How lovely to find out on Thursday afternoon that my tweet-sized poem ‘Picnic’ has come 2nd in #micropoem14, a Twitter poetry competition run by the Centre for New Writing, and the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, at the University of Manchester. To take part in this year’s competition, judged by John McAuliffe, Janet Rogerson […]

me reading

One of the highlights of reading for a living is choosing which poems and stories to bring to my weekly, read aloud, shared reading groups. Whenever and whatever I’m reading at home (or on the move) my weekly groups are in my mind: will they find this story/novel extract/poem interesting? Will it get them talking? […]

iowa mooc

How Writers Write Poetry I’ve signed up for the University of Iowa’s free, six-week MOOC (massive open online course) called ‘How Writers Write Poetry’, which started on June 28th. There’s still time to sign up and take part – details here. There are two 30 minute videos to watch each week, presented by poets who […]

pamphlet June 2014

After the happiness that came with an email from Gareth Lewis telling me that tall-lighthouse would like to publish my pamphlet (which I mentioned here) there was a time of staring. Staring at my computer screen (sometimes on, sometimes off), at my hands, at the wall, out of the window, at a sea of printed […]

Russian dolls heads

Tomorrow I will put on my poetry head so I can write poems. It will be so easy. My work colleagues have already snapped my working head inside a polypropylene wallet. No emails to be spat out until Monday. My children will sit on my mother head while they’re doing their homework or being driven […]

man 2

I was in Liverpool for a few days recently and taken to see Antony Gormley’s public art piece ‘Another Place’, on Crosby Beach.  This installation comprises 100 life-size, cast iron figures looking out to sea – to “another place”.  The sculptures, which are of the artist’s own, naked body, are spread along three kilometres of the shoreline and […]

pewsey groups

It’s about six months since, working for The Reader Organisation, I set up four, weekly, read aloud, shared reading groups for people with dementia (or other illnesses affecting their memory) and their carers.  Three of the four groups, at libraries  in Warminster, Mere and Pewsey, are still up and running, but I’ve moved the fourth group from Purton […]


One very good thing about your children growing older and developing their own interests is that they introduce you to things and lead you to places you wouldn’t otherwise go.  Recently, I’ve been taken to dance shows and events, both amateur and professional, that I probably wouldn’t have known anything about if it wasn’t for my […]


Getting a poem into The Rialto is one of my poetry highlights, certainly of this year and probably of my poetry life. When I received a letter of acceptance from the editors in February I leapt about my house with happiness and even had a little cry. Why all the fuss? I suppose because ever […]


..that aren’t expressly about reading or writing. You never know who you will meet on the internet or what will turn up when you are actually looking for something completely different.  Taking part in WordPress’ Daily Prompts and Weekly Writing and Photo Challenges means that you will find sites using these hashtags and if you […]


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