Saturday, 23 April 2011


Last Monday was the date for another Leicester Shindig with not only me reading but Kathy Bell, Matt Merritt and Matthew Stewart. All three guest readers were excellent. Kathy Bell has a powerful command of language and imagery, a rich contemplative music exists in her work. Matt Merritt is just brilliant as always and I think 'Things left in Hotel Rooms' is one of my favourite poems at the moment. Matthew Stewart was the surprise for me because I'd never heard him read before and living for much of the year in Spain, this wasn't likely. I'd come across a few things in magazines, but to hear him read poetry which was so well-crafted and sonorous was such a pleasure. He has a pamphlet out with Happenstance called 'Inventing Truth' so do yourself a favour and get a copy, I would absolutely recommend it. Matthew blogs here:

The open mic was another lively mix of voices, with readers like Mark Goodwin, Jayne Stanton, Pam Thompson, Mal Dewhurst and lots of other interesting stuff. I enjoyed Laurie Cusack's piece, even though he forgot to print off the last page, very well saved I thought. I also met and listened to Gary Longden, Brummie based poet,actor and reviewer, who also reviewed the night here at:

Shindig happens again in June with Luke Kennard, Joel Lane and others as yet unconfirmed. Look forward to it as ever.

Why am I about to post this?

Dear Poem I am working on, yeah, you. You who are doing my head in this evening, a Saturday night no less. You have deliberately been playing games with me for over two weeks, why can't you be like some of your other friends, poems that miraculously write themselves. Oh no, you don't wanna play that game, you lack magic, grace, you feel like prose. You are starting to get on my wick, you so-called 'poem.' You are forcing me to write a highly questionable blog entry that I about to click send on and share with intelligent people world-wide. Sort it out!

Friday, 8 April 2011

The news, breaking not broken.

I have been pretty lucky publication wise this year. There's quite a bit to look forward to in terms of magazines. I have work either publsihed or forthcoming in Staple, Tears in the Fence, Obsessed with Pipework, The Coffee House, Ink, Sweat and Tears and The North. Here's a link for the Ink, Sweat and Tears webzine:

Plus readings a plenty Leicester Shindig on April 18th avec moi, Matt Merritt, Kathy Bell and Matthew Stewart. This takes place at The Western, Western Road, Leicester at 7:30pm and it won't cost you a penny, gentle reader, but obviosly your drinks will. I also read with the Nottingham Poetry series with Hélène Fromen and Emily Hasler, from 7:30 at the Nottingham Contemporary, Weekday Cross - again free. The strange one coming up next Monday is a reading at my old school (!), no not one I was a pupil at - they demolished that one, honest- they really did - but one I worked at as an English teacher, Beauchamp college in Oadby, Leicester. That should be interesting, I'll try and remember it's a reading and not Year 13 revision.

It's all coming back to me...

March, what happened in March? Oh, we had the plumber round and the following also happened... Aoife Mannix was tip top at Word! at the beginning of the month and treated everyone to some well-observed and beautifully delievered poetry. I received a free copy of Seamus Heaney's collected poems on World Book Day and let it be known that these free copies were circulated to the customers of The Swan in the Rushes, Loughborough on a Saturday night. The poetry corps of L'boro is pretty fearless. Then pancake day, then I got a cold and went to a birthday party in Stoke and then - then the world famous States of Independence on March 20th, organised by Ross Bradshaw and the Creative Writing team at DMU. It was a very good day and both me and J came away with sackfuls of verse. I made an interesting discovery amongst other things, I'd never read any Dorothy Nimmo before but I was handed a copy by Peter Sansom and have been reading it since. It was a lovely day and the sun shone and there were some terrific speakers.
The Nottingham Shindig took place on Sunday 21st with Luke Kennard, Deborah Tyler-Bennett, Mark Goodwin and Mike Wilson. I'd been looking forward to hearing Luke Kennard for a while and it was very striking work. Then I got laryngitis. Anhyhow, a good month for verse - en avant!