1 Every day I don the taciturn authority of a snooker referee. My clobber’s always beautiful: cufflinked shirt and Paras tie, narrowest-pinstripe three-piece suit and handstitched Oxford brogues. I could tell you about my three tours of Northern Ireland; the kills. These are deerskin-leather gloves I bear within my borough-crested cap. I loathe this poxy Vauxhall… Continue reading Three English Miniatures
I spent the last week in August in Carnlough, on the Antrim Coast, on Anne-Marie Fyfe and Cahal Dallat’s Coffee-house Poetry week, and what a week it was. Anne-Marie’s inspirational exercises had the twenty of us participants drafting poems infused with blueness and on all things cloud-related. Cahal’s workshops on the writing of Sinéad Morrissey, Ciaran… Continue reading Carnlough and the Barbican
Over on the Carcanet website there’s a blog post by the wonderful poet Roger Garfitt about the opening poem of The Action, which I've been enjoying very much. Last week, I re-read Roger's superb memoir, The Horseman’s Word too. His writing – whether poetry or prose – is so precise and full of beautiful detail. I’ll… Continue reading Roger Garfitt
rustle of corn leaves— fitting my son for a new ball glove This haiku features among the August selections on this year’s Haiku Calendar, and is one I like very much. Chad Lee Robinson is one of the very best of the younger generation of American haiku poets. His excellent 2015 collection The Deep End of the… Continue reading On a haiku by Chad Lee Robinson
There are some new, free e-books at the Snapshot Press website. I can especially recommend the train haiku of Alan S. Bridges and the incomparable Americana haibun of Glenn G. Coats. As it says there, if you like the e-books, please support Snapshot by buying a paper book or two.
At the end of the school year which sets the timeframe for my working year, there are always occasions – leaving dos and retirements – which are simultaneously joyous and sad, like a prefiguring of funerals that celebrate lives well lived. The last two weeks have seen more than the usual number of them, and… Continue reading Summer lull
the soft splash of a lap swimmer’s strokes morning coolness One of the June selections for this year’s Haiku Calendar, this haiku, by a former Associate Editor of The Heron’s Nest, is exemplary in its mood of serenity. For me, the swimmer’s action has an implicitly metronomic, perhaps hypnotic, quality to it, which contrasts with, and… Continue reading On a haiku by Robert Gilliland
I’m delighted to have a poem up on the Poetry Village website today – many thanks to David Coldwell. I wrote the poem on an Arvon week at marvellous Lumb Bank during the heatwave last June.
‘Michaelmas’ was chosen by Michael Schmidt as one of four poems to represent Veronica Forrest-Thomson’s sadly slim output in his Harvill Book of Twentieth Century Poetry in English, and, since reading Forrest-Thomson’s fantastic Collected Poems, I’ve been wondering why, as it’s a curiously difficult poem among an overall oeuvre renowned for being contrary, albeit not as contrary… Continue reading On Veronica Forrest-Thomson’s ‘Michaelmas’
I’m greatly enjoying the Places of Poetry project, which aims to map poems of place in England and Wales. It’s co-led by the brilliant poet Paul Farley and Andrew McRae, and co-managed by the universities of Exeter and Lancaster. Thus far, I’ve pinned 21 of my poems on the map, which is very satisfying. There are… Continue reading Places of Poetry