The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

NaPoReMo #23: The architecture of pleasure

  Rhetorical Questions Hugo Williams How do you think I feel when you make me talk to you and won’t let me stop till the words turn into a moan? … Continue reading

April 23, 2017 · 3 Comments

NaPoReMo #20: Yes we can

  Variation on a Theme by Rilke Denise Levertov A certain day became a presence to me; there it was, confronting me–a sky, air, light: a being. And before it … Continue reading

April 20, 2017 · 2 Comments

The currency of kindness: working for Nationwide

Sometimes when you’re commissioned to write a poem, it’s a mixed blessing. Poetry isn’t copywriting; if you can’t believe in the thing you’re writing about, it will sound fake. In poetry … Continue reading

January 28, 2017 · 14 Comments

The Slow Machine

‘Can you write a half-hour ‘docupoem’ about your life on the canals?’ said Mair Bosworth, the BBC producer. Yes, I thought. Of course I can. Piece of cake. Easy.

Reader, it wasn’t easy.

June 11, 2016 · 5 Comments

Valentine’s Day Poesie

Happy Valentine’s Day. Or as we know it in our family, Simon’s birthday. Or as you may call it, the Festival of Unusually Expensive Flowers.

February 13, 2016

Absent friends

Acknowledging the people who shaped us, can sometimes mean admitting to big cracks in the fabric they worked on.

April 11, 2015 · 4 Comments

Feeling bookish

A poet should be in the business of windows, not chandeliers. I want to look through a poem, not at it, to see the world more clearly.

April 5, 2015 · 10 Comments

A Chant Against Procrastination

This is for anyone who, like me, finds that they have inexplicably avoided every item on their To Do List at the end of the day.

March 24, 2015 · 2 Comments

Kith – reading dates

Dear, strangely attractive reader – I have a new book out.

March 4, 2015 · 3 Comments

A Valentine from the river

Consider love, dear reader: the biggest, baggiest and most baggage-laden word in our lovely language.

February 14, 2015 · 2 Comments