Happy Holidays (or non-denominational winter festival, etc). Wouldn’t it be great to end the year on a ‘good news’ note? You know – I’ve suddenly been snapped up by Faber, or something – but I’ve nothing exciting to report on the submissions front, sadly: yet another no from Ambit, and a very swift no from HappenStance (very generous of Nell Nelson to read and respond so quickly and thoughtfully, even though I sensed she found my poems a tad yawn-worthy. Clearly I must do better if I want to raise myself above the swollen river of poetic same-ness that constantly darkens her door. Oh dear, there’s a lovely mixed metaphor for you – I rest my case…)
Oddly enough I don’t feel knocked back. I’m strangely optimistic about 2014, and determined to make something happen rather than be passive about it all. What that means exactly I’m not sure, it’s just a kernel of a feeling for now … will let you know!
There’s plenty of poetry business to keep me out of mischief in January: a trip to the T S Eliot Award readings on 13th – I have poet friend Julia to thank for introducing me to this annual poets’ gathering. Great fun! Also, I’ve lately got involved with Needlewriters here in Lewes, and am pledged to help publicise it – next event is on 16th, with Kay Syrad, Patricia McCarthy and John Usher. Plus there’s Brighton Stanza to think about – next meeting on 20th and some planning to be done before then.
I’m planning also for the Lewes Singers, our occasional choir – two concerts in 2014 and cathedral visits for 2015 and 2016 – yes, they have to be booked that far ahead! The Church of England may be struggling for attendees these days and plenty of the less glamorous cathedrals are desperately strapped for cash, but there will always be a ton of choirs wanting to sing in them. Sadly, it’s regular church goers and visitors who are needed, for their donations, whereas visiting choirs contribute nothing except their singing. A bit unfair of us really. The unevenness of this reminds me of the situation in poetry, vis a vis readers / writers.
I was very lucky this Christmas, not only did my lovely other half buy me a copy of A London Year, 365 Days of City Life in Diaries, Journals and Letters by Travis Elborough, which I’ve coveted for a while, but Stepson also came up trumps and presented me with the Centenary Edition of William Blake’s Poetry and Prose. Blake! Just the thing I need to clear my brain after a bit of Christmas excess and trashy reading.
This will probably be my last post for 2013, so I wanted to mention some of my favourite poetry blogs/poet bloggers and generous Poetgal supporters … thank you all so much for the wonderful posts, discussion, comments, shares/retweets, camaraderie and support: Josephine Corcoran at And Other Poems, Abegail Morley at The Poetry Shed, Anthony Wilson, Meg Cox, Isabel Rogers, Jean Tubridy at Social Bridge, Jayne Stanton, Elly Nobbs, Hilda Sheehan and Lynne Hjelmgaard. And apologies to anyone I’ve omitted. You are all brilliant and it’s a pleasure to know you (even if virtually).
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, and I wish you a healthy, happy and successful 2014! Robin x