Poem In Writers’ Cafe Magazine – Issue 17

So pleased my poem ‘What Lies Beneath’ below is included alongside many fine poets in this latest Writers’ Cafe Magazine on the theme of ‘masks’. Thank you to editor Marie Lightman for another excellent collection 🙏

What Lies Beneath

Fear embedded in fairy tales
the face disappointment might pull
healing hiding inside a bruise
pain erased by a mother’s kiss
poker players’ blank canvas
language spoken only by eyes
car showroom repertory theatre
intention veiled behind a smile
politicians’ buttressed egos
the dead weight of beliefs
anamorphic dream symbols
the innocence of quicksand
chameleon Pantone camouflage
pine-coned floor beneath evergreens
cloud-discoloured blue sky
blanket fog that haunts urban nights
placebo’s magic deceit
faith, hope and propaganda

Short Video: Black Light Engine Room, Middlesbrough

Here’s me reading ‘This Friday Afternoon’ at Black Light Engine Room (BLER) held in Off The Ground Coffee, Middlesbrough last September. I was one of four guest readers invited by organiser p.a.morbid that night, the others were my talented poetry friends Zöe Sîobhan Howarth-Lowe, Joe Williams and Andrew Talbot. Thanks to organiser p.a.morbid for filming and posting this YouTube clip.

Otherworlds

Absolutely delighted to have my poem ‘Otherworlds’ included in ‘Well, Dam!’ the latest Beautiful Dragons anthology put together so lovingly by Rebecca Jane Bilkau. So pleased to appear alongside so many wonderfully talented poets. It is a fabulous read. Copies of ‘Well, Dam!’ (and other Beautiful Dragons anthologies) available via beautifuldragons@icloud.com

BLER Middlesbrough

Really enjoyed my first visit to The Black Light Engine Room at Off The Ground Coffee in Middlesbrough last Saturday.

Many thanks to p a morbid for inviting me as a guest poet along with poetry pals Joe Williams and Zoë Sîobhan Howarth-Lowe, plus Andrew Talbot. Great also to meet Natalie Scott. Here are some pics of the evening courtesy of morbid.

Launch of Mark Connors’ Collection ‘Optics’

Spent a wonderful Sunday afternoon at the launch of my editor Mark Connors’ latest poetry collection ‘Optics’. It was a privilege to be asked to read alongside Mark and fellow Yaffles Gill Lambert, Mike Farren, Adrian Salmon, Matt Nicholson and Terry Simpson. Great to spend time with another Yaffle Joanna Sedgwick and fellow poet Joe Williams.

Mark’s poems focus on the world around us, expressed in his direct, engaging style – often sharp-witted and humourous – that also manages to capture the spirit of the current political mood regarding Brexit. I wholeheartedly recommend ‘Optics’, it is a fine collection indeed.

Quotidian Launch

I’m so grateful to everyone who came to the launch of ‘Quotidian’, my debut Yaffle Press pamphlet. Thanks to excellent guest poets Pat Edwards, Edwin Stockdale and Gill Lambert plus other readers David Costello, Steve Regan, John Oldershaw and Kemal Houghton. In addition to poetry, there were beautiful piano pieces from the amazing Izzy Ryder. A great afternoon from start to finish spent with close friends and poets who helped create a wonderful atmosphere and a memorable day! Thank you all, sincerely.

My First Poetry Pamphlet!

I’m so excited to share the cover of ‘Quotidian’, my debut pamphlet with the wonderful Yaffle Press, due early-July. Many thanks to the endlessly creative Joanna Sedgwick and Lorna Faye Dunsire for the artwork. And I’m so incredibly honoured and grateful to Ben Banyard, Brett Evans, David Costello and Deborah Alma for taking time to read and write such lovely words of advance praise about this collection. For people interested in buying a copy, I’ll be posting purchase details soon.

Welshpool Poetry Festival

 

 

Enjoyed a wonderful Saturday at the Welshpool Poetry Festival, the highlight of which was Caroline Bird’s amazing workshop. This is me, giddily thanking her for treating us to two hours of brilliant writing prompts with equally brilliant feedback. She astonished me by asking me to read my draft poem backwards – and it worked! My workshop colleagues were equally stunned!! It was also great to spend time with poetry friends, many of whom attended the open mic later. The festival is organised and hosted by the amazing Pat Edwards with help from her wonderful husband Mike. Like so many others, I’m so grateful to them both for their hard work.