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.
Over Easter I was at Ty Newydd with a great group of NAWE members on our annual retreat for writers who also teach.
The quality of work produced was fantastic – a good range of genres from poetry, short fiction, flash fiction and prose poems.
Our guest this year was Sarah Hymas who read from her book, ‘Host’ (Waterloo Press) and kick started the retreat with a range of
ways into writing, including one she christened ‘The carpet roll’. Here is a link to Sarah’s blog:
I have been reading a fantastic book edited by Paul Munden over Easter called Feeling the Pressure, and published by The British Council in Switzerland. It includes new work on the subject of climate change interspersed with scientific fact and thoughtfully put together in a series of subject headings – such as Extremes and Impacts. I recognise many writers in this collection but had not read their work on the subject. I particularly enjoyed Neil Rollinson’s poem Amphibians which takes human beings in full circle and imagines them becoming toad-like again. The poems’ language is very guttural, physical and full of the sound of rain. I also love the front cover of the book which features a very tactile barometer.