Very much looking forward to being part of Swindon Festival of Poetry, leading workshops and reading. There’s an exciting, international line-up. Check it out here.
Looking forward to next term: the beginning of my RLF Fellowship at Aston University.
I will also be working for First Story in a school in Cheltenham, which involves workshops with a group of students over two terms, and producing an anthology of their writing.
Here’s the setting for writing workshops at the Arvon Foundation at the Hurst, where I tutored a course at the beginning of July. The Hurst has been completely renovated – it’s an extraordinary place in a beautiful setting, and well worth visiting for a writing course.
My poem ‘Recession as Street Theatre’ is now online, in the Morning Star, here. Appropriately enough, the hard copy has it positioned next to a strutting, haunted-looking Andy Coulson being photographed by a barrage of cameras, no doubt wishing he was invisible.
‘Recession as Street Theatre’ feels like a recent poem, but I remember reading it in the Tate Liverpool alongside Andrew Taylor, Robert Sheppard, Scott Thurston, Angela Keaton, Patricia Farrell, Alice Lenkiewicz and the rest of the Edge Hill Poetry & Poetics group at a bash organised by Alice in 2008. The buskers described in the poem are exactly as they were outside Covent Garden tube station one day during the summer of that year.
I attended a very good NAWE Poetry by Heart seminar/CPD day at the Swedenborg Institute in London yesterday, organised by Anne Caldwell, featuring Peter Sansom on Poetry & Memory. Learning a poem by heart is not only a brilliant way to get inside and fully appreciate a poem, it’s enriching. I’m impressed by the diverse selection of poems on the Poetry by Heart website, not least its inclusion of poems by Frank O’Hara, Roy Fisher, Denise Riley and WS Graham. The next stage of the project is to get more poets involved, working in schools; I’m looking forward to being part of this. I had a lot of fun as an English teacher working with young people on learning and ‘performing’ poems, so it will be good to draw on this experience, working with students and teachers.