About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Saturday, 1 October 2022

A month of poetry - and the Buzzwords Poetry Competition 2022

September's been a busy month, seeing the submission of my dissertation, and with it, the end of my MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Writing School. I decided to apply after my mother went to live with my sister in Nottingham for the last couple of years of her life, and I suddenly found myself with a lot more free time. Now all that's left to do is wait for the result of my dissertation, and then the release of my overall mark. I've really enjoyed rediscovering my inner swot, and will miss her and my studies once I've graduated. (Unless I go on to study for a PhD. We'll have to see.)

September was also very busy with regard to poetry readings; in fact, I ended up doing more in one month than the preceding two and a half years, starting with four readings over the course of one weekend at the University of Bristol's Botanic Garden Bee and Pollination Festival. Reading with me were two of my fellow IsamBards, Pameli Benham and David Johnson. 

I also had the pleasure of being one of the guest poets at the Berkeley Square Poetry Review in Clifton, and at Uncut Poets at Exeter Phoenix, along with Dominic Fisher. 

My seventh reading of the month, again as guest poet with Dominic Fisher, was pre-recorded for West Wilts Radio, courtesy of Dawn Gorman's The Poetry Place. The programme, with many excellent open-mic readings, is available to listen to here.

My final reading of the month was perhaps the most personally satisfying of all, as it was for Silver Street Poetry, the open mic I used to run with my partner, Colin Brown, before the pandemic put a stop to such things. Since then we've had a prolonged search for a more spacious venue than our old haunt, and have found a warm welcome at St Stephen's Church, just off Bristol City Centre, which not only has an excellent Spanish cafe, but also mermaids! 

I'll be running the event from now on with Dominic, Pat Simmons and Rosalie Alston, as Colin is currently working in Cardiff. We'll be booking some excellent guest poets in the months ahead. In the meantime it was great to dip my toes in the warm (as it turned out) waters of viability, a mere two and a half years after I was slated to read in April 2020. 

And my best poetry news for the month came in an email from the organisers of the 2022 Buzzwords Poetry  Competition to say that my sequence of poems, Conversations with Silence, from my most recent project, Love the Albatross, had won second prize, which is all kinds of pleasing. Thanks very much to judge, Nigel McLoughlin.   

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