Poetry Month- Derek Walcott’s White Egrets

Up to now, I’ve only browsed Walcott’s poems, so for the start of National Poetry month I decided I should read one of this collections properly. I settled on White Egrets published in 2010. He was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1992 and taught one of my tutors on the Poetry School MA.…

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Weekend Poetry Reading – Mary Jean Chan

Recently I had the great pleasure of being one of the poets reading for the launch for Lodestone Poets at Waterstones on Tottenham Court Road. It was a packed house as rightly so as the poets included Tamar Yoseloff, Steve Kendall, Mina Aiddo, Glyn Maxwell, Jacqueline Saphra and Mary Jean Chan. It was the day…

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Round up of recent and planned poetry happenings

One of the poems in Voices from Stone and Bronze inspired by the work of historian Peter Barton has been commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Competition. Judge Roger Elkin comments  “Peter Barton’s Lessons of History admirably celebrates the photographic and archaeological research into the mass graves of soldiers and tunnel excavations at the Somme by…

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Is it worth your while to do a Writing Retreat?

Recently Sarah Selecky has published series of articles   recently about writing retreats, both the tutored and non-tutored kind and I’m starting to make plans for a week on retreat in North Wales later in the year. The person I’m currently mentoring with Cinnamon Press recently been on a retreat with Arvon so I’ve been…

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Voices from Stone and Bronze

I’m launching my second poetry collection, Voices from Stone and Bronze today, and I will be  reading in Milton Keynes, London and North Wales.  You can order your copy from Cinnamon Press.   With thanks to Jan Fortune, Vanessa Gebbie, and Jeremy Banning and also all the members of the Thursday advanced poetry group who…

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Ways into Poetry – A Year with Rilke

Often when I suggest to people that it would be good for them to read more poetry they sigh and reply ‘I wish I could but I just don’t have the time’. But we all make the time to eat every day don’t we and spending time on poems is another form of nourishment. Part…

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Ready for lift-off and a poetry launch

“There are some moments in life that are like pivots around which your existence turns – small intuitive flashes, when you know you have done something right for a change..”                                                                                 Robyn Davidson, Tracks I have had a couple of these pivotal moments in the last year including making the decision to leave the day…

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A day of reading –reading does make you happier

When was the last time you spent all of most of your day immersed in a book? Last week, last month or back when you were a teenager? I expect that for many of us (apart from critics and perhaps book bloggers) reading is something to be fitted in around the other things which make…

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Pigeon Ravine on the Somme

As I have been writing this blog post I came across my hand-written notes from October 2013 when Jeremy Banning first took me and other writers to Pigeon Ravine and I found Louis Doffman amongst the graves. I can’t remember now whether it was Jeremy who pointed out his headstone (as is his habit of…

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