About

Robin Houghton poetPamphlet | Awards | Published Poems | Reviews | Interviews

Hi there. This blog is (mostly) about my adventures in poetry – reading, writing, successes and rejections, plus all the lovely people I’m meeting along the way. And a few other doo-dads that may or may not be poetry-related.

Thanks for dropping in. Do say hello or leave me a comment. You can read a few of my poems here.

Poetry background

After a lifelong ‘dabbling’ in poetry, as I approached my fiftieth birthday I decided to stop mucking about and to set myself the goal of getting a poem published in a reputable magazine. I needed a sign, if you like, that I had some modicum of talent worth working on. The Gods of Poetry (in the shape of Michael Mackmin at The Rialto) gave me that sign, and it made me serious about writing and reading poetry. Three years later I was invited to read at the AGM of the Poetry Society at Keats House in London, and in 2016 I had a poem accepted for Eyewear’s ‘Best New British & Irish Poets 2017’. I’ve won some competitions & awards and had a lot of poems published in magazines. But it’s not a fairytale. I’m not a prolific poet, I struggle with fitting poems into a collection and I’ve a huge amount to learn – as an editor recently told me, I have ‘no literary education.’ It’s true that I haven’t done a creative writing MA. But I’m reading, and listening, and trying.

In 2014 I got together with Peter Kenny to form Telltale Press, a poets’ publishing collective. We now have five members, and as well as publishing members’ pamphlets we also hold regular readings and events. It’s fun and inspirational to work alongside other poets, encouraging and promoting each other and the Telltale ethos. I’ve learnt a lot from the experience. For a year or so I was the Brighton Stanza Rep, and now I’m a member of the Hastings Stanza, a fine and supportive workshopping group.

Day job

My professional work is social media communications. I have over fifteen years’ experience in online marketing, have written three books about blogging and trained probably thousands of people over the years in email & online marketing and social media. Here are the social media services I offer to writers. I’ve also written a handy ‘How to Use Twitter’ ebook, aimed at writers. (See the link in the right hand column).

Blogging for Creatives was published by Ilex Press in 2012 is available from Amazon & good booksellers. I’ve written two more titles since then, Blogging for Writers (November 2014) and The Golden Rules of Blogging (and when to break them) – (March 2015) – both from Ilex in the UK/worldwide and F + W/HOW Books in the US.

I blogged about social media, small business marketing, communication and technology at http://www.robinhoughton.com, spanning the years 2002 – 2012. If you’d like to know more about my background & experience best take a look at my LinkedIn profile, it’s all there. Contact me on Twitter @RobinHoughton.

Nowadays I mostly do one-to-one mentoring in social media and web projects, and run both public and bespoke workshops and courses. From time to time you’ll find me teaching courses at New Writing South in Brighton. I specialise in helping people feel more confident and empowered about social media.

I’m also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the Society of Authors.

Disclosure: Some of the links on this site are affiliate links – in other words, if you follow a link to my book ‘Blogging for Creatives’ on Amazon and subsequently buy it, it earns me a minuscule commission.

Poetry Pamphlet

The Great Vowel Shift, Telltale Press, March 2014

Awards & Commendations

Poetry Society Stanza Competition 2016, Runner-up, for Performance. Judged by Ros Barber.

Poetry Society Stanza Poetry Competition 2014, 1st prize, for ‘Searching for the Police Tower, Orford Ness’. Judged by Les Robinson.

Hamish Canham Prize 2013 for ‘Ellipsis’. Judges Carole Satyamurti, Paul McGrane, Kate White and Mike Sims. Poem first published in 2012 in Poetry News. Selected by Stephen Knight from members’ poems on the theme of ‘Absent’.

The Plough Poetry Prize 2014, 2nd place, for ‘Gifted’. Judged by Liz Lochhead.

The New Writer poetry competition 2012, single poem category, 1st prize, for ‘Midnight Pickup’. Judged by Pascale Petit.

Poetry Society Stanza Competition 2012: ‘Handmade in Guangzhou’ – commended. Judged by John Siddique.

Published poems

Forthcoming:

Best New British & Irish Poets 2017  (Eyewear Publishing, March 2017) ‘She discovered the Internet’

The Bees’ Breakfast (anthology, Beautiful Dragons Collaborations, Summer 2017) ‘Far from Noise and Smoke of Town’

Obsessed with Pipework 79 (August 2017) ‘Orientation’, ‘Dream | Job’ & ‘Reorganisation’

In print:

Under the Radar 18 (Autumn 2016) ‘Thoughts my own’

The Interpreter’s House 62 (June 2016)  ‘Long haul’

Brittle Star 38  (Summer 2016) ‘Not Found’

Bare Fiction 7 (April 16) ‘Alchemnesia’, ‘Four Star’, ‘#WakeUpPhilae’

Live Canon, Project 154 – Anthology to celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary (April 2016) – ‘A Suggestion from the Rival Poet’

Prole 19 (April 2016) ‘Two Honeymoons’

Poetry News (April 2016) ‘The houses are coming’ (Selected by Richard Price from poems on the theme of ‘Territory’)

Obsessed with Pipework 74 (Feb 2016) ‘She discovered the Internet’ and ‘Sometimes you bring me your poesy’

The Chronicles of Eve (anthology, Paper Swans Press) ‘Calamity’

Envoi 171 (Autumn 2015) ‘Eltham’

Elemental (Anthology, Beautiful Dragons Collaborations, Autumn 2015) ‘Sleeping Partner’

Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year Anthology (October 2015) ‘Taken’

Brittle Star 36 (May 2015) ‘To turn a perfect cartwheel’

Prole 16 (April 2015)  ‘I ask Don Paterson to read at my funeral’

The Needlewriters Anthology (March 2015) ‘Interval’

BlueGate Poets Anthology (December 2014) ‘Hydrangea’, ‘Blue Willow’

The Rialto 81 (October 2014) ‘The long-haired girls’

South 50 (October 2014) ‘Hydrangea’, ‘Lunch in Brighton?’

