It’s half term week this week, and I’ve been lounging around for a lot of it. On Monday, I spent the day editing the Holland Haul Anthology, which is the anthology that comes from the course I went on with Second Light. Each course member can contribute a poem to the anthology. On Tuesday, I started to plan my first poetry workshop that I’m going to run in a school – it’s on the theme of Riddles, and I’m really starting to look forward to it, especially now I’ve got a basic outline in my head of what I’m doing.
I’ve now read 83% of John Burnside’s ‘A Lie About My Father’. At the very beginning of the book, he talks about Halloween being a time that ghosts find their way home – and today, as I was walking the dogs round Millwood in the rain, it was easy to see how he could believe that. The path was carpeted with leaves, and it was just starting to become dark – the type of dark that it feels like it’s trying to fool you, and arrive without you noticing. There was nobody in the woods today – maybe they were all getting their halloween costumes on, or sensibly didn’t want to get wet – and there were these crows or rooks going crazy in the trees across the railway line. They would fly around in a circle and then land in the trees again, and then take off, shouting and swearing at each other.
I love the way Burnside writes, but the last part of the book is taken up with talking about his drug and alcohol taking, and I’m starting to feel my attention wandering, but then he brings it back with something interesting. For example, at the minute he is talking about how long it takes a person to fall, and how if you find someone who is ‘falling’ at the same time as you, you get on well. He also talks about this ‘other’ who he feels has walked next to him all his life – and this idea really opens up his poetry to me – his poetry is full of a strange ‘other’.
Bookings for the Abbot Hall Residential Course are going well – we’ve already got the minimum number of participants, which is a relief as that means the course will definately go ahead – so if you are interested, please get in touch.
I also got an invitation today to read at a ‘Young Writer’s Festival’ at Bank Street Arts in Sheffield tomorrow night so I’m really looking forward to that. If you would like more information the link is http://www.nawe.co.uk/DB/events/off-the-shelf-young-writers-festival-day.html
Friday night I’ll be at the Brewery Poets reading at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal, introducing Patricia Pogson and Carole Coates – really looking forward to that event.
And then its all day rehearsal Saturday and Sunday at Phantom of the Opera at The Lakes school. We had a rehearsal last weekend and I really enjoyed it. My twin sister is playing French Horn and we haven’t played together for ages. It reminded me that I do love playing.
And next Tuesday, I’m really looking forward to because it’s Carola Luther’s launch of her new pamphlet ‘Herd’ at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere.
And finally, strange search term of the day that brought some poor lost soul to my blog ‘where do you get dismantled bits of rocking horses’. Hope whoever it was found a bit of horse somewhere.