We have lift-off!

The title is in the spirit of the recent landing of Perseverance on Mars, and also because the first part of this blog is about the launch of my latest Wayleave pamphlet Just Above the Water Line on 29th January 2021 online.

I sat on the sofa in my living room and read my poetry to 50 people. It felt very strange. There are many reasons why I would have liked to have had a real launch with refreshments and wine and friends gathered, but it was nevertheless, a lovely occasion. It felt very odd at the end when I just switched everyone off rather than staying on for a chat and a drink.

Anyway, thanks to Mike Barlow for publishing me (again), to Graham Lowe for his beautiful cover illustration and to my partner Pat for inspiration, punctuation and patience with my, mercifully temporary, persona of ‘temperamental artist’.

Thanks also to my guest readers Carole Coates who read from her forthcoming collection and Pauline Yarwood who read from her Wayleave pamphlet and other poems.

Here are details of what they read.

Pauline read:

Open Skies and Depth of Field, both of which will be in her new pamphlet, Loop which will be published by Wayleave in April.

Things change (published earlier this year in The Unpredicted Spring – Lockdown Poetry 2020, edited by Kathleen Jones and published by The Book Mill Press as part of the Norman Nicholson Poetry Competition.)

and a new poem, Sweet Sixteen. 

Carole read:

Falling in Love with the AA Man (and how he taught me to love my car)
History to the Defeated may say Alas
All Greece Hates
Coming Back Unexpectedly You Look through the Window at your own Room.
All these poems will appear in her next collection When the Swimming Pool
Fell in the Sea
, to be published in May this year by Shoestring Press.

Finally, thanks to everyone who came and the lovely feedback I have had from so many of you. 

Back to my usual blog format

My Writing life

Been busy for the last month. I have been more or less keeping up my daily pages, not every day but at least every few days, and I am not going to beat myself up about it! I have written six poems since the beginning of 2021 and am keeping up with both my writing group and Brewery Poets online. I have just submitted four poems to a magazine and am starting to write and collect for my (one day, hoped for) collection! One thing about lockdown: you can’t say you are never at home to write …

Currently attending the Kendal Poetry Festival online as well, all nine days of it. I will do a retrospective blog about it next month.

My Reading life

Some wonderful books recently, and reading is definitely a major part of coping with the present circumstances.

I have enjoyed.

Redhead at the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler

We Begin at the End by Chris Whittaker

And am currently reading Delia Owen’s Where the Crawdads Sing.

One of the few upsides of lockdown is plenty of time to read as well as write.

Hare in the Headlights

Coming up, I plan two U tube recordings soon.

The first will include a couple of poems from the pamphlet but will mostly be travel poems and called If I could go anywhere, simply because at present we can’t go anywhere. The second is still at then thinking stage.

Then there is the magazine submission and a poem submitted to a forthcoming anthology that I have not heard about yet.

So, several things cooking just now.

Till soon

If you would like to buy a copy of my pamphlet, please go to the publications page and scroll down to the order form. The pamphlet costs £5 and there is no additional charge for postage.


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