Sector Poetry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’m delighted to have two poems on Wild Court again, here. Big thanks to its editor, and very fine poet, Robert Selby. I could provide some football trivia as background to the Cloughie poem, but I’ll let the poem speak for it itself. I like to think it’s in keeping with David Peace’s brilliant 2006 … Continue reading More poems on Wild Court
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.
Wednesday marked seven years since my dad died. So here’s a sonnet about him, concerning an important aspect of his retirement years, which Richard Skinner kindly published in his annual journal 14 in 2020.The BiddingWe never saw our father bidding in stuffy,Crockery-cluttered auction rooms across Surrey— Dorking, Shere, Reigate, Haslemere—for late-GeorgianToby jugs; even so, we can … Continue reading The Bidding
In these dreadful times of international crisis, it’s unsurprising that several people I’ve talked to lately have reported that they’ve been having really out-there dreams, worthy almost of the psychedelic effects in Ken Russell’s Altered States, whose star, William Hurt died yesterday. My elder son told me about a dream he had of giant vampiric … Continue reading On dreams, Julian Cope and John Greening
I have three poems, in good company, in the latest issue of The High Window, here. My thanks to editor David Cooke, whose splendidly-titled latest collection Sicilian Elephants is available from Two Rivers Press, here.
My poem, ‘The Rupert Man’ is featured today over at Bad Lilies, here. I’m very grateful to Kathryn Gray and Andrew Nielson for publishing it, not least because it’s one of those poems which has been through hundreds of versions, some of which were rejected by other editors, before it reached this final state. I … Continue reading On ‘The Rupert Man’
I have a poem, ‘Movement is Life’, up at Poems and Pictures, here, on the Mary Evans Picture Library website. I’m grateful to the editor, Gill Stoker. The poem’s title derives from the motto of the Women’s League of Health and Beauty, a British then worldwide mass fitness organisation whose sessions my mum attended twice … Continue reading Poems and Pictures