New poetry chapbook: ‘Love Bites’

Coming very soon (spring 2019) from Chicago-based publisher Dancing Girl Press, my second poetry chapbook, ‘Love Bites’.

Kind of an anti-Valentine, it takes a wry look at the challenges of intimate relationships beyond the illusion of ‘happy ever after’. Here’s a couple of extracts –

I need you to peel me
and peel me and peel me
until nothing remains
but my gem-studded soul.
This is Love’s job description.
But the minute his index finger
flicks at my outermost layers,
I reach for my gun.

*

Love has a box file
where he keeps
all of his guarantees.
To receive a guarantee, I tell him, is to be lied to.

*

Turns out Love
is 72.8% water.
Is it any wonder some days
I feel so diluted.

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Poem featured in new Emma Press anthology, ‘Everything That Can Happen’

My poem, ‘Everything That Can Happen’, is featured as the title poem in the latest anthology from The Emma Press, devoted to exploring the future.

Edited by Suzannah Evans and Tom Sastry, Everything That Can Happen contains many kinds of future: an android fills out a passport form; the local cricket pitch is lost underwater; frozen limbs thaw from cryogenic sleep; robotic shoes allow for high speed parenting. The poems in this anthology explore time, language, changing landscapes, future selves, uncertainty, catastrophe and civilisation. Whether imagining a distant, apocalyptic future or the moment we live in, nudged slightly beyond what we know, the poems ask what we can do to prepare ourselves for a future that edges a little closer every day.

Find out more and grab yourself a copy at The Emma Press shop 

There’s a book launch party in London on Monday 18th February. The folks at The Emma Press do throw a good bash. Details on Eventbrite here.

New anthology: Poetry Zone A Celebration of 20 Years of Children’s Poetry

I’m thrilled to have a poem (‘Cookin’ Up a Universe’) in this fantastic collection celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Poetry Zone,  created by acclaimed children’s poet Roger Stevens as a website where children and teenagers can send their poems and see them published.

This sparkling anthology of over seventy poems includes new poems specially written by children, along with poems donated by some well-known children’s poets, including Brian Patten, John Agard, Brian Moses, Grace Nichols and Philip Ardagh. (And me – not so ‘well-known’ but quietly working on it!).

Dig deep folks. It’s a wonderful collection and what’s more, all of the royalties will go to a children’s charity.

Grab your copy from your local bookstore. Find out more at Troika Books.

‘The Head That Wears a Crown’: New anthology of poems for children from The Emma Press

I’m delighted to have a poem included in this beautiful book just published by The Emma Press. It’s a right royal bunch of poems about kings and queens, along with illustrations and handy historical facts, created for young readers (around age 8+).

Ever wanted to read Queen Victoria’s Twitter posts and young Elizabeth I’s letters to her father’s latest wife? Or wondered which King had a mischievous pet monkey? Which ruthless Queen enjoyed toasting people to a crisp? Whose reign lasted only nine days?

Then follow the link and grab your copy from The Emma Press to learn all about the kings and queens of the British Isles as you’ve never seen them before –
The Head That Wears a Crown: Poems about Kings and Queens

 

Three films in 7th International Video Poetry Festival in Athens

I’m thrilled to bits and tickled pink that the work of the Poetry Film Collective will be screened at the 7th International Video Poetry Festival in Athens on 14th & 15th December, and will include three of my poetry films.

The Poetry Film Collective was set up in early 2018 as a six-month project funded by Arts Council England to explore how people from different artistic backgrounds might approach poetry film-making. It’s been a fantastic project and I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to work with such a wonderful group: Chaucer Cameron, Helen Dewbery, Stephen Daniels, Iris Anne Lewis, Sam Loveless, Bethan Rees, Brian Reid, Sally Ann Russell, Lucia Sellars, Tom Sastry and Dominic Weston. Congratulations everyone, and big thanks to Lucia Sellars for putting our work forward for the festival.

Here’s the event poster for Athens.

‘Adventures in Poetry Film’ screening, Swindon, 7 November

Following a succesful premiere in August, the Poetry Film Collective heads to Swindon for our first tour date! Featuring films from Sam Loveless, Stephen Daniels, Iris Anne Lewis, Lucia Sellars, Dominic Weston, Brian Reid, Shauna Robertson, Tom Sastry, Sally Ann Russell, Chaucer Cameron and Helen Dewbery.

The Swindon-based Poetry Film Collective was set up in 2018 as a six-month project funded by Arts Council England to explore how people from different artistic backgrounds might approach poetry film-making. We are all poets. Some of us are also performers, film-makers, musicians and visual artists. Some of us have lots of experience in one area while others are just starting out in another.

All of us have made a poetry film and we’d love to share them with you!

Each film is short-short (around 2-3 minutes) and there’s a real variety of work.

We’ll screen several films, then have an interval to grab a drink and have a chat, then screen several more.

7pm for a 7.30pm start at Darkroom Espresso, Swindon.

The Guardian’s top 10 poetry anthologies

In today’s Guardian newspaper, William Sieghart, founder of National Poetry Day and the Forward Prizes for Poetry, recommends ten of the best poetry anthologies. I’m thrilled to have poems and artwork in two of them (4 & 6 in the list, from Pan Macmillan & Sidekick Books, shown below).

It’s a great list – “whether you are after poems to inspire or filthy verse inspired by Catullus.” And yes, some of mine are in the latter camp.

Check it out here: Top 10 poetry anthologies