The Bell Jar

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

‘Tis the year’s midnight….

….again. It’s the shortest day of the year. Tomorrow the nights start drawing out again, and the days get a little longer with each sunrise. Is the year’s glass half … Continue reading

December 21, 2015 · 3 Comments

Jo Bell’s Rules for Poetry

….are ruthless, prescriptive, proscriptive – and if they sound just a teeny bit dogmatic, that’s because these are the faults I come across all the time in others’ work – … Continue reading

October 30, 2015 · 5 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving

Some poets dislike┬áNational Poetry Day. ‘Doesn’t poetry happen every day?’ they say. Yes, of course it does. Of course it does. But here’s a secret, from someone who used to … Continue reading

October 8, 2015 · 4 Comments

The pity is in the poetry. And nowhere else?

This is a usually a blog about poetry, but I don’t keep my politics a secret on it. For those of you who find this an irritation, I’m sorry. I’m … Continue reading

July 3, 2015 · 8 Comments

Dip me in honey and throw me to the dinosaurs

Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know what has come over me. I am not given to reviewing films, but I find that I am moved to speak on the subject … Continue reading

June 19, 2015 · 3 Comments

Eight miles out from nowhere

This is a longer blog than usual, but then this has been a longer week than usual. Whatever our politics, we’ve all considered what it means to be English – … Continue reading

May 11, 2015 · 5 Comments

Never mind who they are. Who are you?

This is not about poetry. It’s about politics. In every election I can remember, journalists have spent weeks in a frenzy of analysis. Their agenda is to tell a story, … Continue reading

May 5, 2015 · 10 Comments

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