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Ah! The business of poetry blogging

Oh no!

It’s been a few weeks since my last post, and yet Matthew Stewart has still generously kept me on his list of ‘Best UK Poetry Blogs of 2019’. Matthew observes that 2019 was ‘far from being a vintage year’ for blogging, and his suggestions of why this might be are interesting: keeping a blog going can be a chore at times, once you stop it’s hard to get going again, sometimes you can’t help wondering if you’re writing into a vacuum.

I’d rather be bog-snorkelling  bragging  blogging

In some ways, writing this blog is no more of a chore than writing actual poems, in that I prefer not to force either of them, but to let them happen when the inclination hits me. Having said that, I know it’s not good to leave a blog hanging for too long. I do from time to time give myself a goal, such as ‘write a blog post a week’ or ‘start a poem a day for a month’. I haven’t done either of those for a while, but I’ve been gee’d on by others lately. Heather Walker has been blogging every day recently and it’s been fascinating to read. Josephine Corcoran shared recently that she’d written twenty new poems. Lordy! That’s probably my annual output. And Mat Riches has been blogging every week for some time, AND he sent out 161 poems this year – BLIMEY.

Coming soon – the stats of shame

Actually Mat’s post reminded me that my annual roundup of subs/rejections/acceptances is due. I doubt I’ll be offering any natty graphs. Somewhat a visual feels like it might be a detail too far. But hey! Let’s see…

I do know that even if I’m not blogging, I’m reading other people’s blogs. They come at my inbox every Monday morning and I never cease to be amazed at how much thought, energy, creativity and generosity goes into blogs. And with the boot on the other foot, I’m eternally grateful to my readers, aka YOU, for taking the time to read this.

Current reading list

My poetry books-to-read pile currently includes the Winter issues of Rattle and The Moth, Clarissa Aykroyd’s Island of Towers (Broken Sleep Books), Hubert Moore’s The Feeding Station (Shoestring) which I’m reviewing for The Frogmore Papers, Katie Griffiths’ My Shrink Is Pregnant (one of my fellow Live Canon Pamphleteers) and Robert Hamberger’s Blue Wallpaper (Waterloo). Recently I received a copy of Sarah Windebank’s super first collection, Memories of a Swedish Grandmother (Myriad Editions). I was lucky enough to get a review copy, and wrote a short testimonial for the book.

And so this is Christmas…

I only got 6 out of 18 in the Guardian’s Christmas Number Ones quiz – although I think it was a swizz as there were only one or two questions about the seventies! Come on, Christmas was invented in the 70s! Can you do better??

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6 COMMENTS

  • Mat Riches

    Thanks for the shout out, Robin. I very much have to point out that it’s not 161 separate poems – I’ve barely got 16.1

    Looking forward to seeing your scores on the doors. X

    • Robin Houghton
      AUTHOR

      Ha ha! Which goes to show how easy it is to misread stats… nevertheless, that’s a lot of sending out, so my admiration is only slightly dimmed by that detail 🙂

  • Claire

    Happy Christmas, Robin, and thank you for all the creative energy, and practical help, you put into this blog. It definitely gets my vote! Cxx

    • Robin Houghton
      AUTHOR

      Thanks so much, Claire!

    • Robin Houghton
      AUTHOR

      ….and Happy Christmas, I meant to add 🙂

  • Ann Perrin

    I started blogging ten years ago, not always poetry but pics.short articles, other poets news, launches etc. Not necessarily a dedicated poets cup of tea!
    I sometimes publish a poem from one my collections for an anniversary as well as new poetry.
    Talking to a more established poet the other day we found ourselves agreeing that getting poetry out there has to be enough!
    Trying to get published and comps is fine for some!
    My site has had over 12.000 visitors this year reading something or other and several poems including ‘Miss Lottie’s Last Chance’ is still popular.
    Happy Days x

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