Jobbing poets

I’ve been up against John Siddique twice this week, and that’s not as much fun as it sounds. The best-dressed poet in the North West (not much competition, admittedly) kept bumping into me in Manchester, as we went to interview for the same jobs.  We called a truce and had lunch at the Cornerhouse. TheContinue reading “Jobbing poets”

Carrots and chandeliers

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a postal delivery in which a large cheque is received, is followed immediately by a postal delivery in which a large cheque is requested. So long as they come in that order I can live with it. A good productive week this, full of meetings with people IContinue reading “Carrots and chandeliers”

Are we having fun yet?

Spring time. We celebrate by putting the clocks forward. The natural world celebrates by shagging itself silly. The jolly sound of duck rape fills the air by my boat: the countryside heaves with evidence of reproduction, as I saw during a little walk in Cheshire. Any good the walk did me was undone at a debriefingContinue reading “Are we having fun yet?”

Motherhood and Robin Hood

My former mentee (left) casts me aside like a sloughed snakeskin on March 25th. Charlie Jordan’s showcase performance at the Library Theatre, Birmingham will include poems of football, cake and shagging. You won’t often get free entry to a line-up including Charlie, Byron Vincent, Matt Man Windle and… er… me. Have a look here for more information.Continue reading “Motherhood and Robin Hood”

Matron, there’s a poet in my cubicle

I’m knackered, dear reader. This week saw the beginning of my year as writer in residence at the Royal Derby Hospital (RDH). The arts team at the hospital arranged a series of back-to-back visits to give me a flavour of work in several departments. I’ve led a fairly charmed life in terms of illness and injury,Continue reading “Matron, there’s a poet in my cubicle”

Holiday? I need a rest

Remember that Gary Larson cartoon where the schoolboy puts up his hand and says ‘Please sir…. my brain is full’? I know how he felt. Last week was taken up with the writers’ retreat that I’ve waited for all my writing life. If you were planning the perfect retreat it would look like this: eight orContinue reading “Holiday? I need a rest”

Breasts and Bristol(s)

A busy working week, this one – but with much creativity in it. I made cakes for friends and poems for the National Trust; Steve Tasane wrote a heart-shaped poem, and friend Graham got a knitted breast from chum Hayley. At the local origami factory, obsessive paper-folder Howard created a rustling menagerie. I love a cityContinue reading “Breasts and Bristol(s)”

Big Love and cake

The week started snowy, and after last week’s dash from Glasgow to London to Birmingham to the verge of a nervous breakdown, I kept closer to home (where Jon Baxter of the Macclesfield Express took these nice pictures). So I settled down to work in Macclesfield – writing the foreword for a book of landscapeContinue reading “Big Love and cake”

Hi ho, hi ho, I’ve had enough now

Right then. Whose bright idea was it to send me to Glasgow on Monday night, and then to London for a midday meeting the following day? Really? Oh. So I have only myself to blame for that very early start – and there was another timetable cock-up yet to come. The Glasgow journey was worthContinue reading “Hi ho, hi ho, I’ve had enough now”