Tuesday, 24 November 2015

52 - the book

It provided a year's worth of poetry writing prompts, hints and tips, and now you can get it in book form.

52 was a project that ran throughout 2014, and the new volume from Nine Arches Press anthologises those prompts, from Jo Bell and a team of guest poets, including myself, alongside some fine poetry ranging from John Donne to Kei Miller.

Read more about the making of the book here, or order it here.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Try The Nightwatchman

The Nightwatchman, the cricket quarterly of a decidedly literary bent, will be posting some of the best pieces from its first three years here.

There's also a Select XI of essays from issues 1-11 here, so you can get a taste for this fine publication. And remember, The Nightwatchman is always on the lookout for cricket-related essays, poems, and other pieces of writing.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Daniel Sluman, Cora Greenhill & Stephen Payne, 16.11.15

On Monday night, I was at the last Nine Arches Press/Crystal Clear Creators Shindig of the year, at The Western in Leicester.

As usual, the open mic readers were both varied and of high quality, and it's particularly good to hear pieces of short fiction punctuating the poetry.

The featured readers were all poets whose work I'm familiar with, and all, I thought, shared something in their delivery of their work. They're undemonstrative yet expressive, they pace both the individual poems and the whole set beautifully, and there was always a slight tension underlying their readings, a result, I think, of their ability to create a stillness in the room, a feeling that something is about to happen.

Cora Greenhill's The Point Of Waking is a collection that I've returned to a couple of times over the last year or so, and her reading here will no doubt send me back to it again.

Stephen Payne's Pattern Beyond Chance is recently out from HappenStance, and it's full of collisions between poetry and science, reflecting his day job. Above all, they're poems that constantly ask questions, both about their subject matter and the means of expressing it, and that curiosity is infectious - you start asking the same questions, too.

Finally, Daniel Sluman's the terrible is his second collection from Nine Arches. Judging from what we heard here, it builds on the many strengths of his debut by managing to be even more starkly honest. The result is both harrowing, at times, but also full of astonishing tenderness. The title poem, in particular, was stunning. It's a very difficult balancing act to pull off, but he does it beautifully, and I can't wait to read the book.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Map reviewed

Over at London Grip Poetry Review, there's a review by Martin Noutch of Map - Poems After William Smith's Geological Map of 1815, edited by Michael McKimm and available from Worple Press.

He has kind words for a lot of the poets involved, including myself, for which I'm very grateful. Most of all, though, it's another chance to draw attention to a very fine anthology about a remarkable man and his work. Give it a try.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Nine Arches / Crystal Clear Creators Shindig

Daniel Sluman, Cora Greenhill and Stephen Payne are the featured readers at the latest Shindig, hosted by Nine Arches Press, Crystal Clear Creators and the Centre for New Writing, at The Western, Western Road, Leicester LE3 0GA, from 7.30pm on Monday, November 16th.

Dan will be reading from his new Nine Arches collection the terrible, while Stephen also has as new book out, Pattern Beyond Chance, from the ever-wonderful HappenStance.

As always, entry is free, and you can sign up for an open mic slot on the door.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Poem at Rogue Strands

Thanks are due to Matthew Stewart for choosing to feature a poem of mine - Comeback - on his blog Rogue Strands. It's from my first chapbook, Making The Most Of The Light, which came out just over 10 years ago now. As Matthew says, it is now out of print - I thought for a while I'd even lost the copy that I use at readings, but thankfully i turned up the other week as I was packing to move house.