In Other News: Poetical Omerta … and just who is our greatest living poet?

It’s been a fortnight of excitement and turmoil and sadness and decisions. In the middle of the Kendal Mountain and Literature Festival and the Brewery Verbalise poetry event, a close family member died. I considered pulling out of Saturday’s reading in Kendal, but eventually went ahead with it after discussions about what June would have wanted. So that’s what happened …

The Kendal Mountain Festival was a great thrill. The opportunity to read several pieces at an event including great local friends and the likes of Helen Mort, Christopher Nicholson and Graham Mort, in front of a packed and appreciative audience was wonderful. I hope to repeat the experience again next year and am in discussion with the organisers regarding a possible project involving the development of primary school children’s poetry in the South Lakes (something I’ve wanted to do for a while since the days of writing the Making Music extravaganzas).

The Brewery Verbalise evening was a different kettle of fish altogether and in order to cope, I reverted to character traits I thought I’d buried decades ago. The support of the Verbalise regulars was and is much appreciated, and although I got through the evening, the late walk back in Kendal was not without incident.

In other news, the children’s poem Silly Folk has now been published in that excellent magazine The Caterpillar. I believe I will never lose the excitement of seeing draft layouts appear in my e-mails, being asked to proof-read work and then finally see it in print. The same is happening at this moment with the Fair Acre Press Anthology of Urban Bird Poetry DIVERSIFLY which will be out in January, as well as a couple of other publications which, due to poetical omerta, I have been sworn to secrecy about, but will include (so I am told) “one of our greatest living poets” … can’t wait to find out who it is.



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