The strangest solstice I remember

June 20th 2020

With the weather gone wild, wet and windy,  here in the North of England at least, and the world still in fearful lock down, this is not the usual celebratory relaxed time that we get for summer Solstice; long quiet evenings in the garden and trips to see the sun set over Morecambe Bay.

However My Writing Life remains eventful, nonetheless.

Last week Mike Barlow of Wayleave Press showcased my 2019 Pamphlet Testimony in his Editor’s Blog. He highlights two of the poems about homelessness.  In these times of  impending  economic disaster, they are, as he says, a timely reminder of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Here’s the link

Last Thursday week, June the 11th I attended a Zoom poetry launch for Katrina Naomi’s new collection, Wild Persistence. It was lovely to see her and hear her read and I realised how much I miss poetry readings. More of the collection later, but it was astonishing to see 117 people on a zoom, 5 pages!   You would never get that number for a poetry reading. I could not have gone for real as she lives in Penzance and it would have been too expensive. So maybe zoom poetry readings will continue, who knows? It was great to see a couple of familiar faces in the crowd, from Katrina’s poetry course at Ty Newdd last year.

My poetry writing continues steadily, disciplined by the weekly zoom with the writing group, which is very sustaining.  The work is perhaps still a bit obsessive about the pandemic and other current politic events.  At present we are five in the group, three writing poetry and two writing memoirs, and we meet on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. for about an hour and a half, which includes a good chat and catch up at the beginning. This means that from Sunday onward my mind is starting to battle with a new idea, or indeed to find one, and get something together to send round for others to read before the group.

Next week I am starting to send poems out to magazines, something I have not done for ages and using Jo Bell’s model to do this. My next blog of weeks’ time in a couple will be about how I get on. ( Bell’s book How to be a Poet, referenced in the previous blog)

My Reading Life

I have had two new collections to read, Katrina’s collection Wild Persistence published by Seren a couple of weeks ago and Jennifer Copley’s What Happens to Girls, published by Pindrop. I have given each collection a quick read to get the feel and I will comment on them in detail next time when I have had a chance to look at them again. Otherwise the usual enjoyable fiction and a start made on AC Grayling’s Democracy in Crisis; not exactly cheering, but informative.

Hare in the Headlights

A big one this week; my first poetry reading on U tube; I read four poems from testimony and was more nervous than I remember being for long time! Not since my performing days long, long ago.

Here’s the Link

I have already had 52 watches at the time of writing, very exciting! Enjoy them and watch out for the next one in July.

Till soon.

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