February has been a cold but beautifully sunlit month – both literally and metaphorically. Having had one heavy cold at Christmas, I started the month with another flu-like bug. Not only have I had a lingering cough from this but also a lingering lethargy, without much energy to write, paint, take photos or submit work. (And yes, also two weeks off swimming and cycling.)

This made for an interesting few weeks for me, as I don’t do doing nothing well! But instead of fighting this gentler pace, for once I’ve been going with it. Light has come from pieces already scheduled for publication and submissions that I’d given up hope on. (The world really does seem to have life-lessons tucked up its sleeve for me this year!)

I’m absolutely delighted to have my photo ‘Warning’ published in Bonnie’s Crew Issue 1, February 2019;

after he moved in - buddha with lightbulbs

After he moved in‘ – a flash about false wisdom – was published by Litro as their #FlashFriday on 22 February 2019.

I’ve also had two poems ‘A Countryside Town’ and ‘The Lamppost’ accepted for Scintilla issue 22, a poem ‘Love as a Prose Poem’ accepted for Bonnie’s Crew issue 4 and two pieces of art from a series ‘us too’ (‘among the lost hearts’ and ‘lost hearts, swarming’) accepted for Bonnie’s Crew issue 3.

I’m also really pleased to have my syllabic sonnet ‘Love like glass’ shortlisted in Hedgehog Poetry Press Cupid’s Arrow competition, and set to be published in a Stickleback anthology next month.

Other news includes a lovely reading, talk and Q and A session with a fabulous group of students in the Literary Society at The King’s School, Worcester. I was also delighted to be one of the judges for this year’s Trinity Arts Week poetry competition at Trinity College, Oxford, where I did my degree. It’s great to see just how much enthusiasm, interest and talent there is among young writers and readers!

There have also been some great new poems over on LitWorld2 and a whole set of fabulous poetry and flash fiction pamphlets from V. Press – I’m proud and honoured to publish these writers.

WORCESTERSHIRE POETRY MAP

This year I will have been running the Poetry Society’s Worcestershire stanza for ten years!!! I can’t believe how fast the time has gone (and we won’t talk about my ageing over that time either)! To celebrate the stanza’s 10th anniversary, I’ve set up a Worcestershire Poetry Map:

More information about how to navigate the poetry map and/or submit poems for this, can be found here. Initial submissions for inclusion on the map have been from stanza members, but I’d love to open that up to poets from across the county and outside of the county who are using Worcestershire places and people as inspiration for their poems – so please do check out the submission guidelines and send me more poems for the map!

MICRO-REVIEW

In Search of Equilibrium Cover WEBTheresa Lola’s In Search of Equilibrium (Nine Arches Press)

Last month I finally got a weekend free and, with it, time to sit down properly with Theresa Lola’s In Search of Equilibrium (Nine Arches Press). Often I dip in and out of collections, but this is one I found myself reading from cover to cover; it is totally engrossing! Partly this is the narrative and thematic threads – Alzheimer’s , loss, death, depression, but also life and survival – the poems are very moving. But they’re also very inventive and striking, giving new slants on these very empathisable situations and emotions. Both Lola’s use of form and strong, effective, unusual metaphors repeatedly had me thinking I’d never thought of it like that, but actually that’s extraordinarily apt! A mesmerising, beautiful and haunting collection.
 

EVENTS

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