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Could You Be An Instapoet?

December 23rd, 2015

gladstone's-library.blogFirst, I’d like to take this opportunity of wishing you all the best for Christmas and a prosperous and happy New Year. And it’s the New Year I’m going to be concentrating on in this post.

I’m sure we’ll all be making resolutions – and, as usual, some will last whilst others won’t even see it through until the end of the first week in January! I’m a bit ahead of myself this year and I’ve already thought about one of my resolutions. I’m going to get out and about a bit more and really steep myself in writerly things – both people and places. Read the rest of this entry »




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What Would The Romantic Poets Make Of It?

December 18th, 2015

wordsworthhouse-c1748-blogIt’s been dreadful over the past couple of weeks, watching the devastation that the floods have caused in Cumbria and the Lake District. I love walking, and living in Manchester means  easy access so I do spend quite a bit of time there. I think that if you asked me where my favourite place on earth is, it would be a close tie between Keswick/Borrowdale or Castell Dinas Bran above Llangollen.

The house where Wordsworth was born and grew up in Cockermouth was flooded again – the second time in the past five years. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to have been hit as badly as last time and it will be open for business as usual in March of next year. Read the rest of this entry »




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Passionate About Poetry

October 2nd, 2015

strawberriesuntitled-blogThanks to Lawrence and Paul for last Friday’s blog; it’s great when people acknowledge that we’ve helped them get their work into print. But in this case, it’s their own enthusiasm for their subject – and the ability to get this across to a publisher – that has really earned them their success!

This week’s post is going to be a celebration of all things poetic as it’s National Poetry Day next Thursday (8th October). Time really seems to fly as it doesn’t seem two minutes since I was writing about last year’s event and it has now been a regular fixture on the calendar since 1994. Read the rest of this entry »




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Risible Rhymes?

June 18th, 2015

MGPic-blogI’m never quite sure what to call this stuff we sometimes write.  Comic verse?  Humorous verse?  Both adjectives sound presumptuous.  (You can hear the readers/audience shout, We’ll be the judge of that!)  There’s always the more humble sounding light verse – concocted for a family celebration perhaps, with guests well inebriated and correspondingly appreciative.  But what will they think the morning after?

Maybe it’s the word verse that’s at fault – it has that quaint, old-fashioned ring and also brings to mind the modern, cringeworthy greeting card.  But then humorous poetry has slightly chilling overtones too.  I often imagine it in the deadpan voice of Peter Cook’s wonderful E.L. Wisty character, “Good evenin’, I write humorous poetry, you know.”

There are many permutations of these words that we could choose to label our work.  And they all seem somehow apologetic.  Or a bit of a put-down. Read the rest of this entry »




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Last Post

June 2nd, 2015

WW1-187-blogThis week I’ve got not just one YouTube clip but four for your delectation!

I studied the poets of the First World War for ‘A’ Level (more years ago than I care to remember). Last year I finally got to visit the area where the men writing them had fought. Visiting the battlefields, the craters, the cemeteries full of row upon row of graves and attending the ceremony held each evening at the Menin Gate in Ypres made them even more poignant. Read the rest of this entry »




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