Carousel Cover 16.1.18WebI’m excited to announce that my collaborative book with poet Rebecca Goss is available from Guillemot Press today. It’s in a limited edition of 200, and like all Guillemot books is beautifully made and presented. This project has been simmering for over eight years, and we are delighted with the way it turned out. You can buy the book from Guillemot Press here.

Rebecca and I will be launching the book at Liverpool’s OpenEye Gallery on December 6th at 6pm. The event will include readings from the book and from Guillemot poet Amy McCauley.

More information is on the Open Eye gallery website.



Caitlin and the Hens

Another quick post to say there’s a new poem and photo over at The Jupiter Project, my collaboration with poet Rebecca Goss. This one is called Caitlin and the Hens and although it has a comfortable, domestic setting, as with childhood itself there is a double-edged payoff.

The Jupiter Project

Bare Hands Poetry and Photography Competition, 2013

A quick note to say that I’ve been awarded “Highly Commended” for a photograph of mine in the 2013 Bare Hands Poetry and Photography Competition. I’ve been enjoying Bare Hands’ mix of photography and poetry for about a year now and if you’re a fan of either of those things I recommend taking a look. The monthly journal is primarily web based, but there are also occasional anthologies. I should also say “thank you” to Rebecca Goss, who encouraged me to enter.

Here’s my entry.

Poet Rebecca Goss on Woman's Hour

Update: Since Rebecca’s appearance on Woman’s Hour yesterday (August 15, 2013) this post from 2009 has been getting a lot of traffic. If you want to know more about her, visit her website, or take a look at our collaboration, The Jupiter Project. You can follow Rebecca on Twitter: @gosspoems

From 2009: Liverpool poet Rebecca Goss, whose work I admire, is to be interviewed on Woman’s Hour on Friday this week helping to raise awareness of congenital heart disease. She writes:

To mark the start of Children’s Heart Week which begins on Saturday, I will be on Woman’s Hour this Friday, May 8th, BBC Radio 4 at 10am.

I’m hoping to raise awareness of congenital heart disease by reading some of the poems I’ve written about my daughter Ella. Ella was born with a severe heart defect in 2007 and I’ll be talking about her short but incredible life.

There will be a Children’s Heart Federation appeal on Radio 4, on Sunday May 10th:

Thank you for listening if you can.

A number of my Ella poems are available to read in the latest issue of Shadowtrain magazine.

Children’s Heart Federation

1 in every 133 children is born with a heart defect. Our vision is of a society in which all children with congenital heart disease can live life to the full because their medical, educational and social needs have been met. Charity Registration No 1120557

The programme will be available for on ‘listen again’ for seven days from Friday and as a podcast.

Vulpes Libris on Ted Hughes and Fay Godwin's Elmet

Last week Moira at Vulpes Libris wrote a terrific review of Elmet, a collection of poems by Ted Hughes with accompanying photographs by Fay Godwin. I owned a copy of this book–or rather its earlier incarnation–when I lived in West Yorkshire in the 1980s and this review convinced me to buy another. What I love about the place is perfectly captured in the book: the harshness of the landscape and calm domesticity of the villages and towns. These are solid, practical places, built for a purpose in a landscape that provided raw materials for industry, but is not kind to humans:

The Calder Valley in West Yorkshire (just in West Yorkshire … although it flirts dangerously with Lancashire) was carved from the local millstone grit  by ice, wind and rain.  When man first arrived in the area he inhabited the higher ground, along the spring lines.  With the coming of the Industrial Revolution –  and the industries that needed water – he migrated downwards, leaving the old villages deserted and the old dwellings decaying on the hillsides.  The valley bottom filled with people, mills, chimneys, and cramped, overcrowded  housing  – all fighting for space between the canal, the river, the road and the railway that weave through it.

Forgetfulness, by Billy Collins

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of …

Via 43 Folders Clips

Liverpool Poetry Café @ The Bluecoat

Alex Scott-Samuel writes:

Liverpool Poetry Café has now moved from Costa in Bold Street to The Hub in The Bluecoat, School Lane. On the fourth Thursday of each month from 7.00-9.00pm, we will feature established and up-and-coming poets. Drinks and food available from the Upstairs at the Bluecoat restaurant. Come to our launch event on Thursday 22nd January. Tickets to all events free from The Bluecoat box office.

Poets featured in the first quarter of 2009 include:

January 22  Deryn Rees-Jones, Michael Murphy, John Redmond – following Liverpool Poetry Café @ The Bluecoat launch, by Catherine Marcangeli (Adrian Henri’s partner) 

February 26  Jo Shapcott, William Park, Cynthia Kitchen

March 26  Carol Ann Duffy, Janette Stowell

Liverpool Poetry Café programme is at

Edgar Allan Poe: Lines on Ale

I’ve been re-reading the tales and poetry of Edgar Allan Poe recently and I came across the following wonderful short poem:

Lines on Ale (believed to have been written on or about July 10th, 1848)

Fill with mingled cream and amber,
I will drain that glass again.
Such hilarious visions clamber
Through the chamber of my brain —
Quaintest thoughts — queerest fancies
Come to life and fade away;
What care I how time advances?
I am drinking ale today.