The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

The currency of kindness: working for Nationwide

Sometimes when you’re commissioned to write a poem,┬áit’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 · 10 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