Keepsake by Kayleigh Campbell

The gentle thud of post at the front door signals the coming of Kayleigh Campbell’s Keepsake, number 7 in the impressive list of work published in 2019 by  Maytree Press. As is my wont, I read the title poem first. I know … I am a heathen, literally and figuratively; often skipping to the middle…

September Update #Poetry

I was thinking about the range of writing I’ve done over the last ten years and felt a bit sad that I’ll probably never write another school musical like the series I worked on with Anne Pater from 1996 to 2012. Every couple of years, we’d perform them with a thousand kids over a week…

A coffee between two rivers

Still adjusting to part-time teaching, I thought I’d indulge myself with a poetry purchase from those lovely folk at Maytree Press and use my newly acquired freedom to read it at what has become a favourite coffee haunt in Kendal, About Time Espresso Bar down the New Shambles. The book in question is between two…

Kendal Mountain Literature Festival 2018

Happening in two weeks time: poems from This Place I Know (anthology of Cumbrian poetry published by Handstand Press) read by notable poets plus meeee at the Kendal Mountain Literature Festival in the Malt Room at the Brewery Arts Centre (Saturday 17th November 11:30 am).

Is that the time already?

Good grief, we’re half-way through September; this soapbox go cart careers uncontrollably toward the cliff edge of oblivion, while the steering wheel comes off in my hands and I begin to regret that I didn’t incorporate a brake as a design feature. Ah well … At least Kendal Poetry Festival was good. I enjoyed listening…

Spoken Word #News

I love doing spoken word and open-mic readings. As far as poetry is concerned, I am a show-off and if there’s an audience, it doesn’t take much to persuade me to get up and declaim the tale of the Reckless Rhubarb, Fred the Fringe or push the cause of curlew in poetic form. In Kendal,…

Pamphlet … looking for Plan B

I have been considering the idea of a pamphlet of poetry. Over this last year, having immersed myself in the published works of a number of admirable and impressive poets (an attempt to improve my own stuff and understand what’s required for a reasonable collection of serious poetry), concentrating on the less frivolous and avoiding…

Eye Flash Poetry

A lot of excitement in Northern Towers yesterday at the news of the line up in Issue #2 of Eye Flash Poetry Journal (out soon). Paul Stephenson, Stephen Daniels, Adam Horowitz, Maria Stadnicka, George Aird, Christina Newton, Kathryn Alderman, Neil Richards, Daniel Connelly and others have poems in this lovely looking journal (cover art work…

In other news …

End of the week and a lovely big pile of children’s writing to read and respond to is by my chair (we’ve been studying I Am David by Anne Holm and have had a go at drafting adventure stories set in the mid-twentieth century with terrific results). Then, hors du bleu, an e-mail arrives from Karen…

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…

One Called Paul

Five drab juveniles land outside my window; goth eyeliner, raucous and rucking over territory, fouling up my window ledge, five floors high. Under murmured shadows, three leave suddenly, startle the two, who, drawing close, look to each other, before the larger wings it with thousands in late city skies. The smallest catches reflections in the…