I’m grateful for the attention reviewers draw to collections, whatever they make of them. So often I find a book I want to read because someone has made me aware of it and interested in what the writer has to say.
During lockdown reviews have been scarcer as many arts and literature establishments abandon their offices and everyone works from home. It’s harder to get books physically to people, and many reviewers are on furlough, and/or overwhelmed with adapting to our changing circumstances.
So I’m very grateful for three recent reviews of my latest collection from Bloodaxe. Each reviewer has their own particular take on ‘Return by Minor Road’, and it’s really interesting to see how the work comes over to different readers. Continue reading Three reviews of Return by Minor Road
The Poetry Archive‘s tagline is ‘connecting with the voice of poets’ and I’ve enjoyed listening to so many wonderful poems on their site over many years.
Their 2020 project ‘The Poetry Archive Now!‘ hosts current poems from all over the world for viewers to browse and enjoy on YouTube. It’s a pleasure to be part of a project without boundaries sharing poems.
What a pleasure it was to judge the Poetry Society’s 2020 Stanza Poetry Competition. From nearly 400 entries I had to choose 13 – a Winner, two joint Runners-up and ten Commended.
It was fascinating to read and mull on all the poems. Here’s an extract from my Judge’s report:
Poems are so often visual – reading nearly 400 poems where sound, or lack of sound, was the focus was fascinating. There were many birds, conversations, tinnitus, the unsaid or misheard, onomatopoeic poems, poems aware of their own music, and poems interrogating the rarely heard sounds or enforced silences of lockdown. It was absorbing to enter each and every world submitted.
I’m really looking forward to hearing the wonderful Philip Gross read from his new Bloodaxe collection Between the Islands at Cafe Writers Zoom event on 14th Sept at 7.30pm. I’ll be reading a few poems from my new book too, ‘Return by Minor Road’, plus there’s plenty of open mic.
It’s free, and you can register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cafe-writers-september-tickets-117642103699?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch
I’m grateful to Write Out Loud for this sensitive and engaged review of ‘Return by Minor Road’: “Many of us, myself included, will never forget Dunblane. This is a fitting tribute to those whose lives were tragically cut short at such a tender age.’‘
I’m excited to be judging the Poetry Society’s annual Stanza competition. The theme is ‘Hear’ and entry is free. If you belong to a Poetry Society Stanza and you’re a member of the Poetry Society you can enter up to 2 poems of 40 lines. There’s still time to join both and enter!
Coming out of lockdown today – my book ‘Return by Minor Road’ is officially published 25 June.
The Cambridge Writing Retreat has been featuring a different poet each day in June in their podcast and on their website. I’m today’s featured poet, reading my poem ‘Cormorant’.
I recently reviewed Jennifer Wong’s accomplished new collection ‘Letters Home’ from Nine Arches Press for Poetry School. Jennifer Wong’s accomplished new collection ‘Letters Home’ from Nine Arches Press for Poetry School. It’s an enlightening collection that resists easy answers to questions of identity, geography, and belonging that affect us all.