Thursday 1 October 2020

National Poetry Day 2020: Vision

Greetings on National Poetry Day 2020

Vision: ‘see it like a poet’



I wonder what 'vision' might mean to you and how you will be celebrating NPD this year, when so many events have become virtual.

Not surprisingly, the National Poetry Day site is packed not only with poetry but with a wealth of poetic information from copyright to competitions, not forgetting the #haiflu

My own very recent news is that Peter Thabit Jones, editor of The Seventh Quarry Press, is due to publish my first full-length poetry collection in 2021. I am particularly delighted about this as my chapbook, The Holy Place, co-authored with John Dotson, was published by The Seventh Quarry Press (Swansea) in conjunction with Cross-Cultural Communications (NY). 

I have just checked on Twitter, and as usual, there is a flurry of #NationalPoetryDay and #nationalpoetryday2020 activity. English Heritage at Stonehenge @EH_Stonehenge, for example, are posting poems about the site. 

My own Stonehenge poem, 'Preseli Blue', was read on BBC Poetry Please in as part of the 2008 programme from the Hay Festival. It was written in response to a rope-bound Millennium Bluestone (pictured below) on display in the National Botanic Garden of Wales. You can read the text by scrolling down on the Shabdaguchha site. 


The Laurel Prize for ecopoetry collections will be announced this evening. The longlist, here, contains a number of books I have read, e.g. Seasonal Disturbances by Karen McCarthy Woolf, and would highly recommend; and others I much look forward to reading, such as Zoology by Gillian Clarke. 

I wonder what poetry you are reading today. I have been reading A City Waking Up by fellow Suffolk poet, Sue Wallace-Shaddad, and plan to write in more detail soon, once my thoughts on this exciting and unusual new collection from Dempsey and Windle have begun to settle.

Meanwhile, I have two new other collections on the go and, interestingly, they both have single word titles. 

Lure, published by Calder Valley Poetry, is described by Cathy Galvin on the back as Alison Lock's 'liminal journey' in and through a landscape of mud, rock and water. Alison wrote the poems during a spell of recovery from a very serious accident that occurred in this beautiful but bleak setting of hills and watercourses. The narrative may be dark in places, and while the poet's approach reveals the tenacity of the human spirit, her language sparkles with the lustre of a Yorkshire river on a crisp and chilly morning.     

Rail, by Miranda Pearson, was published in 2019 by McGill-Queen's University Press and has a glowing commendation from Kathleen Jamie on the back cover. The poems fall into five sections, which in itself suggests a breadth of theme and approach. Like Alison's 'Lure', the word 'Rail' has more than one meaning; and, having just started this volume, I am already enjoying poems that range from familiar aspects of school life in Kent ('Abacus', for instance) to a view, perhaps a vision, of Gaudi-like spires of ice in the poem 'Alaskan Cruise'.


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 I have just seen this Tweet, posted at 14.50 hrs this afternoon:


 Thank you, Tim. 
I much look forward to seeing all our poems in this.


Happy National Poetry Day


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