Monthly Archives: May 2019

It’s necessary to talk about trees.

In case you are wondering the title is a quotation from Adrienne Rich’s poem  What kind of Times  are These?   

Here we go again after a couple of wonderful weeks of not having to think about the B word, it’s back and as usual nothing is happening. Don’t know about you, but I have been so busy with other things, as in getting on with my life, my garden etc. not to mention climate change, extinction rebellion and other more important concerns,  that it had gone out of my head completely. perhaps as a result of this, or perhaps anyway at the moment my head is strangely empty of poems which brings me to

My Writing life

The warm weather has brought out the gardener in me and, clad in my gardening shorts, beans and spinach I Have sown beans and spinach, planted potatoes  and  potted tomaotes on.  All of which has resulted in the breaking of my new year promise of a poem a week and a creeping feeling of a huge and mounting pile of half written/ half -finished  poems waiting for my attention. So a week ago I determined to begin working through the list.  So far so good; I have made a poetry ‘to do’ list, sent off two poems to a competition and started this blog. Not bad before lunch, but I need to do more than just the routine things of going to writing groups with poems. I hope that everyone else finds themselves in this state from time to time. I would describe it as ‘in between-ish-ness’ and on the whole not a very comfortable place. I won’t bore you,  or frighten myself with my ‘to do list’.  However,

My Reading Month has been much more focussed and  I have continued with the commitment to read half an hour of poetry read every day. I started at the beginning of February and so far have read the books listed below. I have been faithful rather than religious about it and there have been days when I have missed out. I really think every day is too big a commitment and I am happy to be doing it three or four times a week at present. I am not going to give reviews or recommendations. Suffice it to say they have each been nourishing in their different ways.

The Tipping Line Paul Maddern Templar Poetry 2018. (Paul is the man who runs the River Mill writing  retreat which I mentioned last month)

Zoology Gillian Clarke Carcanet 2017

Being Haunted Jennifer Copley Cinnamon Press 2019

Silvering Maura Dooley Bloodaxe 2016

Listening to the Night Jane Routh 2018

Hare in the Headlights

The 31st of May is fast approaching; and with it my reading at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal with Jenny Copley and Carola Luther; tickets available here.

Beyond that workshops on the Short Story 29th June and 7th September on Memories, both in Ambleside for Learning Plus. For more information and to book a place email me at