Saturday, 31 January 2015

The Wanderer

A Kindle edition of Jane Holland's version of The Wanderer is out now, priced £1.99. I enjoyed it very much when it originally came out in print, being partial to all things Anglo-Saxon anyway, but the great thing about it is that it really requires no prior knowledge of Anglo-Saxon poetry at all - it's simply an atmospheric and moving re-imagining of a great poem.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Meanwhile, over at Out There With The Birds... latest post has appeared - I'm rambling about Starlings and House Sparrows, their worrying decline, and our attitude to them. While you're there, have a good look at the site. There's all sorts of good stuff to be found - I particularly enjoyed Bill Wilson's recent post.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

And more RF Langley

No sooner had I mentioned RF Langley, than I came across this article – Helen Macdonald makes a great case for his Journals, available from Shearsman. They, along with the forthcoming Collected Poems from Carcanet, look like essential buys.

Helen's superb H Is For Hawk won the Costa Book of the Year award the other night, and deservedly so, too. I've been re-reading it this week, and finding new things to enjoy.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

RF Langley

On Twitter yesterday, Jeremy Noel-Tod linked to his obituary, from The Times, for poet RF Langley, who died four years ago.

It's an excellent piece, and reminded me that Langley is a poet I need to read more of. What I have read I've liked a lot. Anyone else out there a fan?

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

New at Litter

Over at Litter, there's a really good review by Andrew Duncan of Dorothy Lehane's Nine Arches collection Ephemeris - it's a terrific book. There are also two poems from the book, so you can get some sort of idea of what we're talking about.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Poetry at Wired Cafe Bar

This Thursday, January 15th, sees the first of a series of poetry readings/open mics at Wired Cafe Bar, 42 Pelham Street, Nottingham, NG1 2EG.

I'm delighted to be the featured reader for this first event, which runs from 6.30pm-8pm. Entry is free.

If you'd like to read at the open mic, sign-up is from 6pm-6.15pm.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Rogue Strands strikes a balance

Some good points, clearly and concisely made, over at Rogue Strands today. I enjoyed doing English Literature as far as A Level, but I've always been rather glad that I didn't go any further with it - I suspect it would have put me off a lot of the subsequent reading for enjoyment that I did/do.

On the other hand, as Matthew points out, developing some sort of a critical eye is vital for any writer, and there are few better ways to do that than writing reviews (even if they're not for publication).

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

After London

I've written some poems as an afterword to the wonderful Observatory Press's new edition of Richard Jefferies' After London, a sort of 19th century 'after the apocalypse' novel. Jefferies, of course, was best known for his writings on wildlife and the countryside, and a fair amount of that found its way into his fictional work, too.

I was interviewed for the Observatory Press website, and you can read the results here. I managed to get a mention of great Cthulhu in there, too.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

A heart made of worms and mud

Mark Cocker's Country Diary pieces in The Guardian are always a pleasure, but this latest one is particularly good, including as it does woodcocks and wigeon, two of my favourite things about our winter avifauna.

I've struggled to find woodcocks myself this winter - I'd hope that it's due to fewer having arrived from Scandinavia and further east, because of the mild weather, rather than an alarming decline. Wigeon, though, are plentiful locally.