Friday, 24 September 2010

Creature Feature (17): Seal Time

The pup above was actually seen off Skye a year ago, 
but it is breeding time for the seals off the Pembrokeshire coast. 

I have a seal poem in the current Writelink 'Grape and Grain' competition here. If you would like to read it, you can follow the link here

Others are also taking part in the competition, and I speak for us all when I say that any votes or constructive comments would be appreciated. You can leave these once you have followed the link to the site ... The competition closes at the end of the month, when votes will be counted.

Incidentally, participants are encouraged to drum up support from family, friends (on Facebook or otherwise!), blog-followers and message board readers. We are invited to tell everyone we know that we have 'entered the competition' in the hope that folk will 'come and vote!' You can read the rest of the rules here.

Window on Wales (3): Writers' Plaques Online

You may like to check out the exciting new website for Writers' Plaques in Wales ... here.

Oops, I see I have included an apostrophe ...   ;-)

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Media Mix (3): Poetry in the news...What does it 'do'?

Click here for a good article from the Huffington Post. You might also like this.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Poetry on Display (2): Victorian txt poems @ the British Library

Did you know that a kind of txt-speak was being used to good effect in the Victorians era?

The British Library has begun to advertise its forthcoming exhibition, Evolving English: One Language, Many Voices, which opens in November. You can read about it here. The exhibition runs from 12 November 2010 – 3 April 2011, and the earliest surviving copy of Beowulf will be on display.

David Crystal (and here) feels that, 'This is a first. No exhibition anywhere has ever been devoted to the entire history and present-day global use of the English language.'

Friday, 3 September 2010

Green Moment (1): Organic Fortnight - and the Eden Project

Welcome! | Croeso!

This post is part of
Crafty Green Poet's Blogfest
to mark the Soil Association's
3-17 September 2010

Thank you,
for arranging this enterprise.

"It is poetic that a china clay pit, so Cornish in essence, has been given another life.
It is a constant source of inspiration for me and continues to get better and better.”

Anthony Eyton R.A.
Artist in Residence,
The Eden Project

I wonder when you last had a 'green' moment.

I vividly recall my first visit to the Space Age biomes
of the Eden Project in Cornwall, back in 2002.
The structures alone were impressive.

However, I was particularly struck by the 'recycling work'
that had given the old China Clay pit a new lease of life
as a place in which people could come to enjoy themselves
and learn a great deal about the world around them.

The colours of the plants were vibrant.
The scents were intoxicating.
You could feel droplets of humidity on your skin.
The organic coffee in the café was delicious.
Birdsong resounded through the jungle!

I was so captivated by Eden that I came home and wrote a long (semi-fantasy semi-autobiographical) poem about my visit, under the tutelage of Susan Richardson, as part of a Disability Arts Cymru project. The poem, 'The Cheerful Chocoholic Woman Goes Exploring', was published in Hidden Dragons | Gwir y Grymus (Parthian Books 2004).

The poem revolves around my (imaginary) Biome conversation with a Praying Mantis (and here), who makes me appreciate the qualities of our fragile earth in a new light - as you will see from the following quotation:

He tells her all about the concept of fair trade,
about sustainable forests and water aid.
‘I have seen lots of wonders, but it’s time to depart,’
sighs the chocoholic woman, with a burdensome heart.
‘I envy those Aztecs with their cocoa bean brew,
mixed with spice from the chilli to warm them right through!’

The Chocoholic Woman finally arrives home, flinging 'chocoholic chippings' from her 'chocoholic heels', only to discover with a sense of panic that the 'snowy peaks of chocolate treats' beside her favourite chair are not, in fact, organic...

You may like to read about:
If chocolate is your thing, you may like:
If you enjoy poetry, you may like:
Enjoy Organic Fortnight ...

and don't forget to visit
Crafty Green Poet



the other participating blogs, linked to the site.

And finally ... if you like the thought of a Praying Mantis, you may enjoy Naquillity's post about a Walking Stick here.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Poetry Events (4): Course with Peter Thabit Jones at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive


Dylan Thomas House Literary Courses

“Following in the footsteps….”

Aimed at: Beginners and those with some experience of writing
who wish to explore new avenues

Number on course: 12

Duration: 10 weeks

Times: Thursday morning 10.00 – 12.00

Start date: 23rd September 2010

Cost: Introductory offer for first five to sign up £35 – normal cost £75

This is the first in series of courses which will look at different subjects,
including poetry,
writing for children,
and short story writing.

Opportunity to write in the house where Dylan wrote over 2/3rds of his published work and to experience the local areas that inspired his work, including Cwmdonkin Park and the Uplands.

The course will concentrate on participation
and students will be encouraged to develop their own writing and poetry style.

Course Tutor, Peter Thabit Jones
is a poet and writer with an international reputation
who grew up in the St Thomas area of Swansea.
He is an acknowledged expert on the work of Dylan Thomas,
and has taught poetry and writing courses
at Swansea University and the Arvon Foundation.

In 2008 he and the late Aeronwy Thomas – Dylan’s daughter - developed the Dylan Thomas Walking Tour
of Greenwich Village
on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government in New York.

He is the founder of the international poetry magazine The Seventh Quarry.

Application: Enrol on the course by email to