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January – ugh! Thank goodness for poetry events…

As the wind howls outside and the next five-day block of rain chunters towards our heads, I’m feeling very grateful for some poetry relief this dark month. Last Thursday we got things going at the Poetry Cafe in London, for the first Telltale Press & Friends reading of 2016. It […]

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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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The Stanza Bonanza poets, November 2015

A Bonanza, a Finale and a look ahead to 2016

It’s been a busy week, still catching up, but I wanted to post a recap of things before we’re into the pre-Christmas week when events seem to accelerate. Last Monday I was I privileged to be a member of the Brighton team (especially considering I now live in Eastbourne) at a […]

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The Reading LIst week 6 - Duhig, Kenny, Murray, Lehane

The Reading List, week 6: Duhig, Kenny, Murray, Lehane

This post is the latest update to my ‘Reading List’ project begun in July 2015. The Lammas Hireling, Ian Duhig (Picador, 2003) From the opening poem ‘Blood’, an extended description of a self-styled skinhead-type hardman who turns out to be a fifteen-year-old who faints at the sight of a vaccination […]

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An update on submissions, readings etc and a nail-biting aside

My fingernails are looking reasonable at the moment, which is pretty good considering that the house-moving stressometer is probably at its highest right now. A short aside about nailbiting – a bit off-topic and do not read if you are squeamish I can usually tell if I’ve got too much […]

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Reading from memory

Memorising poems has been much in the news lately. Classrooms recitals for children seem to be making a comeback. Julianne Moore’s character in ‘Still Alice’ is seen reciting Elizabeth Bishop’s ‘One Art’. For the last National Poetry Day theme of ‘Remembering’, Tony Mitton in the Guardian offered his top ten poems […]

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Kicking off the New Year at the Poetry Cafe

Telltale Poets & Friends were at the Poetry Cafe last night and it was a lovely evening. I’d been a bit nervous about holding this event so soon in the New Year but it felt really good and positive – plus we had a super quality audience and no empty […]

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Submissions - to enquire or not?

Submissions – to enquire or not to enquire?

First of all a huge thank you to Matthew Stewart of Rogue Strands who has once again mentioned my blog in his ‘Best UK Poetry Blogs of the Year’ roundup. It’s exciting to be in there with such great company, and always very nice to know this blog is read […]

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Launches, lunches & putting the ‘win’ into Swindon

A quick update before I make my way to Swindon Festival of Poetry via lunch in Newbury with my sister-in-law. The Telltale Press public launch on Wednesday evening at the Poetry Cafe was a great success – the audience was mostly friends and friends of friends of myself and Peter Kenny, so we […]

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Launches, readings, online course, a new book … busy autumn

Someone posted recently on Twitter that poetry seemed to be “mostly about reading, writing and waiting”.  I know I’ve certainly had that kind of year up until a few weeks ago. I’d have to wait to do one of my ‘stock takes’ to see if I’ve been sending out less […]

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