Soapbox @ Seven

Performance #3 Some good news! A new poetry night in Leeds, hosted at the Seven Arts Centre in Chapel Allerton, compered by Matt Abbott and put together by the Nymphs and Thugs spoken word record label. I’m finding that there is less poetry in Leeds that I assumed there would be, given that the city…

Valentines Eve Tanka

Learning to Write #26 Two Tuesday Tanka. It’s Shrove Tuesday here in the UK and also Valentines Day Eve, which isn’t really a thing, but made for a nice theme. It’s the hopefulness before the crushing disappointment, the chance to take a chance followed by the inevitable playing it safe. Firstly, to everyone who’s ever…

Three Tuesday Tanka

Learning to Write #25 Discipline, practice, discipline. That’s what I keep reminding myself of and forgetting about again. So…. this was kind of my day in Tanka. First of all, a cereal disaster! Crossing the granola boundaries and mixing cereal. Like putting rice krispies in your cornflakes packet by accident. No! Then a reminder of…

Rogue Strands – Matthew Stewart

Someone Else’s Blog #1 You can honestly do a lot worse today than check out Matthew’s thoughts on the Best UK Poetry Blogs 2017.  It is here and I put his Twitter handle above too. There is nothing like a Top 10 List at Christmas, is there? 🙂 In fairness, this is a bit longer than 10, but…

Another Crossing – Khadijah Ibrahiim

Learning to Read #17 I believe that good poetry is a fluid thing – it speaks in many ways to different people, and in different ways at different times of your life. It might be the narrative of a single moment, or a description of a single place or an expression of a single emotion,…

Tony Harrison at 80

Performance #2 Part of the Leeds University celebration of Tony Harrison at 80, this was a double header – firstly we had the striking and rather brutal reflection piece “The Gaze of the Gorgon” and then we had an hour of the author reading selected pieces of his own work. The Gaze of the Gorgon…

Zig-Zag Girl – Brenna Twohy

Learning to Read #16 I feel I should mention this up front – there is a *but* to this review. This is a collection of very “me” focussed poetry collection, it is brief to the point of almost being too short, *but* it has some genuinely beautiful images and some stunning moments of impact. You…

The Rialto #89

Learning to Read #15 Cut the chat, let’s have some poetry. I’m a simple soul, and it suits me to have cover to cover poetry. Without even a hint of irony, I am going to start this review by saying that I don’t hugely enjoy pages of dissection and analysis of poetry, or weighty reviews. I…

Strix

Learning to Read #14 Getting proper post is cool. You know what I’m saying here – proper hand written address, package put together with care, custom sticker sealing it up. Proper physical post. So Strix scores well on first impressions. You open up the envelope and you have an organic brown cover, hand assembled around…

More Tuesday Tanka

Learning to Write #20 Subtitled – the dangers of writing poetry after several pints of beer. And/or on holiday and more relaxed generally. Don’t you sometimes feel like a ghost at busy points in life, removed, detached, disconnected? And don’t you wish pebbles had friends for life, they could stay in touch despite the best…

Raking Light – Eric Langley

Learning to Read #13 What a contrast. At the same time as I was reading Olivia Gatwood, I was also reading this book. On the one hand; street wise, personal, straight talking oral poetry. On the other hand; complex, compelling, crafted, dense poetry that you kind of have to keep a dictionary on hand to…

New American Best Friend – Olivia Gatwood

Learning to Read #12 When I was a teenager I read a lot of Stephen King – as well as the shock and horror, I found myself drawn in by his incredibly acute, frank and accessible descriptions of everyday life as an American teen. It didn’t relate to anything I knew, it wasn’t the same teenage experience that…