Read all about it…

A long overdue blog update. So much has been happening recently both work-wise and in terms of my writing and editing that I just haven’t had the time.

The biggest news of course is that my pamphlet, Communing, came out in mid-February. Opening my box of copies was an incredible experience, one which I’ll always remember.

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A proud moment!

According to my publisher, Indigo Dreams, it’s been selling very well and they’ve already had to order a second print run. So many friends and family have got in touch to say how much they enjoyed it, which means an awful lot considering what a personal collection it is.

Plans are afoot for a launch event in Bristol – so watch this space.

It’s available directly from the publishers here, or if you’d like a signed copy from yours truly, please get in touch or nab me at a reading…

Speaking of which, I’ll be appearing at the Indigo Dreams event at Cheltenham Poetry Festival on May 12th (8pm at the Frog and Fiddle, High Street) alongside fellow IDP poets Chrys Salt, Deborah Harvey and the festival’s organiser, Anna Saunders.

I’ll be back in Cheltenham again on Wednesday 20th July (7pm) as the guest reader at Poetry Café Refreshed, which is at Smokey Joe’s.

Then on Friday 2nd September (12pm) I’ll be the guest reader at the excellent Can Openers at Steam Café in Bristol city centre which is quite literally a stone’s throw from my office!

I’ve had a few poems out recently – one in the excellent Yellow Chair Review, and another three in the Ofi Press, which is edited by UK ex-pat Jack Little in Mexico City.

And then of course there were the four I had in issue 8 of the much-delayed Lunar Poetry.

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Lunar Poetry, issue 8 

As the Guinness adverts used to say, “good things come to those who wait”, and this was certainly the case here – excellent poems by the likes of Gram Joel Davies and Seth Crook as well as some really insightful prose and reviews. What a great magazine!

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‘Company Briefing’ from Lunar Poetry, issue 8

I have another couple coming out in Avis, which is the mag run by MA students at Manchester Metropolitan University (edited by Keith Hutson, a fine poet in his own right), as well as one in Cake Magazine, which is another student publication, this time from the English Literature and Creative Writing Department at Lancaster University. I’ll also have a poem in the recently rebooted Turbulence Magazine which has been on hiatus for the past couple of years.

Needless to say I have plenty of submissions out in the world so I’m expecting the usual dull thud of rejection letters as well as the bright tinkling of acceptances. Hopefully the latter outnumber the former!

Clear Poetry, meanwhile, seems to gather momentum by the day. Submissions are at an all-time high, too, which might account for my lack of activity on this blog!

I was also lucky enough to be one of a small number of editors of online journals to nominate two poems for this year’s prestigious Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. Best of luck to my nominees, Angela Readman (for ‘Woman and Rat’) and John Foggin (for ‘Sic transit’).

Although it was lovely to be involved, unfortunately the method for registering nominations was a little ramshackle, since only the first 20 journals to respond were allowed to enter, and I only found out by chance thanks to Facebook chums.

Fortunately I managed to contact Angela and John very swiftly and they quickly gave their thumbs-up to the idea, but with so many poems to choose from I would have liked a little longer to make my mind up, together with the same four slots afforded to print magazines. Editors of print mags were also given until the end of March to nominate, whereas we ended up having to do it in a terrible rush at the end of February, meaning that I’ll have a month’s worth of published poems which won’t be eligible for next year’s prize as the window runs April-March.

I hate to grumble as it’s fantastic that we were invited to participate this year – hopefully next year there’ll be a level playing field and it won’t be such a rushed first come, first served arrangement.

Anyway, that’s enough burbling from me. As ever, if you’d like me to come along and read at your poetry event, please get in touch – I’m fairly clean in my habits.

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