Uncategorized

Sixteen Tips for New Open Mic Poets

I had a good poetry week. Well the end of it was good. I couldn’t make a couple of online events due to work commitments – I am now recruiting in the US as well as The Netherlands, Germany and UK – luckily the only role I was working on in Australia has been put on hold, and my Singapore assignments have been completed, so it’s not quite as challenging from the perspective of time…

Continue reading

Poetry

A Blackbird’s Song

That time of year again. A blackbird sings from a vantage point in a back garden somewhere along the street. And I feel a little more alive. Someone has lit a barbecue. And I don’t mind. The sun is shining. I used to view my life with a sense of disappointment. Compare myself to others who had made a better fist of it. Who had bigger houses, better cars, more glamorous lives, more exotic holidays.…

Continue reading

Poetry Random Ramblings

Brian Dempsey Memorial Prize Competition

Finally! My first success of 2022 (I’ve been focussing on existing projects and manuscript work primarily rather than sending stuff out so far this year). My prose poem At the Landfill of Memories has been selected for this year’s anthology (out of over 1,300 poems submitted). Dempsey & Windle are my publishers, so I like to enter this competition to support them (I don’t enter that many contests). It doesn’t mean I automatically get work…

Continue reading

Poetry Uncategorized

The New Normal

I’ve just been reading an article on the Open Democracy website about concerns over Russian money being pumped into the Conservative party, and how those donations, both to the central party and individual constituency MPs, might be a bit of a security concern. It’s from 2019. https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/dark-money-investigations/revealed-russian-donors-have-stepped-tory-funding/?utm_source=tw Another article (and there are plenty of them) from 2020 names a range of government ministers whose constituency parties have taken Russian donations; https://www.businessinsider.com/russia-report-donors-boris-johnson-conservative-party-2020-7?r=US&IR=T Our Prime Minister proudly…

Continue reading

Poetry Random Ramblings

Into the Charnel-House

It’s a truism that messianic war mongers are willing to send others to their death. Seemingly at ease with their decisions to condemn both civilians and soldiers to an early grave. So focussed on their own destiny, they seem happy enough to throw away the destinies of so many others. They sicken me with their rhetoric about hard decisions that have to be made, when they are insulated from the consequences. I’m still trying to…

Continue reading

Poetry

The Poets Challenging Myanmar’s Military

A powerful article in the Guardian today on the poets challenging Myanmar’s military https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2022/feb/23/is-the-world-listening-the-poets-challenging-myanmars-military In view of what is happening in that country at the moment, you should be aware that the article could well justify trigger warnings – as the poems shared include first hand commentary and accounts of what victims have experienced.

Continue reading

Poetry Random Ramblings

For Now This Silt’s Still Ours

How was Eunice for you? Or Dudley? Or Corrie, Malik, Barra or Arwin? Are you looking forward to Gladys, Herman, Olwen or Ruby? I’ve read some of the reports, seem some of the data. There’s lots more of this, and worse, on the way. We all know this. But we kid ourselves that someone, somewhere has the solution. And maybe they do. And is there anything we as individuals can do, whilst oil companies make…

Continue reading

Music Poetry

3 AM at the Border of the Marsh

I’ve been listening to a lot of 1970s music this week. On Twitter I follow someone who posts polls each fortnight, asking people to vote for their 5 favourite albums from a particular year. This fortnight people are posting their recommendations from 1976. Most years my decision making is pretty fluid up until the last minute, but this time my choices are pretty much cast in stone. Well, four of them are. A couple of…

Continue reading

Poetry

Poetry and Settled Status for All

The anthology, “Poetry and Settled Status for All” (CivicLeicester, 2022) is now available https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1916459374 The anthology presents 114 poems and short prose pieces from 97 writers from around the world exploring themes that include lived experience of migration, refugee and undocumented migrant experiences, and the hostile environment.  The anthology features contributions from seasoned writers with many publications to their names alongside emerging voices and has been described variously as “powerful”, “thought-provoking” and “effective”. I have a…

Continue reading