Home thoughts about Winchester Poetry Festival

Leafing through the jottings in my Winchester Poetry Festival notebook, I see that I wrote down some of the comments Sinéad Morrissey made, before she read amazing poems, all new work, from her next collection (out in 2017).  “We’re in a toxic revolution,” the poet said, referring to the Northern Ireland Department of Arts and Culture being replaced byContinue reading “Home thoughts about Winchester Poetry Festival”

The Complete Works at Winchester Poetry Festival

Talking to people after the festival, many have mentioned the Sunday readings by Inua Ellams, Sarah Howe and Kei Miller as one of their highlights.  These three major poets are all associated with The Complete Works, a national development programme for advanced Black and Asian poets. Who could have failed to be blown away by InuaContinue reading “The Complete Works at Winchester Poetry Festival”

Winchester Poetry Festival: Photos and snippets

There have been so many outstanding readings at the festival, it would take me until the end of the year to tell you about them in detail.  I’ll write some more when I’m back at home but for now, here are some things poets have said which I’ve liked enough to record in my notebook. IContinue reading “Winchester Poetry Festival: Photos and snippets”

Winchester Poetry Festival Diary: What isn’t translation?

Day Two of Winchester Poetry Festival started in the Children’s Library at Winchester Discovery Centre.  MPT Editor Sasha Dugdale and Access consultant Shelley Boden ran a session which introduced children to poetry (for children) in translation,  “Poems from different countries can tell you things in a different way,” Sasha told the young participants.  “When you readContinue reading “Winchester Poetry Festival Diary: What isn’t translation?”

Winchester Poetry Festival Diary: Day One (Part Two).

Kim Moore, Ian Duhig and Sophie Hannah gave wonderful readings on the opening night of the festival. It really is a pleasure to hear poems you think you know quite well read aloud. Even if you’ve read them many times in magazines, websites, in collections and at award evenings, something surprising and new often turnsContinue reading “Winchester Poetry Festival Diary: Day One (Part Two).”

Winchester Poetry Festival Diary: Day One (Part One)

So here I am, safely installed in a delightful airbnb very close to the centre of Winchester. I have a Festival Pass in my hands and I’m going to make the most of it. I’ll report back, in between attending events, starting with a few things I went to yesterday. The opening event was aContinue reading “Winchester Poetry Festival Diary: Day One (Part One)”

A poem for National Poetry Day 2016

The theme for this year’s National Poetry Day in the UK is ‘messages’.  As Poet in Residence at Trowbridge Town Hall, I’ve been working with artist Ben Midgley on a new poem which we will share with school students and other visitors to the Town Hall on National Poetry Day, October 6. Local school students from primary andContinue reading “A poem for National Poetry Day 2016”

Thinking about Children’s Poetry

Ahead of Winchester Poetry Festival which runs from Friday 7 October to Sunday 9 October, and because I’m teaching some poetry workshops for children at Trowbridge Town Hall on National Poetry Day (October 6), I’ve been re-reading a 2015 issue of Modern Poetry in Translation magazine  which had a focus on children’s poetry in translation.Continue reading “Thinking about Children’s Poetry”

Writing a collaborative poem

I had a wonderful time reading with Louisa Adjoa Parker at Schumacher College, Dartington, Devon, on August 3rd for The Enemies Project South West Poetry Tour. You can read more about The Enemies Project here.  It’s a project that started in 2011, dreamed up by poet and artist Stephen Fowler, which facilitates new collaborative creative works.   So farContinue reading “Writing a collaborative poem”

Review of ‘Every Little Sound’ by Ruby Robinson

Reading Ruby Robinson’s debut collection Every Little Sound (Liverpool University Press, 2016) in the early days of the EU Referendum result, my ears were still ringing with one of the Leave campaign’s key slogans: “Take back Control,” an imperative phrase masquerading as a promise of freedom, and a reminder of the power dynamics at work inContinue reading “Review of ‘Every Little Sound’ by Ruby Robinson”