Monday, 16 February 2015

A Poetry Evening at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace

MUCH have I travelled in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen ...

'On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer'
John Keats (1795–1821)

The Poetry Society laid on a glittering event, In the Realms of Gold, in The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace last week. We were given the opportunity of hearing Forward Prize-winner and Next Generation Poet, Kei Miller, and his supporting cast of Poetry Society poets whose work on the theme of 'gold' had been selected by Kei.

We enjoyed a private view of the Gallery's current exhibitions, Gold and Cairo to Constantinople. I had spent a birthday book token on Kei's latest collection, The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion (Carcanet 2014), so was familiar with the poems 'on the page', but it is always fascinating to hear the same poems 'from the stage'. You can read Carrie Etter's Guardian review of the book here

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

'Poems for a Liminal Age'

My poem, 'Weddell Seal at the Ice Edge' has been accepted for a new anthology, Poems for a Liminal Age. The book will be edited by Mandy Pannett and published by SPM Publications (Sentinel Poetry Movement). Profits will support Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Assynt Poem in Reach Poetry

 Fin Whale's jawbone

My poem, 'Notes from the Netting Station', has just been published in the February issue of Reach Poetry. The inspiration came from the windswept beach at Clachtoll in Assynt in the north of Scotland, where there is a salmon bothy dating from 1846, and a netting station. Clachtoll was once a crofting township, with a large population of sheep. The abandoned netting station is strange place. Salmon fishing was carried out in the past by a process known as 'bag-netting'. The netted fish were kept cool in a nearby ice house. A jawbone and part of the skull of a Fin Whale can be seen outside the bothy, and it was the sad sight of these 'bare bones' that sparked my poem.

The beach at Clachtoll (Clach = rock; toll = hole)

Net-drying Poles at Clachtoll for bag-net fishing

The Netting Station (complete with large drops of Assynt rain!)

Friday, 23 January 2015

Poetry Certificate from Lidia Chiarelli

My thanks to Italian poet, Lidia Chiarelli, for this smart certificate. 

My thanks to Lidia of the international Immagine e Poesia movment 
for including my poem about the view through a dragonfly's eye
in the Poetry Basket at the Exhibition of 'Artists' Glances', 
mounted by Gianpiero and Lidia Actis in Turino. 

Sadly I was not in Italy for the exhibition, 
but my poem represented me!

You can take a virtual tour
on YouTube.

What would we see through these eyes?

Friday, 16 January 2015

ZSL Debut Poetry Competition Poems

A pool at (Suffolk Wildlife Trust) Redgrave and Lopham Fen

My thanks to Talita Jenman, ZSL Arts and Culture Coordinator, for her post on my ZSL Poetry Competition win on the theme of 'conservation'.

You can read my Villanelle, 'Raft Race', about the Fen Raft Spider here, along with the other prize-winning entries. The competition was judged by members of ZSL Discovery & Learning department, ZSL Resident poet Ahren Warner and Poet and ZSL council member Ruth Padel.

From the East Anglian Daily Times and The Ipswich Star
16 January 2015

The photos on my post here were taken last August (2014), when we visited Redgrave and Lopham Fen. Sadly we failed to see any Fen Raft Spiders, though we enjoyed the chance to experience their habitat along the Spider Trail.

You can read more about the Fen Raft Spider here

Follow the red arrow!

Other reserve residents who enjoy the special fen landscape

We found lots of helpful information on our visit ...

Saturday, 10 January 2015

A Spicy Clang

My short poem, 'Prawn Madras' [24/2010], has been posted on a site from the Netherlands called Kostro by site-owner, Vouter van der Land. 

The poem was written in my Swansea poetry group of 'Tuesday Poets' in 2010 to demonstrate the 'Clang' form, which was devised by fellow Tuesday Poet, Llewelyn Hugh Nicholas. 

The poem was first published in The Book of Forms - A Handbook of Poetics Including Odd and Invented Forms by Lewis Putnam Turco, University Press of New England 2011.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

2014 Review of Poetic Highlights

2014: Dylan Thomas 100

I am following the practice of fellow poetry/writer bloggers and posting a selection of my 2014 highlights (in no particular order).

Poetry and Literary Events attended

  • My Edward Thomas tribute poem, 'Literally, for this', in so too have the doves gone.
  • Several poems in Reach Poetry, Indigo Dreams Publishing. I am delighted that Indigo Dreams Publishing editors, Ronnie Goodyer and Dawn Bauling, have just won the PoetryKit's prestigious Ted Slade Award.
  • 'Starvation Point, Isle of Ulva' published in the 2014 Paragram anthology, Remember
  • Two poems published in Restless Bones, ed. Elaine Christie and Jacqui Rowe, in aid of the Born Free Foundation.
  • One poem published in The Pre-Raphaelite Society's second anthology of poems (ed. Serena Trowbridge).

Festival Participation

  • Overall Winner, Inaugural ZSL Poetry Competition on theme of 'conservation'.
  • 'Elegy for Idris Davies': nomination by Quill and Parchment for the Pushcart Prize.
  • Joint Second Place in the Metverse Muse (ed. Dr. H. Tulsi, Visakhapatnam) competition for formal poetry, category A.

 ... and so to 2015, which has just begun with a wonderful Suffolk Poetry Society workshop on the theme of 'layers and layering', led by Dr. Geraldine Green. Do throw a link in the Comments if you have posted your own review! Happy writing to all.