Dear Mr Pratchett…

Oh if only I’d done it while he was still alive. I wouldn’t be kicking myself now for one thing, which would at least mean slightly-less-bruised shins. I have in the past written to authors and poets who have had a significant impact on me to explain why and say thank you, so why did […]

Fear is not the final word

I had expected my first post of 2015 to be full of the determination and commitment that writers traditionally display at this time of year. New projects, renewed effort in making submissions, the hope and opportunity that a whole as-yet-blank new year seems to offer. It’s all definitely there, present in my mind and spirit, […]

A day out with an inferior poem

I recently attended a Poetry Business writing day in Sheffield. It’s something I’ve been planning to do for over a year now, so I was delighted to finally take the plunge, nervous though I was at the prospect of something completely new. So many mysteries to unfold, like where could I get a coffee on […]

Poetry as story

Occasionally an opportunity comes along that I simply can’t resist, whether I feel there is likely to be a successful outcome or not. In September I discovered a call for submissions of poetry to The Emma Press, who were looking for poems about politics and voting. Politics is a subject I can’t stay away from, […]

What makes Scotland brave?

My Twitter feed is currently mobbed with thoughts, opinions and articles about the Scottish referendum. Given that, at its root, it is a debate about national identity, of course it arouses a great deal of interest and even – dare I say – passion, even from those ‘ordinarily apathetic’ English. Whether the result is yes […]

Syria’s children

When one of my creative outlets suffers from inattention, it is usually because I have been employing my creativity elsewhere. In this case, I’ve been engaged in writing an article on Syria’s children on the one hand, and trying to get my garden into some sort of shape on the other. A strange dichotomy, that […]