Keeping a poetry reading journal

Dashing off a quick post to try to keep to my weekly blog plan as part of the Poet Bloggers 2018 Revival Tour.  I’m knee-deep in old notebooks this week, as I flounder inside the messy and muddy quagmire that is my poetry manuscript.  I’ve spent the past two days holed-up inside my house, as I read through my editor Jane Commane’s notes and try to reshape and finish what will, I hope, turn into my first full poetry collection, What Are You After?, to be published by Nine Arches Press this June.

On top of that, I’ve had a busy week at St Gregory’s school where I’m writer in residence, reading through students’ crime stories (which some of them are writing for a competition), as well as planning and delivering school poetry writing workshops.

In my notebooks, I’ve come across fragments of poems that I copied out (and have since forgotten about).  This reminded me that I used to keep a reading journal, which I wrote about here, and I wonder why on earth I ever gave up this wonderful habit?

As a lover of notebooks (I can ever have too many), I’m definitely going to reinstate this routine and start to copy out fragments or even whole poems that I like.

So I’m dashing off again, apologies for a super-quick post.  I did manage a speedy visit to see my daughter in Oxford this week (a wonderful treat!) and I’m glad that I didn’t say that I was too busy to see her (I sincerely hope I will never say this).  Here’s  a photo of a grapefruit plant and some other riotous flowers from the greenhouse in the Oxford University Botanic Garden.

There are a few more snaps on my Instagram feed.  It was uplifting to see so much colour and new growth on a dreary January day.

Wishing everyone a happy week.


7 thoughts on “Keeping a poetry reading journal”

  1. I adore the photograph of your notebooks! In my teens I kept what I called a Commonplace Book for quotations from books. Now I can’t keep up with myself and even my common places are getting lost… A reading journal is a wonderful thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like a sophisticated and possibly Jane Austen inspired teenager?? I so admire people who quote great passages of poems and prose from memory. I am determined to try to keep up with them, somehow! Thank you for commenting. 🙂 x


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