English student Olivia Jessuk recently contacted me on Twitter to ask me some questions about my poem ‘Jesus Lives’. She was reading it for her assignment and came up with a lovely visual response. You can see more on my Writing Page as she kindly gave me permission to publish it here.
When it comes to competitions and publications, it’s been a good few weeks for me. Two of my poems were commended and one highly commended for the inaugural Yaffle Prize. All the winning and commended poems are going to be published in Whirlagust anthology in May. I’ve just looked at the proofs and it promises to be a very rich anthology from this new publisher.
My poem ‘The War Is Lost’ won runner up in the Wirral Poetry Festival competition. You can read the poem alongside those of the other winners here. It was inspired by a line from an Alphonsus de Guimaraens poem
After a few years of dipping my toe in the short fiction pool again, I’m going to have a weird short story in the next The Forgotten and The Fantastical anthology (published by Mother’s Milk Books). I have to say I am a little awe-struck to be included beside mythically great writers such as Angela Readman, Aliya Whiteley Rosie Garland and others but obviously delighted.
Finally, positive noises are being made about my rewritten second novel but I’m too superstitious to say any more than that for the moment. It’s been a long long journey with this book so please keep everything crossed for me.
As Jackie Kay said on stage the other day at the spectacular Poems for David Oluwale 50th ‘we poets like to think we’re rock stars so when we see each other in the street we ask each other if we’ve done any good gigs lately.’ I haven’t done many performances for a while. but here are a few I have coming up.
3rd May, DiVerse – a monthly spoken word night for unheard and under-represented voices in Teeside with Dominic JP Nelson-Ashley, Ella Frances Sandersen and India Hunter.
From 7 pm at Shanti Café, Earthbeat Centre, Saltburn, TS12 1QA.
Free: Just turn up.
From tomorrow, we performers will be taking over the DiVerse social media accounts. My slot is on Tuesday. I’ll be posting about many aspects of my work and interests including talking about some of the groups I work with. I’ve never used Instagram before and am looking forward to trying it out.
16th May, The Leeds Festival of Ideas – a poetic feast on the theme of BORDERS. Come and allow your minds to be captivated by the imagination and talents of ten local poets, who will explore the many meanings of the notion of Borders.
from 7.30 pm at Headingley Library, North Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3HG
Pay as you feel donations and a raffle.
PLEASE NOTE THAT UNFORTUNATELY DUE TO A FAMILY MATTER, I AM NO LONGER ABLE TO READ AT THIS EVENT. DO SUPPORT IT ANYWAY IF YOU CAN.
I’ll be reading at Poetry Cabaret for the charity event Child.org this Thursday with Vahni Capildeo, Rachel Bower, Dominic Leonard, Adekola, Karl O’Hanlon, John Whale, Caitlin Stobie, Kimberly Campanello, Becky Cherriman, Matthew Hedley Stoppard, Meegan Worcester, Amy Carter and Fern Broome Richards.
Thursday 9th May
Workshop Theatre, University of Leeds
£5 – all proceeds to charity. Tickets available here:
If you want to see what the next generation are up, to catch Ilkley and Bradford Young Writers performing at Words In The City tomorrow – at 1.00 in Room 700 alongside a line-up of brilliant performances and poetry films.