A perfect day

At Faversham Literary Festival yesterday, poetry took over the whole day at The Limes pub. Poets and poetry do have a tendency to take over, I find, in the nicest possible way and the whole place was a rolling celebration of words, human vulnerabilities and laughter.

We started with a pop-up event featuring Word of Mouth #Whitstable. My guest poets were a wonderful range of published poets who’ve all read at Word of Mouth (originally Words on Waves): Sue Rose, Gillie Robic, Charlotte Ansell, Setareh Ibrahimi, Mary Anne Smith and (briefly) myself. 87174688_10159185181327835_5561464456220770304_oIt’s Mary Anne who looks as if she’s wearing John McCullough’s hat. These are all poets I admire very much and I was honoured to read alongside them. More details about them are hereme reading at Fav Lit 2020Excellent husbanding going  on below, allowing Setareh to relax after her reading. 87200514_10159185181662835_4489400903576584192_oJohn McCullough is an exceptional writer from Brighton, very moving – here he reads  from his excellent Reckless Paper Birds (Penned in the Margins). 85259234_10159185181707835_374045708216434688_oThis is Luke Wright spellbinding us all with a beautifully crafted story that combines poetry, love and personal heartbreak, politics and rant: Remains of Logan Dankworth87273273_10159185181852835_8082300076434653184_oAnother important highlight of the day was an hour devoted to Kent poet Rosemary McLeish who brought her poet friends Clair Meyrick and Barry Fentiman Hall in support. Sorry the photograph is blurry but this was an event of high emotion, generated by all three of these marvellous writers. 85258032_10159185181947835_1252314697173041152_o

Faversham does actually have a ‘Love Lane’ so that was our title for an hour of poetry about love combining the words of Derek Sellen and Gary Studley with Mary Anne Smith and myself again. The breath-held hush while I read from Orion, my ‘classical love story’ published by Lapwing Publications in 2012, will stay with me for quite some time. 

Many thanks to everyone at Faversham Literary Festival for a fantastic series of events and for a complex, wide-ranging festival that hums along like a Rolls Royce and brings such literary excitement to us every year. One more day to go – see you there later!


Churchill Writers’ anthology

The Churchill Writers’ anthology is not only published, it has just been catalogued at the Churchill College library. I am bursting with pride!85088216_10159138761222835_47307733325578240_o

I set up the group in early 2011 and have been thrilled to watch writers develop confidence, skills and great friendships. Many thanks to all the writers who contributed and especially to Gervase Vernon who took care of the publishing mysteries and Caity Ross, our sub-editor, for bringing such an excellent final product together. 

In this, the group’s first anthology, you can find romance, mystery, sci-fi, memoir, poetry and an important extract from a forthcoming biography of Churchill College’s first Master, Sir John Cockcroft. You will also discover the range and excellence of the group’s writing.

It’s a wonderful read and you can buy a copy here.84033074_10159138761252835_749386250288365568_o

Off to Glasgow in April

It’s too long since I’ve been in Glasgow and the Medical Humanities ECR Group at the University of Glasgow are kindly putting that right in April. I’ve been asked to read from Six-Count Jive (Lapwing Publications, 2019) at their Public Health, Private Illness interdisciplinary medical humanities conference.

The conference website says: We want to interrogate the public/private distinction within health, medicine and wellbeing, and to examine the many and complex intersections between public health ideals and the individual experience of health, illness, body and mind. There is a call for related creative writing that might interest you – details are on their page here. The deadline is 24 February, 2020.

See you in The Butterfly and The Pig on Wednesday, 8 April. D8913E25-878C-4DAE-8CE1-930633358E27