Like the ubiquitous Christmas lights and Noddy Holder yelling ‘It’s Christmas!’ , I am reminded that the end of the year is approaching by Matthew Stewart, who has posted his annual list of Best UK poetry Blogs. I think that’s the third year Matthew has kindly chosen to mention this place- this space that I visit when I have something I would like to share.
I don’t often visit the stats page of this blog. but I looked just now, and found that I ‘ve written on here less than last year- 45 posts so far this year, as opposed to 56 posts in 2015. Also, that there have been 6,767 visitors at the time of writing – a couple of thousand less than last year- and 11, 067 views- about four thousand views less than last year.
What is more surprising is that this place has been visited by people from 114 countries! Among them have been visits from the Bahamas, Kazakhstan, North Korea (!) , Fiji, Liberia, Uruguay, Zimbabwe, Angola, Bolivia and China. 131 visits have been from Brazil, and 1692 from the United States.
Obviously, I wouldn’t post here if I didn’t want people to read what I’ve written. But I’ve not looked into how to maximize ‘hits’ or traffic or anything like that. And I don’t know what brought so many people here from around the world. Search engines are a mysterious thing, so perhaps the person in Macau, for example, was searching for something completely different from what they found. Hopefully, some visitors were looking for what they found here.
This year, like last year, I’ve been lucky enough to share the work of several Featured Poets, (sometimes called ‘Guest Poets ) including Keith Hutson and John Foggin, both of whom have published wonderful new work recently. I hope these gentlemen wont mind me saying that neither of them are in the first flush of youth (maybe the second or third flush). Both have had busy working and family lives, and have finally found a bit of time to concentrate on their poetry. Both are outstanding writers, and with these new publications, their work is gathering much deserved attention. I’m pleased to say that two fabulous younger poets whose work was featured here last year have now found publishers: James Giddings, with Templar press, and Emily Blewit whose book will be out with Seren next year.
I have also posted a sprinkling of book reviews and a couple of interviews with poets. The piece on Putting a pamphlet together has proved to be popular again, as have a series of articles about constructive criticism and feedback. The Poetry Submissions page is always well frequented. Among other subjects, I wrote a piece on depression, and a few articles about translation which included examples of the original poem and my workings on it.
Hopefully I’ve maintained a balance between showcasing other’s work and exploring and sharing a little about my own travels in poetry, both physical and otherwise. Comments on my articles on writing have suggested that people have found some of them interesting and useful, so thank you to everyone who has taken the time to comment. If one person has benefited or discovered anything while visiting this place, then it has fulfilled its purpose.