the image is of crocuses growing on grass in a park, February 2021

No Big Leaps in February

What a pipsqueak of a month February is. Over in the blink of an eye, or perhaps that’s just me experiencing time whizzing past as I grow older.

I finished the Papatango online playwriting course at the beginning of the month. Taking part in the course enabled me to edit and finish an audio play that’s been sitting in a drawer for years, and start to write another one. Andrew (husband) and I thoroughly enjoyed watching Shook by Samuel Bailey, which was the winner of the 2019 Papatango Playwriting Prize and has rightly received critical acclaim. Tickets are £10 per household and you are given 48 hours to watch the play as much as you like. Owing to popular demand, the online run has just been extended until 28th March. The story is of three young men, not quite adults, in a young offenders institution. They are all fathers, or about to become fathers, and taking a weekly parenting class while they are incarcerated. The play is funny, fast-paced, and desperately moving. The writing, performances and filming are all superb, a skilful, intelligent, honest portrayal of one aspect of working class culture, contemporary masculinity, and life chances.  It was so refreshing to watch a play, rather than a film, a completely different energy. I also bought the playscript from Nick Hearn Books as there is a 50% discount of the book with every ticket.  We used an HDMI cable on my laptop so we could watch on our telly from the comfort of our sitting room.  Recommended!

True to my word, I made some new collages for February, which I’ve posted on Instagram.  My collage work is growing and I’m going to have to find a folder to keep the work safe from coffee spills and creases.

My poetry collection What Are You After? was published by Nine Arches Press in 2018, which means that I now have nearly three year’s worth of uncollected poems which I need to give my attention to.  Some of have been published in various places, some are yet to find a home.  I’m keeping an eye on the poetry, in between the plays and the collages.  As well as my own work, I have some poetry reviews to write for The North and I must choose three poems from And Other Poems to nominate to the Forward Prizes, Best Single Poem. The deadline for nominations is fast approaching.  I’m also gradually adding links to recordings of poems already published at And Other Poems, from SoundCloud, Vimeo or YouTube, so that the poems can be experienced by more readers in different ways.  If you have any poems at And Other Poems, do please send me a link to a recording and I will add it to the site.

I’ve gone for walks outside without a coat for the first time in a while, making the most of the mild, gently sunny weather that we’re currently enjoying in west Wiltshire and elsewhere in the UK.  Lots of crocuses out in our local park.  Spring is coming.

the image is of crocuses growing on grass in a park, February 2021

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