Writing blog tour

Thanks to Penny Boxall for inviting me to take part in this writing blog tour! What am I writing on?  At the moment I am obsessed with anything to do with identity, history and visual art: Matisse’s colourful cutouts, butterflies, lost keys, misplaced library books, children’s innocent remarks, train journeys when one looks out of…

Goldfish reviewed in Magma Poetry – Multiple Sides of Everything

Matt Merritt has reviewed Goldfish alongside two other poetry books – Pretty by Ahren Warner (Bloodaxe Books 2013) and Selected Poems by Peter Hughes (Shearsman Books 2013) – in the current issue of Magma Poetry (Issue 57) edited by Ian McEwen and Hannah Lowe. Below is an excerpt: It takes a little time in this lengthy second collection…

Interview and a Chinese poem on Urban Diary

Urban Diary, an online journal supported by Oval Partnership, has featured my Chinese poem ‘Turtle Jelly’ from my poetry collection Goldfish and an interview on writing poetry in English. To read the full text in Chinese, please go to http://www.urbandiarist.com/012 For the benefit of non-Chinese speakers, an English version of the feature article is appended here: Urban Diary article…

The Next Big Thing

I’ve been tagged by the very talented poet Kirsten Irving to give this interview for an expanding blog project called The Next Big Thing. You can read her interview here! The idea is to post mine and tag other writers to do the same on 9 January 2013. Where did the idea come from for the book? I…

Review: If We Could Speak Like Wolves

Published by Smith/Doorstop by Poetry Business this year, Kim Moore’s newly launched poetry pamphlet draws the reader in with hypnotic power and builds a seamless transition between truth and fable. Watch out for the curious balance between enchantment and danger in ‘The Wolf’: ‘the one who eats chalk to make his words / as white…

Peppering independent bookshops with arts leaflets

I’ve been helping to put together and distribute poetry contest leaflets for Magma – a nation-wide contest opening this month (16 October). Having dished out a considerable batch to the bookshops in London last month, I am most delighted to come across this gem booklet issued by the Guardian last week – the directory on…

Thoughts after Michael Marks Poetry Pamphlets Awards

After the Michael Marks Poetry Pamphlets awards and poetry reading event, I am now in possession of three award-winning pamphlets by James McGonigal, Olive Broderick and Sophie Robinson. These very slim and yet thoughtfully made volumes are absolute gems. For one thing, they rarely sit smugly on bookshelves in chain bookstores. You have to make…

Naipaul and his tenaciousness

Despite his age, Sir Vidia Naipaul is still a vivacious, resilient and doubtlessly thought-provoking character.  I like the way the London Evening Standard editor, Geordie Grieg, introduced him at the seminar, hosted by Intelligence and held at the beautiful setting of the Royal Geographic Society: 50 years ago he came to England, 40 years ago…

A poem a day

Cigarette Span You roll and burn a cigarette from beginning to end. I watch your planet orange glow and burn. You’re safe in your train of thoughts. Suits me fine. I don’t want more. I’m your one-minute neighbour, friend sharing shelter as this rain holds on.

The brutal precision of poetry

A poem a day  I have recently helped to create a short clip for Kim Moore’s poetry reading of ‘Tuesday At Wetherspoons’. This poem speaks to me more than ‘Robin in Flight’ by Paul Adrian (the prizewinning poem for the National Poetry Competition). Having listened to it over and over as I edited the clip,…