Heavenly Bodies (Anthology, Beautiful Dragons Collaborations, April 2014)  ‘Small Horse’

The Interpreter’s House 55 (March 2014) ‘East from Seahouses’

Envoi 166 (January 2014) ‘Closure’, ‘Fermata’, ‘Interval’, ‘Caretaker’, ‘Map Reading’

Brighton Stanza Poets Anthology (Bramley Press, Nov 2013)  ‘Poem starting with a line by Emily Dickinson’, ‘Sports photography in the 1970s’

The Rialto 78 (October 2013)  ‘The Great Vowel Shift’

The Frogmore Papers (Aug 2013)  ‘On Wiley’s Bridge’

The New Writer (July 2013)  ‘Midnight Pickup’

Obsessed with Pipework 62 (April 2013): ‘Calamity’

Poetry News (Winter 2012): ‘Ellipsis’

The North 49 (December 2012): ‘Geography Lesson

Iota 91 (October 2012): ‘The Return’, ‘Container’, ‘Commute’

The Rialto 75 (July 2012): ‘The Last’

Poems from the Old Hill (anthology, Frogmore Press October 2012): ‘Invasion’, ‘River Ouse, Rodmell, 1941’

Mslexia 53 (March 2012): ‘At the plastic bag museum’

The Interpreter’s House 49 (Feb 2012): ‘Invasion’

Obsessed with Pipework 56 (Autumn 2011): ‘The Last Word’, ‘My life as an alien’

South 44 (October 2011): ‘All out at Peak Frean’s’

Agenda 46/2 (Autumn 2011): ‘River Ouse, Rodmell, 1941’

Iota 89 (Spring 2011): ‘Prussia Cove’, ‘I was once the Pope’

The Rialto 70 (Autumn 2010): ‘Second Sight’

Other print:

True Tales from the Old Hill (contribution to memoir anthology, Frogmore Press 2015)

Poetry News, Spring 2015 ‘A small stake in cyberspace’ – feature on poets who blog

Online:

Poetry Society website (October 2016), ‘Performance

Poetry Society website (April 2016), ‘The houses are coming

Ink, Sweat & Tears (Feb 2016) ‘Tying the Bowline

Abigail Morley’s The Poetry Shed (December 2015) ‘Father Reindeer’

Ink, Sweat & Tears (Spring 2015) ‘Small Horse’

The Needlewriters Companion (anthology, March 2015) ‘Interval’

Plough Prize website (March 2015) ‘Gifted’

Poetry Society website (October 2014) ‘Searching for the Police Tower, Orford Ness’

Rebecca Gethin’s blog, (May 2014) ‘Small Horse

PoetsOnline (April 2014) ‘Poem beginning with a line by Emily Dickinson’ 

Morphrog (Issue 8, Jan 14) ‘The Old Days’, ‘Still Life’

Antiphon (Issue 9, Dec 13) ‘Willow Pattern’

BlueGate Anthology (September 2013) ‘At the plastic bag museum’, ‘I was once the Pope’

Abegail Morley’s The Poetry Shed (April 2013)  ‘Geography Lesson’

Ink, Sweat & Tears (March 2013) ‘Left’

Poetry News (Winter 2012): ‘Ellipsis’

And Other Poems:  (Dec 2012) ‘Container’

Agenda Online Edition Retrospectives (April 2012): ‘When my sister is old’

Ink, Sweat & Tears (Jan 2012) ‘Night Visitors’

Reviews of The Great Vowel Shift poetry pamphlet

Review by Steve McQueen in The Interpreter’s House 62

Review by Jan Fortune in Envoi 172

Review by Martin Noutch at London Grip

Review by Afric McGlinchey at Sabotage Reviews

Review by Rebecca Gethin on her blog

Review at Sphinx by Josephine Corcoran

Review by Clare Best in The Frogmore Papers.

Interviews  (Audio)

July 22, 2105 – Creative Warriors podcast

April 11, 2015 – A Playful Day podcast

March 2, 2015 – The Author Biz podcast

0 Comments

  1. Meg cox says

    Rialto has just mentioned your blog on Facebook. I have read a lot of your blogs now and I am really pleased to have found you. Love them. For one thing I am a poet. For another I am Sussex born and bred and trained as a nurse at the RSCH in Brighton. Brighton may be my favourite place. All common ground. But it is more than that – I feel i know and like you!

  2. Meg cox says

    when I reread my comment I thought it may be a bit odd. But actually that is the skill of a good blog, I think, that it invites a reader to feel that the writer is a friend, someone you like. And now I have downloaded your book onto my kindle, so I will find out if that is so!

  3. Love your blog, such a pleasure and relief to read something well written, and it looks gorgeous. It has clear value for fellow poets, a personal touch and then of course it is peppered with the poems themselves, treats for all of us. Thank you.

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  5. Thanks Robin. Glad to have happened on your blog through ED search. Obviously a lot going on here. I’ll investigate! Regards from Thom at the immortal Jukebox (give it a spin).

  6. Hi Robin. I have just read your poem “The Long-Haired Girls” in the latest copy of Rialto and loved it! So thought I need to find out more about you, hence my visit 🙂 Julie

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