I recently did a blog posting about my writing process for the wonderful Sophy Dale’s blog. You can read it by following this link
There are some great interviews on her blog including Andrew Forster and other writers.
Sophy says about her company Spark:
I am a writer, editor, coach and mentor, based in a small Scottish seaside town just outside Edinburgh. I’ve worked with a huge range of writers, including Margaret Atwood, Ian Rankin, Janice Galloway, Ali Smith, John Burnside, Jackie Kay and Naomi Alderman. I’ve worked for publishers including Canongate Books and Frances Lincoln, for the Scottish Book Trust and Scottish Poetry Library and run the BBC Short Story Award. Along with the novelist Alan Warner, I set up Long Lunch Press, which published Irvine Welsh, James Meek, Elizabeth Reeder and Jen Hadfield. Three years ago, I set up the Spark Writing Development Agency, with a team including literary agents Judy Moir, Fraser Ross Associates and writers Susie Maguire and Linda Cracknell. Most recently, I’ve also been running a children’s Book Festival in Edinburgh and a year round programme of storytelling and author events.
Please come to any of these this week if you can…Let’s hope I survive this schedule its a bit of a mad week to be honest…
Monday 25th April – Verbose, 7.30pm, Fallowfield, Manchester M14 6 NA
Live literature night Verbose is back on Monday 25 April, featuring special guests plus the usual open mic of prose and poetry performances. Verbose, hailed in the press as one of the best spoken word nights in Manchester, each month invites three headliners who collaborate or share a common thread.
This month’s guests work or have worked at the University of Bolton, in the English & Creative Writing department. We’ll be hearing from Bolton tutors, past and present, Anne Caldwell, Simon Holloway and Evan Jones. We’ll also have a sneak preview of some of the work published in The Bolton Review, issue four of which is being officially launched on Wednesday 27 April.
Another nine published and up-and-coming poets and prose writers will also perform.
Taking place on the fourth Monday of the month at Fallow café in Fallowfield (2a Landcross Road, M14 6NA), Verbose is free entry and doors are at 7.30pm. See http://verbosemcr.wordpress.com.
Thursday 28th April 7.30pm – Lecture at Kava Cafe, Todmorden – I am not launching the book but will have some to sell. I am doing a lecture about art and prose poetry. Mario Petrucci is the guest poet reading.
Friday 29th April – reading with Mario Petrucci at the Book Case Hebden Bridge 29 Market St, HX7 6EU -7.30pm
I will be reading from her brand new poetry collection, Painting the Spiral Staircase, alonside Mario Patrucci. Anne Caldwell ‘marries the knack of surprise and inventive imagery with precise observation and lucid turns of phrase’; this is her second collection from Cinnamon Press. Mario Petrucci’s poems are ‘epitomes of innovation and humanity, forever embracing issues of profound universal significance’. His Olympics poetry commission, Tales From The Bridge, was shortlisted for the 2012 Ted Hughes Award.
Please note the later start time of 7.30 as Mario is running a workshop in the shop … please arrive quietly! Free drinks available in the break as always!
Credit: Joe McNally/Getty Images
I have just ordered a copy of Black Hole Blues by Janna Levin.
I have always been a fan of books that bridge the gap between science and art ever since reading The Double Helix as a young adult. I also loved the poetry book by Heidi Williamson: Her first collection ‘Electric Shadow’ (Bloodaxe, 2011) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry, and she trained with me as a writing coach when I worked for NAWE. ‘The Print Museum’, her next collection, is due out now with Bloodaxe in 2016.
241 pp. Alfred A. Knopf
In 1977, the Voyager 1 spacecraft carried the Golden Record into space — a disc containing a representative selection of Earth’s sounds, ranging from an erupting volcano to a kiss to some of humanity’s greatest music. It was an endeavor more poetic than scientific, which Carl Sagan saw as sonic proof of our being “a species endowed with hope and perseverance, at least a little intelligence, substantial generosity and a palpable zest to make contact with the cosmos.”
Not my usual reading but let me know what you think.
I am very lucky to be the guest of Jean Harrison tomorrow and looking forward to doing a book launch in Settle. One of the most beautiful places to visit.
If you are free and can come along to The Folly
We’re starting a 7.30 – so arrive soon after 7.00 for comfort to get used to room and display books , get used to acoustics etc The Folly is at the foot of Albert Hill. Parking hopeless just there but possible in the market-place, or behind the town-hall.
Here is a sneak preview of the cover of my new poetry collection which is out this spring with Cinnamon Press.
I’m very excited about a box of books arriving at my door anytime soon.
