Thank you to everyone who followed, visited and commented here in 2015. Although I have never set a target to write here regularly, I find this a very useful and enjoyable place to clarify and share thoughts, experiences and ideas related to writing and publishing poetry. This year these pages received fifteen thousand five hundred hits. Some popular posts were, in no particular order
Where can I send my poems (parts 1 and 2)
The tongue in cheek Becoming a poet, which was written quickly in January last year and picked up and shared widely on Twitter and elsewhere.
Putting a poetry pamphlet together – a few thoughts on selecting and grouping poems.
In May, the post Drafting Poems , recently re-written as Drafting poems re-drafted, received lots of attention and positive feedback .
Also quite popular was a recent post on poetry ‘rejection’ and the nature of success .
One of the permanent pages, entitled Poetry Submissions gets lots of regular visits. The page that doesn’t is ‘Poets on Poetry‘ – I’d recommend it as I think it is fun, interesting and thought-provoking, so I hope do have a peek if you have time. I hope to keep collecting and adding quotes.
Some posts have taken time and planning. I was very pleased with the series of interviews with poet/ editors including Nine Arches editor Jane Commane , and others with Noel Williams of Antiphon , Brett Evans of Prole, and Martin Malone of the Interpreter’s House, all of whom generously provided insights into their work as both editors and poets.
I was also pleased to feature the work of young poets whose work had not appeared widely at the time, but who have subsequently been published in prestigious magazines – James Giddings, in Ambit and the current edition of Poetry Review, and Emily Blewitt, who kindly shared three poems and some thoughts here and who has a full collection forthcoming from Seren. Others whose work featured this year included that of Siegfried Baber and the excellent and very distinctive poems of Tiffany Anne Toudut . Also featured was the inspirational John Foggin, a brilliant writer and thoughtful and supportive friend to so many poets including yours truly.
I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to write some poetry reviews this year – for the Interpreter’s House, and for the brilliant new On-line magazine The Compass whose reviews editor is Kim Moore. You can read versions of some of these reviews on the Poetry Reviews page.
My poetry writing has progressed steadily with poems arriving at fairly regular intervals, and I am working on a draft of my new collection which is due to be published in early 2017. This year my work appeared in a number of places it hadn’t been published before including Ambit magazine, and I’m glad to say that new poems will be published in Poetry Wales, Magma and The Manchester Review in the coming months.
It is always a great pleasure to read and attend readings by friends, old and new.
In 2015 I was delighted to be invited to read in London, Leeds, Oxford, Hebden Bridge ( a wonderful place, currently beset by terrible flooding) Sheffield, Swindon, Halifax, Lichfield, Leicester and Manchester, the last of these with the wonderful Liz Berry in the magnificent John Rylands library.
Also in the last year, my collection ‘The Sun Bathers’, was nominated for the Michael Murphy Award. I was pleased that the book had been short-listed, particularly as the majority of other books on the list were published by larger poetry publishers including Faber and Faber and Bloodaxe. My publisher kindly reprinted The Sun Bathers and, for fear of running out again, I bought a large stack. If anyone would like a copy of the book you can purchase a copy via the link at the top of the page.
Elsewhere, my short story ‘Late’, appeared in the lovely Bare Fiction magazine.
Some poets admirably manage to write weekly posts, but as I said at beginning, this was never a place where I intended to write as regularly as that. I do enjoy writing here when I can, and am grateful for the space this place affords me to share and clarify and learn, and I greatly appreciate your readership and comments.
I’ve got a couple of ideas for posts for 2016 but – perhaps some more interviews, and a little about delivering a workshop and judging a children’s poetry competition (something new for me.)
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading.
Finally I’d like to wish you all the best in 2016.
Here are some horses…