A route into contemporary poetry

Before I moved to Leeds I loved poetry but I didn’t have a good grasp of the contemporary scene; despite reading poetry often it felt quite impenetrable. For my birthday a couple of years ago I received a subscription to The Poetry Review (published quarterly by The Poetry Society) and it has been a wonderful…

Words In The City

Words In The City is a late spring poetry spin off from the main Ilkley Literature Festival in October and it has just gone through its second season. On Friday 26 April I spent the evening at The Holbeck for the Words In The City Showcase jointly organised with Wordlife. Host (and poet) Kayo Chingonyi’s…

My year in poetry

2018 has been an amazing year in my poetry life. I have been running a monthly poetry book group and it has completely transformed how I read and enjoy poetry. We have read a great and diverse group of poets; Lorna Goodison, Geoffrey Hill, Helen Dunmore, William Blake, Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Federico García Lorca, Imtiaz Dharker,…

Belated summer picks

I contributed my picks for summer for ‘Socialist Review’ magazine and here they are…a bit late! I recommended ‘England: Poems from a school’, the V & A opening soon in Dundee and the Leeds based Thought Bubble Festival. All the selections are great… http://socialistreview.org.uk/437/pick-summer

Poetry: a user’s guide

Do you want to start reading poetry but don’t know where to begin? Then this blog (the first in a series) is for you! What? I would advise to start with an anthology. As much as I adore many stand alone collections and poets we all need to explore our own poetry path and I…

“Sometimes it catches when the fumes rise up”

“Sometimes it catches when the fumes rise up” I love the capacity poetry has to capture a feeling or experience. To pierce through uncertainty, confusion, joy or difficulty. To provide absolute clarity even if just for a moment. “among the throbbing lights of cars,” I have discovered a new poetry anthology; ‘The Poetry Pharmacy’, and…

My reading this week – a mini break special

I am going to start posting about my recent reading…and I am starting with my reading during my mini break to Ireland (see last post) and the long bank holiday. First up – ‘Abortion Wars’ by Judith Orr published in 2017 by Policy Press. This is a fantastic book and for anyone wanting to be…

A reading of 2018

Happy 2018! A slow building realisation has crept up on me in the last couple of months and become completely clear in the new year – I am a reader again! A few years ago I went through a big break up (the kind that involved a sudden move and my possessions being spread across…