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Marion Tracy spills the beans

On becoming a poet in Australia, putting images in the wrong order, and John Ashbery’s baskets: in conversation with Marion Tracy. When I asked poet friend Marion Tracy if she’d like to guest on my blog, we both had several ideas of what form it might take. We met, and chatted through […]

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andrew mcmillan photographed by Innes Morrison

Notes from a workshop with Andrew McMillan

As promised in my last post, here are my notes from the workshop I did on Saturday at the South Downs Poetry Festival, with Andrew McMillan. I’m including links at the end to other workshop notes, in case you find these posts useful. I was really impressed with Andrew’s workshop. It’s tricky […]

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Robin Houghton reading at Mayfield Poetry Festival

Should poems be read from memory?

I’ve only really started reading poems from memory this year, but rarely an entire set. I admire those poets who not only memorise long, often VERY long poems, but communicate them with panache and seeming ease. But is reading from memory a requirement of a memorable reading? Does reading from memory always enhance […]

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Reading from memory – the sequel

Well I did it. Yesterday evening at Lauderdale House in Highgate I recited two of my poems from memory. It was actually the perfect set-up – no microphone (which I usually like having, but in this case I was concerned it would prevent me from moving freely), the chairs set […]

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Dealing with rejections

Dealing with Literary Rejections: Six Viewpoints

I was asked yesterday ‘how’s the writing going?’ which is always an interesting one to answer. First you have to gauge if it’s a genuine enquiry, or a generic ‘how’s things?’ A non-writer friend probably doesn’t want to hear a long moan about rejections. But submissions, and in particular rejections, is […]

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Don Share

Notes from a Don Share masterclass

What is it about poets called Don? There’s Don Paterson for starters. Don. Paterson. And now Don Share.  Maybe it’s the the power/mafia connotations (Don Corleone). Or the suggestion of raffishness (Don Juan). Or the hidden warning: not DO but DON’t. So here’s the thing: picture sixteen or so poets perched in […]

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