Writing against the clock

In a bid to be productive, to keep you updated about what I’m up to and to fulfil my goal of writing a post a week on this blog, I’m writing this article with the clock ticking.  More specifically, I’m using the timer app on my iPhone and when the 15 minutes are up, that’s it! (3 minutes used up already – yikes).


I’m persevering with my aim to submit poems somewhere at least once a month and I’m still writing every day, even if it’s a few minutes here and there.  I’m waiting to hear about most poems but I have some work coming out at Ink, Sweat & Tears (a poem from ‘The Misplaced House’, one of the very few that I didn’t place anywhere before the pamphlet was published) and in The Manchester Review (two new poems).

Good grief, only five minutes left!  It’s adding the links that cost so much time.

I’ve been trying to write some personal poems, that is poems about my own personal history, and they’ve been making me profoundly sad.  So I’ve stopped for the time being and I’ve gone back to writing about other subjects.  I’ve been reading a lot of Michael Longley and I admire the way he writes about personal, family issues but also keeps a restrained distance.

Two things I want to say before the bleeper goes.  I loved last week’s Transatlantic Poetry Reading – Fran Lock and Solmaz Sharif.  Both use personal and political material in their work, to different effect.  Solmaz’ work just blew me away, it’s incredibly restrained but keeps its powerful anger.  The bleeper’s gone but you can still listen/watch the reading at the link above.  All the readings are on the archive there.  I know I’ve mentioned it before but it’s a terrific series and such a generous enterprise by Robert Peake.

Just time to squeeze in one more recommendation which is this article by Niall Campbell which celebrates some of the poetry collections from Niall’s current reading pile.  Beautiful, succinct writing and several books that I will definitely be purchasing.

Wishing you all a wonderful, productive week!


10 thoughts on “Writing against the clock”

  1. Interesting exercise, but I just wanted to remind you that I kept my promise and enjoyed The Misplaced House on my rail journey to Shrewsbury on Thursday, and on my return trip just now.
    I was able also to promote the booklet at the Thursday evening meeting of Shrewsbury Poets at Eat Up (terrific venue, btw), and I hope you will get further sales as a result.
    All I’ll say is that you kept me entranced – thank you, Josephine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought you were going to finish in mid sentence 🙂

    Know what you mean about writing poems about your own past. I’m trying to do the same and find it very sad too. Keep going through. Its very catharic XX

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Catharsis is one thing but terrible poetry is another! I’m trying to find a way of employing the benefits of one without resorting to the other. Thanks for your encouragement and best wishes with your own writing 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Power to your elbow, Josephine. Today is the second Sunday of my blog/cobweb break. It feels wrong. It feels transgressive. I have a shedload of stuff to write up from my writing week away…..but it still feels wrong. Stern and Conradian, you and Anthony Wilson and Kim Moore. Heroes.

    Liked by 1 person

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