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 results of the National Poetry competition have been announced and you can read the winning poems here.  I  loved the third  placed poem by Zaffar Kunial, ‘Hill Speak’, which  demonstrates the possibility of a poem to be multi-dimensional, seeming to exist in space and time beyond itself. I hope this statement will make sense to you if you read the poem, and I would urge you to do so if you haven’t seen it. I met Zaffar whilst queueing for a sandwich at the  reading I wrote about on this blog last week. We only exchanged a few words but his modesty and quiet attention were apparent.  The second placed poem by Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch is from her forthcoming collection ‘Banjo’ which will be published by Picador. I was also fortunate to be at the recent launch of Magma magazine at which Samantha was a featured reader, and was spellbound by a sequence based on the tragic Scott expedition. These poems demonstrate another aspect of the art in that they combine a huge amount of research with great empathy and tremendous technical ability. I look forward to the publication of ‘Banjo’, and to the first collection by a brilliant new and distinctive voice in british poetry, Zaffar Kunial.