The Bell Jar

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

A Chant Against Procrastination

In terms of poetry production, last week’s writing retreat on the North York Moors was a dead loss, and that is fine. With the book coming out next month and … Continue reading

March 24, 2015 · 2 Comments

It’s a Spring Thing

I reckon Spring works a bit like home made wine. For weeks, the demijohn sits in the airing cupboard full of inert liquid, with no sign of fermenting. A solitary … Continue reading

March 20, 2015 · 4 Comments

Backing into the limelight

Dear, strangely attractive reader – I have a new book coming out. You possibly knew that already. Carol Ann Duffy, Philip Gross and others have said kind things about it … Continue reading

March 4, 2015 · 1 Comment

A Valentine from the river

Valentine’s Day – or, as we call it in our family, “Simon’s birthday”. Consider love, dear reader: the biggest, baggiest and most baggage-laden word in our lovely language.¬†Who expresses it … Continue reading

February 14, 2015 · 2 Comments

Submitting to journals: the Jo Bell method

  I’ve spent some time lately with poetry journal editors – and also with the poor poetic beggars who, like me, send off work to them. It’s struck me anew … Continue reading

January 8, 2015 · 32 Comments

52 – the books!

After 52 weeks of blisteringly good creative input and output, my 52 project ends with the last hours of 2014. It’s been such a success that we wanted to commemorate … Continue reading

December 30, 2014 · 4 Comments

The first freeze

  This is what we call ‘cat ice’ – probably because it’s just thick enough to support a foolish cat…. for a while anyway. It came in the night and … Continue reading

December 13, 2014 · 7 Comments

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