ON POETRY, WRITING AND RANDOM CULTURAL MATTERS

Monday, 27 December 2010

Graffiti Project - 2


Calligraphic scratchings on bamboo in the Majorelle Garden, Marrakesh. Small tags of luv and 'I woz yer' and equivalents in several languages.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Gillian Clarke awarded Queen's Gold Medal for poetry

Very exciting news today http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-12070426 Gillian is the National Poet of Wales and a great teacher to whom I am much indebted for her generosity as critic and mentor. She is a very worthy winner indeed. If you are not acquainted with her work, I urge you to buy her books and read on.

Gillian Clarke

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Merry Christmas one and all

Carol Ann Duffy has commissioned a selection of seasonal poems for the Guardian which you can read here
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/dec/18/carols-christmas-poetry?INTCMP=SRCH
I particularly liked Imtiaz Dharkar's Mubai Kissmiss.
Here is a poem of mine, which was selected by Carol Ann for The Mirror in January this year. Seasons Greetings to you all.

Snow light

I was born to the snow, brought
to snow light, the glow light of a late spring.
My first winter was all snow, ice floes
in the river, the Thames frozen bank to bank.
For three years I was beyond snow’s comfort,
beyond star-flake, hoar frost, rime,
touched it only once in a rusty patch,
as if roadside and rock-salted.
On Kosiuszko’s peak, it mended my snow-broken
heart with coverlet, sheet.

My uncle promised me a bucket of snow,
a bucket of hail, a bucket of sleet,
and in my six year old purity and Adelaide’s heat
I longed for the parcel, to grasp its cold deep,
crisp in my hands. I dreamed of snow;
snow beyond lamp-post and Narnia,
beyond Five’s winter adventures,
even beyond that cruel joke. Snow, a quilt
to lie down in, make igloos, eat.

Today it’s as if I’ve ordered snow; thick flakes
for you to mould and mountain, snow-shoe
and slide on. You won’t know what it is to be
blind without snow, beyond brilliance,
beyond its dazzling light.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Troubadour - end of season party

I have a tiny spot tomorrow evening if anyone is going to be there. I am rather looking forward to the usual fiendish poetry quiz and a few seasonal treats.

Graffiti Project

A long running photography project of mine is to collect interesting graffiti from all over the world. I will share a few of my favourites over the coming weeks. One day the plan is that they will cover a real wall.





First up is this topical and seasonal one which can be found on London Street in Reading opposite RISC. If you sit in the window of the excellent RISC cafe, you can't miss it. That's how I found it.

Monday, 6 December 2010

World Book Night - 5 March 2011

You might like to give away 50 copies of a book to your friends, family or total strangers. To register visit
www.worldbooknight.org and make your selection. There are two volumes of poetry, a selected Heaney and Carol Ann Duffy's The World's Wife. Hard to choose, but I managed it! Applications need to be in by 4 January, so get your skates on.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Brickworks Poets and Guests - Poetry Reading - 16th December

Please join us for a Reading themed poetry reading at  5.30pm at the offices of Blandy and Blandy, Town Hall Square. A stellar cast of Reading poets will be reading, namely Peter Robinson, Claire Dyer, Anna-May Laugher, Susan Utting, Gill Learner, Lesley Saunders, AF Harrold and myself.