‘In her second full-length collection, Anne Caldwell marries the knack for surprise and inventive imagery with precise observation and lucid turns of phrase. Beginning from quotidian moments: a hospital ward, a glass heart Christmas decoration, a writing retreat, Caldwell moves the reader into new landscapes, exterior and interior, with an assured grace that can nonetheless be unsettling. From short lyrical pieces to sequences, the human condition in all its delight and grief is revealed.’
I have a number of events coming up to launch the book.
You can order a copy at http://inpressbooks.co.uk/products/painting-the-spiral-staircase
Join me in launching ‘Painting the Spiral Staircase’: with poet ALISON DOWN
Tuesday, 12 April, 7 p.m. @ The Octagon Theatre (Hospitality Suite), Howell Croft South, Bolton, BL1 1SB.
Open mic night in the second half.
Thursday, 28 April, 7.30 p.m. @ Kava Café, 31 Rochdale Road, Todmorden, OL14 7LA. (I am doing a lecture here, not a reading)
Friday, 29 April, 7.00 p.m. @ The Book Case, 29 Market Street, Hebden Bridge, HX7 6EU,
with poet, MARIO PETRUCCI.
Friday, 22 April in Settle — (venue and time tbc) with author and poet, JEAN HARRISON.
Well. I am looking forward to meeting Patrick Ness in Bolton this week. My son thinks he’s wonderful and my students are also really excited about his visit to Bolton. Tuesday, Bolton Central Library, 7pm.
I am leaving NAWE and will be working for The University of Bolton, The Open University and doing my PhD. I am going to research the idea of the North and what it means to women poets in particular. I will write a collection of prose poems on this theme and started this week with a NAWE conference paper that explored poetry, photography and surrealism. I loved the Angels of Anarchy exhibition in Manchester a few years ago.
I have also read a brilliant selection of books by men on this theme. Don’t get me wrong. There is such a wealth of material out there. I am just narrowing things down and working out what might be the missing gaps… so far I have read Stuart Maconie, Simon Armitage, Sara Maitland and Rebecca Solnit. A long way to go but surely that is the joy of such a major project? Any reading suggestions welcome.
I am really looking forward to reading at the Puzzle Hall Inn, guest of The Puzzle Poets on 2nd Nov in Sowerby Bridge.There are open mic slots as well (and great beer. I did not know the pub was on Route 66 – which may be less famous than its state-side cousin but is a cycleway that runs from Hull to Manchester.
I am really looking forward to reading at Kava Poetry in Todmorden this Thursday… Looking forward to seeing Antony Costello and Shirley Anne Kennedy. I am going to read some new material and talk about my next book which is out in Spring of 2016.
‘To ponder the fate of place at this moment assumes a new urgency and points to a new promise.’
Edward S. Casey, The Fate of Place, A Philosophical History
Thank you to my good friend and colleague, Karen Smith for introducing me to this book. It is fascinating.
I am going to be presenting on a panel this year at the NAWE conference and then in the states next year at the AWP conference, alongside Carrie Etter and other panel members. I am looking at the use of sense of place in UK prose poems. I am at an early stage in my thinking about this subject.
Can anyone recommend some good anthologies of UK prose poetry to me? If you have written in this form, it would be good to hear any comments from you about the use of place. I would like to talk about contemporary poets’ work within my paper, and feature some work.
I look forward to hearing from you, please email if you can:
I was delighted to make the longlist in the National Poetry Competition this year. The competition received over 13,000 entries, and after months of reading, judges Roddy Lumsden, Glyn Maxwell and Zoë Skoulding selected a longlist of 140 poems, including this one below. The top winners will be announced on 2nd April at an awards ceremony and online, and published in the Spring issue of The Poetry Review.
Onwards and upwards! I hope you enjoy the poem. Churn Milk Joan is also featured in the work of Ted Hughes. It is very difficult not to be inspired by his words living in this landscape. I have always loved his writing, even before I moved to this area. I worry whether there is a new way of approaching writing about the land, but hopefully my own voice can come through in the work.
Alice needs a stone dress with a granite skirt and flint buttons,
wants to be rooted on the moors like Churn Milk Joan
pointing to higher ground―above the bogs, water-logged fields,
paths choked with knotweed and balsam.
She needs shoes speckled with mica that catch the light
and warm her feet with the memory of summer
when the hills were hoverfly-drowsy; cattle lounged
on heather roots and chewed the cud, udders rosy with milk.
The days grow short and wet. Her front door begins to stick
and swell. Her lover has deserted her for the open road.
Her heart is strung out like a line of telegraph poles.
Find her a sharp chisel, a mallet, a large boulder. There’s no time to lose.