April Update

I may not have updated this page for a while but I have not been idle! February Stablemates had to compete with many other London poetry events and Storm Doris but was a wonderful evening nonetheless. Pavilion Press editor, Deryn Rees-Jones and two of her poets, Mona Arshi and Ruby Robinson played to a packed house in March. In between, the Masterclass with Sean O’Brien was fascinating and the launch of Rishi Dastidar’s Ticker-tape was so succesful that they ran out of books before I could get one – Family Hold Back! I’m happy to say I’m now the proud owner of a copy, thanks Rishi.
My big news was being awarded Arts Council Funding for Stablemates! The first one to benefit will be in April when Steve Ely will come down from Huddersfield to take part and his brand new book will be available ahead of its publication! The other two poets are Nancy Charley and Richard Skinner – details are on my events page and here’s the advance booking link.
I have more great poets lined up for May and June (see my Stablemates page). Note that June’s will be on WEDNESDAY 28th June, in order not to clash with the launch of The Golden Shovel Anthology.
I had a little poem published on the High Window Journal: Issue 5 (Spring 2017) – the ACE funding includes money for personal development so I hope to be able to add more to my Poems page before too long.
On July 8th, I took part in The Persisters present Holding the Line – a celebration of feminism through poetry and the live arts. One of the purposes of the event was to raise money for Women’s Aid – it’s not too late to sponsor me! Thanks to those who have already donated.
Thanks also to anyone who nominated Stablemates for the Saboteur Awards – it made the longlist! Voting is open until the end of April for those on the shortlist and the prizegiving is on May 13th.

Stablemates 5

I was right about the Jan Stablemates – it was so overwhelming  that I even forgot to take a picture of the poets. I’m excited about the next one too as three poets who don’t live in London are coming from East and West – Cinnamon poets Martin Figura (Norwich), Kathleen M Quinlan (USA via Canterbury) and Lesley Ingram (Yorkshire via Ledbury). You don’t wanna miss it, nor do you have to, advance booking available! It’s on Thur 23rd Feb.
I’ve also been invited to feature at Loose Muse Winchester on Mon 13th Feb. I’m a regular at the London version and am sure this one will be just as lovely. More details of both of these are on my events page.
I have just submitted a funding application for Stablemates – I found it very difficult. I’m sure any of you who have made an application like this will sympathise, but it’s completely new territory to me so I’m grateful to those who offered advice and encouragement. I should know by mid March whether it has succeeded – if so, Stablemates is going to get EVEN MORE EXCITING!

Write Out Loud review

Last Thursday was the third Stablemates, with Tamar Yoseloff, Caroline Smith and Rosie Shepperd of Seren Books. If you want to know what it was like from someone who isn’t me, read Greg Freeman’s review for Write Out Loud. If that doesn’t tempt you to come along to the next one then just check out the line up for 26th January on my Stablemates page! (It will be updated with further details in due course.)
I have been invited to give a showcase at a special edition of Beyond Words at Gipsy Hill on Tues 6th December. It’s always a lovely evening there and has open mic – this one features the premier of brand new work by one of the hosts, Angela Brodie, set to music by Steve Halliwell of LiTTLe MACHiNe. More details on my events page.

What a week!

I enjoyed a lovely weekend of poetry in Aldeburgh. Congratulations to the team who put it together – at their own initiative and (in some cases) expense.  They and the volunteers made a great and friendly festival and already have plans for 2017 – if you weren’t there, plan to go next time. Some of the wonderful poets had an unusual member of the audience, see Judith Palmer’s picture below!


Coming back to the real world was mitigated by some poetry success – At Sea In A Coffin (the poem I read at the Aldeburgh open mic) was posted on Neu! Boots Are Made For Walking (the latest iteration of the New Boots and Pantisocracies website) on Monday and today, Chasing Rainbows (previously published in Domestic Cherry) went up on And Other Poems.
If that wasn’t enough excitement for one week, it turns out I’ve won the poetry section of the Elmbridge Literary Competition! There’s a prize reading at 7pm on Sat 19th Nov in Walton on Thames and it’s FREE! Hope you’ll come…

Stablemates 3

The second Stablemates was another success and details of the next one (on 24th November) with Tamar Yoseloff, Caroline Smith and Rosie Shepperd of Seren Books are up on my Events page.  Meanwhile, I have also been making cunning plans for the next six (Jan – June as there won’t be one in December) so watch this space (literally, as I have made a new page on my website for Stablemates)!
I’ve also been invited to feature at Loose Muse Winchester on Mon Feb 13th, so details of that will follow in due course.