Friday, 24 July 2015

'Days begin ...', an Anthology from Poetry Wivenhoe

We attended the Wivenhoe launch last night of a rather special anthology.

Days begin ... was edited by Peter Kennedy of Poetry Wivenhoe, who masterminded the celebrations. The book is set to raise funds for the new Colchester Cancer Centre, which will provide much needed (post-treatment) resources for those who have received cancer care.

The publication has already been funded so all profits from the sale of this book will go to the cause. Copies can be purchased from Wivenhoe Books.

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy has described the enterprise as “a wonderful project with some stunning poems by some of our brightest talents.” The title is taken from Penelope Shuttle's poem. Other contributors include Rebecca Goss, Martin Malone, Kim Moore and Kit Wright.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Launch of the Emma Press anthology, 'Slow Things'

We attended the launch of Slow Things yesterday evening. Slow Things is the latest poetry anthology from The Emma Press. It features poems on such diverse subjects as 'ice, traffic and a giant wooden boulder'. It also includes my poem, 'Dear Loris', about the Slow Loris, probably the only poisonous primate. 

The book launch took place in the Archive of Rambert on London's South Bank.

Ballet Rambert

I would like to thank publishers Emma Wright (owner of The Emma Press, above) and Rachel Piercey (regular co-editor, third from left below) for another wonderfully unique and diverse anthology.

There was plenty of opportunity for browsing on the book table; and given that the evening also included a launch of The Dead Snail Diaries by Valley Press founder and publisher, Jamie McGarry, it was hardly surprising that there was a trail of mollusc shells among the publications!

The photo below shows Jamie in full flight, regaling us with his witty gastropod poems.

It was a delightful and well-supported occasion, with a lively atmosphere, clear readings and plenty of opportunity for conversation.

Fellow Suffolk Poetry Society member, Alex Davis (front right)

Rachel Piercey with Alison Brackenbury

A buzz of conversation!

Alex Davis reading

 ... Alex and me, part of the Suffolk contingent ...

Thank you, Emma and Rachel, for a memorable occasion. 

Monday, 20 July 2015

Poetry Round-up

Staffin ... Isle of Skye

Time for a quick poetry round-up ...

Due to time away and other commitments I have got behind with my postings, so here is a summary.

  • I have been awarded Third-Equal in the Fixed Form Poet of the Year (2014) Challenge for the Metverse Muse (#38, ed. Dr. H. Tulsi, Visakhapatnam, India) competition in Category A. My poems in the international contest were 'Nightmare' and 'Feline Fancy'. My poems, 'Cattle Crossing, Staffin Bay' and 'Winter's Knife' have been published in this issue of Metverse Muse. 
  • My review of Mike Bannister's poetry book, The Green Man (translated into Romanian as Omul Verde) has appeared in Orizont Literar Contemporan, in the May-June 2015 issue. 
  • My interview with Professor Don Riggs of Drexel University in Philadelphia has appeared in Made of Words (translated into Romanian as Făurit din cuvinte). Published in Romania under the aegis of Orizont Literar Contemporan.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

A Terrific Day at the 2nd Festival of Suffolk Poetry

Festival Director, Colin Whyles, on stage

Colin adjusting the microphone

David reading his Raasay poems as a tribute to Sorley MacLean

I also read a Raasay poem ... and one about a turtle's 'tears'.
Ian Griffiths, Suffolk Poetry Society Chairman, recited his Golden Oriole poem

Poems on Gainsborough's House - Colin at the microphone

The 2nd Festival of Suffolk Poetry,
John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, Stowmarket
The Suffolk Poetry Society hosted its second all-day festival on Saturday 30 May 2015. Colin Whyles, Festival Director, was at the helm, with assistance from fellow committee members.

The morning programme comprised poetry workshops, including a session entitled ‘Poem as Time Machine’, with quick-fire exercises presented by Michael Laskey, co-founder of the international Aldeburgh Poetry Festival. Other workshops focused on the Villanelle poetry form (led by Suffolk Poetry Society President, James Knox Whittet) and on internal and external landscapes (led by Angela Locke, former Ipswich High School student, now a writer in Cumbria).

The afternoon events featured more than 30 members of 9 Poetry Cafés or groups from throughout our region, including a staff and student representation from University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich. The poems displayed a huge variety of style and subject matter. Suffolk-themed pieces ranged from a railway rap to a poem by previous Society Chairman, Anne Boileau, on the theme of Thomas Gainsborough’s pocket watch. 

There were more readings in the evening, including one from Michael Laskey. Douglas Coombes of InSuffolk ( held an onstage conversation with three Crabbe Memorial Poetry Competition Prize Winners, namely James Knox Whittet, Pam Job and David Healey. 

A bookstall displayed an impressive range of members’ books, pamphlets and chapbooks. Poetry doctors were on hand for those who were having difficulty with a poem. There was a demonstration of calligraphy by Sue Hufton.  

Do take a look at the Suffolk Poetry Society's Facebook page for more Festival photographs. A huge thank you to all who worked so hard to make this such an enjoyable and memorable day. 

Friday, 22 May 2015

StAnza Map - Poems about Scotland

Thanks to Eleanor Livingstone and her fellow poets in Scotland, my Lewis Chessman poem has just been added to the StAnza poetry map of Scotland, and you can find it here.

In 2014 during Scotland’s Year of Homecoming, StAnza set itself the challenge to see if the shape and nature of Scotland could be drawn entirely in poetry. The map continues to fill up with poem-flags, which you can see here.  

My poem, 'Lament of a Lewis Chessman' was first published in my chapbook, The Holy Place, co-authored with John Dotson, and published by The Seventh Quarry (2012) in conjunction with Cross- Cultural Communications (New York).

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Slow Things Anthology at The Emma Press

Editor Emma Wright and co-editor Rachel Piercey at The Emma Press are compiling an anthology on the theme of Slow Things.

It will include one of my poems about a slow creature (but not a Roman snail, as pictured!). More details to follow.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

'The With Words Haiku Book of Summer'

Ragged Robin on Skye

My 'Haiku: Skye summer' has been Highly Commended in the 2015 With Words Summer Haiku Competition. It will appear in the competition anthology, The With Words Haiku Book of Summer.  

Alan Summers of With Words is also planning to publish The With Words Book of Summer.