Friday, 21 July 2017
There's a terrific post here from Leicestershire poet Mark Goodwin, about his children hand-rearing a Swallow. It's interesting from an ornithological point of view, but it's also full of lovely writing. That phrase "a bringing in of the far" is great.
Tuesday, 18 July 2017
The paperback edition of A Sky Full Of Birds was reviewed in the latest issue of NFU Countryside magazine – you can see it above. And of course, you can buy it by following this link.
Monday, 17 July 2017
This rather splendid volume arrived in the post the other day. I've been following Matthew Stewart's poetry for several years now, ever since he was highly placed in the Plough Prize, so its great to see this finally published by Eyewear. I've already read it when it was at the manuscript stage, and it combines great economy of style with a hefty emotional punch – I'm looking forward to re-reading it this week.
You can buy it here.
Friday, 14 July 2017
Over at And Other Poems, there are now two index pages listing every poem published on the site since 2012 (and of course, you can click through to the poems themselves, too). I'm not even going to try to list the many excellent poets who have appeared there, because to pick any out would be unfair, but have a look yourself and enjoy.
Thanks to Laura McKee, who flagged this up on Facebook, and whose own excellent poems you can see here. Short poems too often get overlooked – it takes an awful lot of skill and nerve to know just how much is enough.
You can read two of my poems from The Elephant Tests – The Mind's Skyline and The Dark Ages – which were published there.
Monday, 10 July 2017
Sunday, 9 July 2017
Friday, 7 July 2017
It was impossible to resist the urge to go and see the Bee-eaters that have turned up at a quarry at East Leake, between Loughborough and Nottingham, earlier this week. There were five showing while I was there, although the suggestion is that there are at least two more and that the females are on nests within the quarry.
Long range, heat haze, and my lack of photography skills mean the photo leaves a lot to be desired, but you can get an idea of what gloriously colourful birds these are, far more at home around the Mediterranean than here. The number of records in the UK has been increasing, though, including occasional breeding attempts (and hopefully this is another) – global warming, presumably, is the cause.
While I was there they were feeding very actively, although their prey seemed to be almost exclusively dragonflies and damselflies. They were surprisingly vocal, too – their lilting 'pruuut' call was much in evidence.