National Poetry Day 2017

Learning to Write #22 This year, the theme for National Poetry Day was Freedom. My response was a bit sixth form love poetry but, hey, sometimes that’s where the words take you 🙂 This was a response to a lovely line in Swallowtail by Brenna Twohy. I was going to use a simple moth to…

Three More Tuesday Tanka

Learning to Write #21 Autumn has arrived, and these three tanka reflect different aspects of the season. Sort of. Cricket isn’t designed for autumn is it? Wet grass slows play down, and the chilly wind makes it harder to keep your pint steady in the stands. And politics. Autumn is the season of party conferences in…

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…

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…