I knew it had been a long time with no posts, but hadn’t realised it’s actually been seven months. I could give you all sorts of reasons and/or excuses (including this year’s highlight, the birth of my first grandchild in July) but it really boils down to the fact that the longer the delay, the harder it gets to resume an activity. (There must be a better grammatical form for that phrase). I thought about posting many times. It was on my To Do list frequently. It never happened. That’s what I’m like.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t do any writing or submitting, as I’ll itemise further down.
So last night I went to a poetry reading at Toppings in Bath, the fabulous Luke Kennard. Why had I never heard of him before? I’ve started my final course for the BA Creative Arts at Bath Spa Uni, and this is really a case of saving the best for last: Carrie Etter’s 3rd year poetry module. She is an excellent tutor as well as a great poet, encouraging to her students not only during the course but for years after, as I noticed last night. Carrie knew everyone. She had recommended this reading to our group, and I set out on a rainy windy autumnal evening to drive an hour to get there, with no idea of what was to come.
Luke was a revelation. Highly personable and entertaining, his poetry is wildly creative and sparked a number of ideas for how to approach our aim this year, the creation of our own pamphlets. Watch this space!
During the last few months I’ve been to three poetry workshops. The two at Bath Poetry cafe, run by Sue Boyle, resulted in one piece that was published yesterday by Gnarled Oak, several pieces to be worked on further, and the discovery of Alice Oswald’s work. I’m pleased to say I have a ticket to her forthcoming reading in Bath, too. And the Tears in the Fence day at Stourpaine in September combined a useful workshop with an afternoon reading. I finally got to join my friends from Wells Fountain poets in reading our linked performance Second Skin, which was well-received. It has its next, and last, outing in December at the Wells group meeting where we are the ‘featured poet’. And talking of readings, I was the ‘featured poet’ at Glastonbury’s poetry meeting in Tea and Chi cafe at the end of September, where I conducted a trawl through my earlier work – I’ve been living and writing here for thirty years now.
Despite not managing to submit anything for two months now, I’m reaping the rewards of previous subs, with online publications to come in Strange Poet and Amaryllis, yesterday’s Gnarled Oak one, and the most prestigious so far, I’m in this year’s The Broadsheet along with two friends Rachael and Jinny from the Wells group – and a lot of well-known, big-name poets, too many to list in case it sounds like name-dropping.
Onwards and upwards, as they say.
And on another note, I have my first teaching session for a long time next week. A couple of therapeutic creative writing sessions for a mental health charity in Bristol. I’m supposed to be doing the lessons plans now. This blog post is, of course, a distraction activity. Always do the second most important thing on the To Do list seems to be my motto…