Wednesday, March 27, 2013

John Donne Day 2013: 2 April, Polesworth Abbey Church, from 2pm

john donne

I'm delighted to be part of John Donne Day 2013: an afternoon and evening of reading, writing, and walking in the company of John Donne’s poetry.
The event celebrates the 400th anniversary of Donne’s poem, ‘Good Friday 1613: Riding Westwards’.
It will be held at the Abbey Church, Polesworth Abbey, High Street, Polesworth, Warwickshire B78 1DU.
The programme of workshops, talks, walks, discussions begins at 2pm - including reading and discussion with Anthony Mellors and Tony Howe, a guided tour with Mal Dewhirst, and a Donne-inspired poetry workshop with me. From 7pm, there will be a performance of John Donne's work by Derek Littlewood, and newly commissioned poetry by Jane Commane, Mal Dewhirst, Jacqui Rowe, and me.
£9 afternoon and evening. £5 just afternoon or evening.
Twitter @johndonneday #johndonneday
A Made in the Midlands afternoon/evening of talks, walks, readings and performances.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Poem: 'Spring Equinox'

Something for the Spring Equinox. I wrote this poem at this time back in 2005, and it was published in my HappenStance collection, The Body in the Well (2007).

Spring Equinox
The moon edges out of its pocket,
a coin ready to fall away.
The ash at the end of the garden,
black branches lean as winter
is about to sow its silver.

Chopped wood kindles
and enters the air, rises like incense
to the darkness leaning in,
makes the moon-shine thicken
to the white of an egg as it’s poached.

Sat here, I’m cured like a herring
in the smoke-house. When at last I go
inside, closed against the cold,
I’ll have the pith of the slow-burned tree
beneath my skin. I’ll be rich
with the light that everywhere
has fallen, absent-minded, from the sky.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Becoming a Writer

Hard Writing Truths

'Why do writers write? Because they read, of course – not only books, but the world around them – and they cannot quite leave it at that.

All writers enquire into the origins of their way of life, at some point in their career – and most often the trail leads back to some encounter with words in youth or childhood, and an imaginative experience of transformative intensity. Something is read, in the word or the world, and the impulse to answer in a language of your own is woken. An impulse to describe, to make known, to perform, and to realise.'

These are the opening paragraphs of a new blog entry I have written, for a new blog: 'The Writer' - the blog of the Institute of Creative and Critical Writing at Birmingham City University.

The Institute (like its blog) is there to cultivate and promote the literary arts and the life of ideas - bringing together writers, scholars, and readers through its calendar of public events.

Watch this space for details of a major launch event in Birmingham city centre this April, with a superb line-up (for clues on which, see the Institute's Fellowship)...Follow the link above to sign up to the Institute's events mailing list.