2012: year-to-view

According to WordPress, since moving here on 15th January, my blog has received 6,300 views over 49 posts, with visitors from 46 countries.  That’s the number stuff dealt with.  Here’s a more interesting take (I hope) on my poetry year:

This year I’ve ventured beyond Leicester to discover the delights of open mic nights across the Midlands: Poetry Alight in Lichfield, Nightblue Fruits in Coventry, The Fizz in Polesworth and Spoken Worlds in Burton-on-Trent.  Each has its own formula for success, its unique character, thanks to Gary Longden, Antony Owen, Mal Dewhirst and Gary Carr respectively.  I’ve enjoyed meeting up with friends, making new ones and hearing readings by a wide range of featured poets.  Word! at the ‘Y’ and Ping…K! Poetry continue to nurture and surprise.  Leicester Shindig remains a diary ‘must’ – four featured poets, high quality of open mic readings.

Poetry Alight July 2012

Yours truly, reading in front of the auspicious fireplace

Spoken Worlds July 2012

My poetry diet has been enriched by attending readings from Ian McMillan, Michael Horovitz, Marianne Boruch, Jackie Kay and Jo Shapcott, amongst others.

Favourite nights out: the Crystal Clear Creators pamphlet launch, my tiny exhibit launch with Galleri Gestur and guest reading at Ping…K! Poetry, Carol Ann Duffy’s reading at Leicester University as part of Literary Leicester week.

My exhibit

Great days: States of Independence at De Monfort University, the Lichfield Festival, Dig the Poetry at Polesworth Abbey and a guided tour of Polesworth’s Poetry Trail.

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An impromptu half term getaway: the Hay Festival (even the wet Welsh weather couldn’t put a dampener on readings by Gillian Clarke, Phillip Gross and Ben Okri et al).

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Best workshop: Cathy Grindrod’s Creative Development Workshop for shortlisted candidates of Writing East Midlands’ mentorship programme really helped me identify and refine my writing goals for the next twelve months.

Social support network: I’m continually grateful for the support and friendship of fellow poets at Soundswrite, Leicester and South Leics stanzas.  Workshopping my poems remains an essential part of the writing process.  (And friends on Facebook, Twitter and blogs for links, laughs and so much more).

Behind the scenes: writing, writing, writing, submissions, the odd published poem in journals and online.

The highlight of my poetry year: the five inspirational days spent in Cork as part of the Twin City Poetry Exchange: Paul Casey’s welcome and tireless hosting, our O’Bheal guest readings in Cork and Limerick, visits to Grange Stone Circle and Cobh, and the company of fellow poet Janet Smith.

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2013: looking forward: my featured poet reading at Leicester Shindig on 14th January (am thrilled) and a half term getaway: a two-day poetry course on the north-west coast (can’t wait).

Wishing you all the very best in health and happiness for 2013.

Rite of Passage

I am delighted that my poem, Rite of Passage, is today’s offering on Danse Macabre Du Jour, the daily blogpost of Nevada’s first online literary magazine.  Click here to read it.

This day last year, my poem, Snowhenge, inspired by my native city of Lincoln, appeared on Poetry Advent Calendar.  Read it here or here.

Forthcoming on this blog: my poetry year-to-view.

He Came To Me

a scent, his sweat, bottled
captured essence of violation
base note, fear, it lingered
on my skin, reeked impotence.
I was thankful when he faded.

tisane, his tears infused
wormwood, myrrh, angelica, gentian;
bitter on the stomach,
I drank him honey-sweetened.

pixellated, news-real blood,
scarlet spatters on his prison pallor,
fleshing out my naïve images, when
I preferred impressions.

in song, his caged words, released
between bar lines on airwaves,
the unmistakable cadence;
I recognised the bottom line.

Published in Under the Radar issue 9 (Nine Arches Press Feb 2012)

Click here for a video clip of an earlier version.