Tuesday 12 August 2014

Reading my Stonehenge Poem at Walpole Old Chapel

David and I joined other East Anglian poets for the annual Poetry Evening at Walpole Old Chapel. We were wondering whether Hurricane Bertha would prevent us from reaching this lovely and remote corner of Suffolk, but all was well and we were treated to some wonderful poetry, glasses of elderflower cordial and slices of Queen Mother's cake. Our thanks to Mike Bannister and all those who helped to make the evening such a delightful occasion.

In the light of a recent visit to the re-vamped Visitors' Centre at Stonehenge, I read my bluestone poem, 'Preseli Blue', which features in my recent chapbook, The Holy Place. The poem was first published in The Lie of the Land (ed. Jan Fortune, Cinnamon Press).

'Preseli Blue' was read on BBC Poetry Please as part of the programme from the Hay Festival in 2008. It was written in response to the rope-bound Millennium Bluestone on display in the National Botanic Garden of Wales. You can read the text here by scrolling down on the Shabdaguchha site. 

On our recent visit we arrived at Stonehenge too late in the day to contemplate a ride up to the stones themselves, though we much look forward to doing this. There was plenty to see at the Visitors' Centre, including a few 'retro' des-res huts ...

With David Gill

... and this rope-bound (model) stone that you could try to pull!

Needless to say all efforts proved useless!

We enjoyed watching the land-train, but I can't help reminiscing about my early visits to the site in the 1960s when we used to take the dogs and wander at will.

Storm clouds were brewing. It was time to beat a hasty retreat.

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Scott Polar Research Institute (Cambridge) and The Poetry School online eBook

Some of the poems we wrote earlier this year during the collaborative project between the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, and The Poetry School, are now online. They can be found on The Poetry School Campus site in an eBook entitled Sharpened into Absence, produced by Julia Bird of The Poetry School.

Thank you, Julia, for your hard work in preparing the publication.

Thank you to all who made this unique course not only possible but enjoyable, riveting, challenging and more besides.

I read my two poems, 'Chattermarks' and 'Pepys Island', yesterday evening at our local Poetry Cafe ...

Julia adds a word about viewing the eBook online ...

'To view the book full screen, click the four arrow icon at the right of the grey toolbar at the bottom, and then you can make the print bigger or smaller by moving the slider between the ‘-‘ and ‘+’ magnifying glass icons.'