Two more Tuesday Tanka

Learning to Write #19 I had a craft evening with my youngest daughter and a good friend of mine, both of whom are infinitely more crafty than me, and it struck me how conversation ebbed and flowed around what they were doing, and what they were doing took shape even as the conversation seemed to…

First Birthday!

Happy First Birthday! Celebrate with a haiku, My poetry blog. Ha. It’s been a lot of fun writing this, I might not be reaching huge numbers but I’m enjoying it, and it is allowing me to be creative, so that’s cool. Happy birthday drbpoems. It’s because my name is really common, and people at work…

Two Tuesday Tanka

Learning to Write #18 Discipline. The challenge of writing something for a deadline. Every Tuesday, I will write a tanka, prompted by something on the day or the day before. Here are two tanka, one from last week, one from today. The first was based on a short exchange on Twitter about how we all…

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…

Leeds Pride 2017

Learning to Write #17 I apologise, this is slightly churlish of me. I really enjoyed being part of the Leeds Pride 2017 parade, it was great to see families out there in the thousands (proper thousands, not Trump thousands), celebrating diversity. The rush of walking down from Millennium Square, high fiving the crowd and seeing…

Blurring the Line

Words and Faith #4 Two pieces to share, from that big space in my personal Venn diagram where poetry and preaching intersect. Firstly, I read a blog about the sacrament of place – those physical spaces where we particularly experience God’s grace. This struck a chord with me, because I’d preached the previous Sunday on…

Dirt – William Letford

Learning to Read #11 Firstly, if you get a chance to see this guy perform, take it. The way that he brings his words to life, with cadence and accent, and an easy charisma – it really transforms what you have on the page. I saw him at the 2017 Kendal Poetry Festival and the room…

Kendal Poetry Festival 16/6/17

Performance #1 So the doors to the performance area are open because the room is packed, and the Lake District evening air is sneaking in to listen, and there is a hint of road noise and bird song, and one or two yoof outside. In and amongst all of this, you have live poetry and…

General Election Haiku – The End

Learning to Write #16 The final few, we’re here – polling day! Brutal, exhausting, variable in quality…. But enough about my daily election haiku 😉 It’s been a blast, and I’m glad I’ve done it. It has been hard to work quickly and put something out to a deadline when it is only 70% done….

Helen Dunmore

Inspirations #5 15 years ago, I rediscovered poetry – like so many others, I’d imagine – with the Staying Alive collection. I still think this is such a powerful collection, covering all manner of poetry from the traditional to the contemporary, and there were a lot of poems that caught my eye. One that particularly struck a…

General Election Haiku 7

Learning to Write #15 The penultimate collection of my daily election haiku. The finish line is in sight! This weeks debate has been dominated by Teresa May and her u-turns, the plight of the NHS and Jeremy Corbyn’s reluctance to make a firm statement about nuclear weapons. It is very odd that people put so…

General Election Haiku (6)

Learning to Write #14 The sixth installment in my daily election haiku marathon. I’m quite enjoying this now, I find that I’m looking for a hook, a moment, a phrase or just something to build on. And I get quite excited when I find it, when I write around it, when I get an image…