What I found when I read through my diary

Sleep reports.  Notes about dreams.  Severe admonishments about time spent on endless scrolling.  Headache details. Plans for tomorrow and thinking ahead to the weekend.  Scraps of ideas. Statements about sleep requirements. Observations about what is going on elsewhere in the house. Self-congratulations on dishes cooked.  Lists of every ingredient.  Details about where in the house … Continue reading What I found when I read through my diary

Finding your way into a poem

It's been really helpful to read these posts by poets writing about how they find their way into poems:  "Writing" Towards Writing by Pam Thompson and fearless creating by Julie Mellor.  As well as containing useful and practical advice, the posts are a comforting reminder that I'm not alone in finding writing hard going at … Continue reading Finding your way into a poem

Using Rebecca Perry’s ‘Wasp’ and Brian McCabe’s ‘Seagull’ in a poetry workshop — #writerinschool

I'm back at St Gregory's Catholic College, Bath, for my final term as Writer in Residence and I thought I'd mention two poems which students have particularly enjoyed. Both are about creatures  - one about a wasp, and one about seagulls.  The students loved reading the poems and they've written brilliant poems in response.    … Continue reading Using Rebecca Perry’s ‘Wasp’ and Brian McCabe’s ‘Seagull’ in a poetry workshop — #writerinschool

End of the month blog

Rattling off a post before March ends.  I've worked hard on my poetry manuscript since I last mentioned it on this blog.  Now for the final stages of editing, tweaking, rearranging lines, titles, and order with my editor, Jane Commane at Nine Arches Press.  What have I learned from writing a full collection of poetry?  Mostly, … Continue reading End of the month blog

Writing poems about flowers #writerinschool

This week I took Alice Oswald's book Weeds and Wild Flowers in to St Gregory's Catholic College, Bath, where I'm working as Writer in Residence. I was prompted to do this by Sarah Westcott's gorgeous poem about snowdrops Fair Maids of February which was a winner in this year's Cafe Writers Competition judged by Liz … Continue reading Writing poems about flowers #writerinschool

Very short crime stories: #writerinschool

I brought in some crime flash fiction to St Gregory's School where I work one day a week as writer in residence and the students loved reading, talking about, and writing their own very short crime stories.  These were Year 8 and Year 9 students, aged 12 - 14, with a variety of different literacy … Continue reading Very short crime stories: #writerinschool

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 … Continue reading Keeping a poetry reading journal

Writing poetry with secondary school students: using cut ups

As I mentioned before, I liked the collage feel of both Anthony Wilson's notebook posts and Julie Mellor's post about Cubomania, in which Julie cut up blocks of text and placed them together in a random way to create new poems.  With this in mind, I started a new term at St Gregory's Catholic College, Bath, … Continue reading Writing poetry with secondary school students: using cut ups

Poet Bloggers 2018 Revival Tour

I'm a pretty regular blogger but I have let things slip a bit recently, mostly because I've been busy doing other kinds of writing.  In a bid to up my game,  I've been kindly added to this list of poet bloggers who are trying to blog weekly in 2018. You can also add yourself to … Continue reading Poet Bloggers 2018 Revival Tour

My started late, stop-start writing “career”

I've enjoyed these tweets from different writers who've shared their stories of not being straight out of the cradle when their writing received recognition.  Here are a few of them: https://twitter.com/KitdeWaal/status/939278943332503552 https://twitter.com/VanessaGebbie/status/939130266538467328 https://twitter.com/pascalepoet/status/939677522693824512 The writer Joanna Walsh (@badaude on Twitter) has written this article on The Guardian books blog, arguing that "all awards for young … Continue reading My started late, stop-start writing “career”