As Januarys go, this one hasn’t been too bad, so far, not taking into consideration world events, of course, although yesterday’s amazing marches across the world have filled me with hope. I’ve had five – FIVE – rejections in the past six weeks, not all poetry or writing related, but, surprisingly, I’m unbowed. Could it be true that, as wise people tell me, the harder you try, the stronger you become? Either that or becoming older makes a person more resilient. Anyway, I’m feeling pretty strong, especially as my rotten cold has been sent packing. It’s wonderful to feel well again, good grief it makes me feel euphoric to be sneeze-free!
Yesterday, I facilitated a writing workshop at Drawing Projects UK, in Trowbridge. We spent the morning looking at poems inspired by art, talking about ways of looking and what we do when we look, and writing our own poems inspired by the drawings of Anita Taylor being exhibited there. It was a super group, everyone contributed to discussions, listened to one another and I was quite blown away by the standard of poetry produced at the end of the morning. Usually, I’d invite workshop participants to send me some poems to post here but, quite honestly, they were too good. I really hope the group will develop their poems and submit them for competitions or magazine publication or add them to their portfolio.
I am still enjoying being away from And Other Poems! I feel guilty about it because I know how many people enjoying reading the poems there but taking a break has brought home to me the number of hours I spend running the site. I will return but not for a little while. The next job is to nominate some poems for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem but I have until March 24th to do that.
Next weekend I’m off to Sheffield for a Writing Day with the Poetry Business, something I’ve long wanted to do but haven’t been able to arrange until now. As well as doing some writing, it will be wonderful to meet up with my fellow Aldeburgh Eight colleagues as we’ve conspired a reunion with one of our mentors, Peter Sansom. I also hope to meet John Foggin and perhaps Maria Taylor and maybe some other writer friends, so there is much to look forward to!
In other news, Andrew has been building (again) in our back garden. There is something of a shed village developing down there. I’ve been posting pictures on my Instagram account as progress has developed. This structure has been claimed by our teenage son as a music room (he’s a drummer) although at one point I half had my eye on it for a writing room. Who knows, I might find a way of sneaking in there sometimes with my notebook, probably not in the middle of drum solo, however.
I hope your January isn’t causing you too much trouble, whatever you’re up to. Not long until it ends, in any case.