My Writing Life
It’s been a month, more or less, and a busy one, since the last blog and I am trying to remember what has happened to tell you about. Before I got to looking at the diary to prompt me I remembered someone (and I have no idea who) telling me that the way to remember detail is to think backwards.
Here is how it works. Supposing you are trying to remember what you did yesterday; what you do is remember the last thing you did before going to bed and then work backwards. It works especially well when you have lost something: your glasses, your keys, your phone…
So, having done this and reversed the order (are you following this?), this month started with a ‘poetry marathon’. On Saturday 1st July the prize winning readings for the Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition were held at the Jerwood Centre, at Dove Cottage in Grasmere, where incidentally there is nowhere to park!
On the same day this was followed by Poem and a Pint, a regular Cumbria poetry event, at Greenodd Village Hall, a lovely venue with no parking! A day of driving round in circles….
However, at the latter event I had a chance to read in the floor spot which was great. The guest poet was Emily Berry. Her work is surreal and fascinating, but not my taste I am afraid. I can’t be the kind of blogger who loves all poets. She is just not one of my favourites.
Next up, after the regular Stanza and writing group meetings, was my poetry workshop in Ambleside on the theme of Journeys. By some weird coincidence the theme of our Stanza meeting the previous Thursday was also journeys. The workshop went well, with seven people who wrote cheerfully all day. It must have been OK because Learning Plus has invited me back to do another one in November (details to follow).
After this first rush and the following Brewery Poets meeting, my writing life went quiet(er) in terms of events, but I have been busy. I sent off six poems to catch Happenstance’s open July window for submissions for feedback and was astonished and delighted at how quickly they were returned, and very pleased with the feedback from Helena: lots of very helpful criticism and many positive comments. Receiving this has really boosted my confidence and the next thing I will do is send some poems to a couple of magazines. I am now revisiting other poems in the light of what she said about my work in general.
My reading week
My reading is still in the doldrums of detective fiction (some of it very good incidentally; I recommend the latest Peter Robinson Banks mystery) and I even missed my regular reading group this week. So this month’s report definitely has ‘room for improvement’ on it as a comment, and possibly something about doing my homework!
Hare in the Headlights
Two bits of news:
I have had a poem accepted for an anthology of feminist poetry to be launched in October (Write to be Counted) details nearer the time.
And at last, after a whole year without one, a new poem of the month. It is the title poem of my pamphlet ‘Gardening with My Father’, appropriate to this time of year when I am working among my rows of beans on the allotment. Visit the page to read and enjoy it.