Info/News 2021

  • The beard has gone …
  • Reading on the open mic at Wordsworth Trust #GoToThePoets event with Louise Wallwein
  • Kendal Poetry Festival have asked if I’ll operate their ‘live tweet’ during the nine day Zoom event. Really pleased to be involved and I get to see/listen to all events gratis. #WooHoo
  • 9 children’s poems and 1 poem for adults out in competitions (Yorkmix, Caterpillar and Arts Richmond competitions … judges: Carole Bromley, Michael Morpurgo and Roger McGough)
  • Asked by The Yorkshire Times to review a new book, William Purdom: Agitator, plant-hunter, forester, written by retired diplomat Francois Gordon (served as Her Majesty’s Ambassador in Algeria, Cote D’Ivoire, and as the British High Commissioner to Uganda) published by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
  • Attending the Wordsworth Trust #GoToThePoets event with Anthony Anaxagoro
  • Just found out I’ve been shortlisted for the 2021 YorkMix Poems For Children Competition. #DoesLittleShortlistingDance #LeapHopLeap #Poetry
  • The Pie Tester was highly commended by YorkMix judge Carole Bromley out of 642 poems.
  • The Milk House will feature poems from Fledge in the coming weeks.
  • The beard has returned
  • Two offers of poems placed in anthologies (2021 and 2023) … I wonder about the 2023 as I feel it might be with a bigger publishing group (though I’m not certain). The 2021 one is not.
  • Writing children’s poems at the moment (narrative poems based on Spooky Sal the Witch)
  • Reading on the open mic at Wordsworth Trust #GoToThePoets event with Sean Hewitt
  • Pleased that the Yorkshire Times are going to give some of my dafter poems a regular weekly airing as Doggerel for the Discerning starting with the classic Tripe Hound of Little Ormstonmere … #TripePoetry 🙂
  • Article out with The Yorkshire Times about singing with the Lake District Holocaust Project.
  • Decided to upload poems for children recently rejected by the Caterpillar Magazine.
  • Developing a webzine for writers of children’s poetry to have an outlet for their work. In comparison to poets who write adult poetry, there are precious few places to submit poems written for children. The Dirigible Balloon will be such a place, available for monthly submissions and freely read by kids in schools etc. The Yorkshire Times are on board with the plan and work on the site commenced June 28th with a meeting in Skipton with Richard Trinder, Steve Whitaker and myself … exciting times ahead.
  • OWP Issue#95 accepted My Aunty’s Coat … first acceptance in a very long while.
  • The Dirigible Balloon to launch on August 1st 2021
  • DB a big success. Over 150 poems by over 50 poets in the first three months (including Michael Rosen, Philip Ardagh, AF Harrold, Carole Bromley, Chrissie Gittins, Brian Mosely and Colin West).
  • Poetry workshops to be delivered for the Wordsworth Trust in September/October in Penrith
  • Headlining at the first live Verbalise event at the Brewery Warehouse on September 25th
  • Invited to Zaro Weil’s book launch at Kew Bookshop in London on October 7th
  • No luck in trying to get National Poetry Day UK to acknowledge or take notice of the DB and our aims (despite the obvious success and engagement being displayed). This is doing nothing to counter a nagging belief that there are (in some poetic circles) cliques determined to pull the drawbridge up against all those who do not fit their ideas of worthy poets or worthy poetic endeavours. Massively disappointing.
  • Take it all back about Nat Poetry Day … they eventually retweeted some stuff about the Balloon (enough to keep me happy, anyway).
  • Back in schools again in the autumn with Wordsworth Grasmere. Two days in Penrith re-imagining Wordsworth. Lovely kids at Yanwath Primary writing some excellent poetry. Enjoyed getting back into the classroom a lot.
  • Zaro Weil’s book launch was a blast. Met some really nice people from Troika Books.
  • Going to Kim Moore’s launch of her new book (All the Men I Never Married) at Castle Green Hotel.
  • Discussions going on behind the scenes about the possibility of launching a poetry festival in Kendal featuring poetry written for children … all very exciting and a little scary.
  • Invited to read for York Explore in April 2022 : ) #Chuffed
  • Applied for and got a part-time job in Kendal Library … missed the day-to-day contact with people since leaving teaching last Christmas.