Monthly Archives: March 2012

End of the week that was


This week has been one of the craziest weeks – I was in a prison on Tuesday night with the poet Tony Walsh, running a poetry workshop, the usual end of term chaos Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and then Wednesday night got struck by this stomach bug of death.  All I can say is I am relieved that I’m already married and Chris has to do the whole sickness and in health thing, otherwise I think he may have ran for the hills, so horrendous was it.  I was ill all day Thursday and Friday, which meant I couldn’t make the end of term concert that I had that day, which meant major guilt…

Anyway, by Saturday, I’d had enough of lying on the sofa, so I decided it would be a good idea to carry on as normal and catch the train to Sheffield to the Poetry Business Writing Day

My train went at 6.30 am, or so I thought.  It actually went at 6.20 am. I frantically rang Chris to pick me up so I could try and rejoin with the train at the next station – unfortunately I was ringing the house phone instead of his mobile and he was out.  Obviously my mind was not quite with it and I realised by this time maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to have left the safety of my sofa.  Anyway, I eventually made it to the Writing Day half an hour late and had a great time.  I would heartily recommend Ann and Peter Sansom’s workshops to anybody.  They create a great atmosphere – there are some fantastic writers that go there so the standard is very high.  My first pamphlet is being published by them after winning their competition so obviously they have exceptionally good taste 🙂

I even got to have a look at this massive ‘pantone’ book of colours – still haven’t decided what colour my pamphlet should be.  My favourite colours are pink and brown and brown is definately out, as I want something bright – but don’t know if pink will be too much…maybe purple?  Anyway, still deliberating over it…

After that, it was back on the train, but this time stopping off at Lancaster for a reading organised by Trevor Meaney who I found out is Lancaster Library’s Poet in Residence, and is very keen to get more readings happening at the library.  It’s a great space, and it was lovely to see some familiar faces and hear some new voices.  I was particularly impressed with the standard of the open mic.  There was also free food and wine – I was recovering from the stomach bug so I couldn’t have any, but I’m told it was very nice.  Trevor did a great job as MC – my only complaint – I think next time he needs to do some poems as well.  I’ve really enjoyed his stuff every time I’ve heard him read. 

And then today my junior band was playing in a competition – they played brilliantly and came second out of three and we all had easter eggs afterwards. 

Amongst all this, I found out from Mick North at New Writing Cumbria

that my poem “I’ll Leave You” will be going out on the weekly newsletter the week after next.  New Writing Cumbria send out a very funny newsletter with details of events happening in Cumbria and sometimes Lancaster and I would definately recommend signing up – it always makes me chuckle when I read it.  It also has a poem at the bottom and last time flash fiction as well from a native resident of Cumbria.  Check out the link for details of submission policies. 

The other exciting thing that happened is that Staple magazine sent three Salt books for review.  I tried to read one while I was ill and got bogged down with it – but going to come back to them with enthusiasm over the Easter Holidays I hope!

So the end of a long week, and the start of a new one.  I’m aware that some of this post isn’t exactly about poetry – and more about me complaining about my ill health but never mind….

Workshop and Reading with Myra Schneider


Last night I went to a reading, organised by Maggie Norton of Word Market fame.  Myra Schneider and Dilys Wood came to be the guest poets and local poets Neil Curry and Maggie Norton also did an extended reading.  Neil read from ‘Letters Never Sent’, a series of letters to various dead people, which is forthcoming from Enitharmon
in October, and Maggie read from her new collection, out from Indigo Dreams press.   Myra and Dilys were great, and I had a lovely chat with Dilys in the interval about women’s writing, feminism etc which I really enjoyed.  She convinced me to join the Second Light Network ( as an ‘associate member’ (you have to be over 40 to be a full member).  The Second Light Network is a network primarily for women over 40 and they have a great magazine, Artemis which publishes women’s writing. 

I know some people question the value of women only networks and magazines, but I believe they are still needed – if only to enable women writers to gain confidence.  In the workshop today there was one man and eleven women (I think) but these figures are not born out in publishing terms.  There were some great writers at the workshop today – a woman called Pat who I hope to bump into again (I didn’t get her last name) who has not done any writing before, has never sent work out but wrote an amazing poem about primroses in Sarajevo. 

I really enjoyed the workshop today.  Myra creates a very relaxed atmosphere, and I was impressed with the level of work produced.  I got three ‘starts’ of poems – I’ll have to leave them in the notebook for a couple of days before I decide whether they might be poems or not!



I have finally got my blog up and working!  I admit it’s looking a bit sparse – and I’m still working out how to do various things – like how to put links down the side to other people’s blogs/ interesting websites etc etc but it is up and running! 

I’m planning to use this blog to talk about poetry – my own and other peoples.  I hope you enjoy it, and that someone reads it apart from my mum and dad who have to read it otherwise I will sulk!