Mary Evans Picture Library Poems and Pictures blog update

The Mary Evans Picture Library is a beautiful trove of images of all kinds, located in an exquisite Arts and Crafts building in Blackheath, south east London, close to where I lived for many years. So it’s a special pleasure for me to have my poetry published from time to time on their Poems and Pictures blog curated by Gill Stoker.

Gill has just updated the blog’s main page to include links to their gorgeous events, including a recording of the online reading from Devon in January this year where I read my Oyster Seventeens. The site now allows you to search by poet too. What a list it is and all free!

Happy browsing.

Her Other Language (Arlen House, 2020) at Vigo University last May

Last year Arlen House published a mighty anthology called Her Other Language with the subtitle ‘Northern Irish Women Writers Address Domestic Violence and Abuse‘. Needless to say, domestic violence and control have been on the rise throughout this pandemic, and in May this year, its editors Ruth Carr and Natasha Cuddington, along with academic and fellow Lapwing poet Lorna Shaughnessy, addressed a conference at the University of Vigo in Spain. With the permission of everyone mentioned in them, you can find their three interventions here.

I am deeply proud to be included in the anthology. Ruth Carr asked me to record a short reading in advance of the Vigo event. The first intervention around the subject of this book was by Lorna Shaughnessy and includes my reading at the end. Other readers appear in the other interventions and I’m so pleased to see not only the poets but Ruth and Natasha having their work honoured in this way.

Gloucester Poetry Festival online throughout October 2021

The Gloucester Poetry Festival is going to be outstanding this year – what a line-up! – and you are welcome to be there, wherever you live as it’s all online.

I’m thrilled to have been invited to join Chaucer Cameron and J.L.M. Morton to read on Monday 25 October at 14.00. You can book here – it’s free but you will need a ticket. There will be an open mic as well as us poets having half an hour each.

Usually I write short poems and half an hour felt a bit daunting at first, but I’ve been productive during our lockdowns. I’m working towards a new collection of poems in all sorts of styles and lengths and am busy gathering together what could work best for Gloucester. My themes will be family and mental health, and the beauties of living close to the sea. A few laughs, a few tears. I look forward to seeing you there.