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The end of the first week of the holidays – well almost.  I’ve had a great week, deliberately not planning anything, but it seems to have flown by all the same.  I’ve had the dogs to walk of course – most days I’ve managed to get out twice a day, and the weather has helped this too!  I started to clean out all my paperwork from our spare bedroom.  I’ve filled a huge box with old lesson plans and schemes of work that I haven’t used for years – I file them away, thinking that will save me replanning stuff, but then I can never find what I want anyway.  So out it has all gone.  Me and Chris are planning to have a room each, to stay true to the spirit of my new tattoo!  I’m getting the large room, as I teach in there sometimes and Chris is going to have the small room.  Then he can keep the small one ridiculously tidy, and I can let my creative energy spread over the large one, which is my way of saying I can leave my stuff where I like!  I still have two large boxes to sort out though – so we have a way to go yet….

In poetry related news, I’ve had a really exciting week, although I am very aware of something a friend, and excellent poet Holly Hopkins told me about on a recent writing retreat about ‘poetry related stuff’ that is all very good and exciting, like readings, competitions, prizes, publications etc that you can get caught up with.  However, this poetry related stuff is not ‘poetry’.  It’s not the same as that buzz that you get when you sit down to write and it is working and you know you are on to something, and it is important not to be seduced by it!  Maitreyabandhu did a brilliant article in Poetry Review about this and another, equally as brilliant in Magma recently.  I think he used a different definition, but I think he was talking about essentially the same thing. 

This week, I’ve really not written anything.  I’m giving myself a break now I’ve got the pamphlet coming out, but I’ve also been doing lots of ‘poetry related stuff’.  Which needed doing, but I am aware that it is not writing!

Saying that, I’ve had a poem accepted at an online magazine based in mexico, The Ofi Press.  The website address is www.theofipress.webs.com

I’ve been asked to write a review for the Cadaverine: www.thecadaverine.com

Poetry Review and Stand arrived with a poem in of mine

and this week a few readings came in: the 25th May with Ian Parks at Heart Cafe in Headingley and the same venue on the 25th July with Cora Greenhill and James Caruth with three more readers to be announced. 

I also found out one of my poems ‘Hartley Street Spiritualist Church’ got a runner up prize in the Kent and Sussex Poetry Competition, which was very nice.  The Kent and Sussex was the first competition I got placed in when I first started writing – I got a runner up prize then as well – don’t know what that says about my writing!

And I’ve been reading all the National Poetry Writing Month entries and secretly wishing I’d joined in – but now, due to my obsessive personality I will have to wait till next year, so I can do it properly – can’t join in half way through!

Also found out this week who is going to be my mentor as part of the amazing package that Ledbury Poetry Festival have put together as part of my Young Poet-in-Residence experience.  I don’t know if I’m allowed to say anything yet, so I won’t blab, but I am pretty happy about it – it will be a brilliant experience…

And the MOST exciting thing is that I have my editorial meeting with Ann Sansom from Smith Doorstop next Friday to work on my pamphlet.  Now that is happening, it actually feels real, and I’m really looking forward to it.  Any suggestions for cover colours are welcome.

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