A roundup of recent events

I had the pleasure of seeing my friend Zaffar Kunial read at Spire Writes in Chesterfield back in December. He is a truly brilliant poet who has recently been awarded the Wordsworth Trust residency.
I’m looking forward to reading at Spire, hosted by Helen Mort, in February.

Maria Taylor has chosen her books of the year and said good things about mine. She has posted a poem from The Sun Bathers which you can read here.

My review of Matt Merritt’s The Elephant Tests is up on the excellent Hinterland along with some fine new poems by Martin Malone and others.

My poem ‘Meat is Murder’ was awarded 2nd prize in the Allan Sillitoe competition.

I’ve been working on translations of Eugenio Montale, and also returned to translating some poems by the contemporary Italian poet Andrea Inglese that I first looked at a couple of years ago. The new versions are published in Litter magazine and you can read them if you click this link.

My tendonitis has eased up a little and I’m returning to the keyboard to type up a batch of new poems.

Happy New Year and thanks for reading!


The sound of petals falling

In a recent article in Lighthouse Magazine Tim Love cited a quotation from 20th century American writer Don Marquis:

‘Writing a book of poetry is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo’.

If this statement is true, it prompts the question, why write poetry?

In a series of interviews with contemporary poets to be published here over the coming months, I’ll be exploring each individual’s motivation to write, as well as asking about the inspiration and working methods of each poet. The interviews will reveal some of the frustrations, challenges and rewards that accompany the pursuit of the perfect poem.

I’ll be aiming to subvert Marquis metaphor for futility by employing a the sensitive listening device that is the carefully designed interview to pick up vibrations from the lightest of petals and generate echo’s and reverberations in the minds of my readers.

A second series will ask editors and publishers to share their individual perspectives and insights into subjects such as how work is selected as well as thoughts on reviewing and marketing and other aspects of contemporary poetry world.

An exciting line up of poets and editors have agreed to take part, from younger, newer writers, to those with long-established and distinguished records of publishing and promoting not only their own poetry but also that of others.

I’m delighted that my first interview will be with Matt Merritt, whose third full collection ‘The Elephant Tests’ (Nine Arches Press) was published last month.