above the parapet

Like most people, I imagine, I’ve found it hard to keep going with my usual activities these last few months—including writing, though it’s central to my life both as process and product. There’s just so much energy needed to keep so much stuff at bay; so much effort going into not shouting with rage or terror or sheer frustration (well not in public anyway)… Time, I thought to do some celebrating. Share some good news for a change.

So: I’ve had quite a few things published in magazines this year, and several long- and short-listings in comps., as well as a pleasing clutch of commendeds, highly commendeds and places/prizes. You can find details of all these on the publications and prizes page of this site, including a new link to ‘mandatory blackbird poem‘ which was highly commended in the New Sentinel Comp last October (!). Hot off the press!

It’s a new thing, too, to have recordings of poems out there on the web. You can hear me reading ‘looking for stuff the solicitor needs’ (Pennine Platform 87) here, and watch a reading of ‘closed’ (Spoonfeed 1) here. And just this weekend I’ve been placed 3rd in the Segora competition: you can read the poem and the judge’s crit here.

It’s the video, though, which feels very head-above-the-parapet. I didn’t really expect to end up on Youtube. The magazine editor wanted some trailers to publicise the magazine and I was glad to oblige, but it was a surreal experience recording it, sitting on my own in my lockdown study talking to my phone on selfie mode (aaarrrggghhh), doing take after take as the cat jumped onto the desk, or the postie hammered at the door, or the woman next door took one of her interminable, broadcast-level phone calls in the back yard. It was a lot of time looking at my lockdown hair, let me tell you.

The other piece of news I wanted to share is that shades of blue, my next pamphlet, is making its way through the press and the expected release date is the 24th August. There’ll be more about this in the next week or so, and I look forward very much to sharing that with you.

Till then…

5 thoughts on “above the parapet”
  1. Such a well deserved celebration. Whether or no he would agree you certainly pass my Brecht-test.
    And are we able to pre-order Shades of Blue?

    1. …to beat the crowds for the first edition? Certainly! I’ll be putting a page up shortly about it. Exciting!
      and thank you for sharing in my celebration. I appreciate it x

  2. “…astonishing precision and accuracy”, “rhythmically and sonically superb” – YES! I find your writing so often deeply moving. Well deserved indeed. xx

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