Wishing All a Safe & Merry Christmas & a Happy, Healthy & Hope-filled New Year

This poem is in the Christmas anthology from The Poet, 2020.
The photo was taken at my parents’ place near Monmouth in 2019. I’m very much going to miss celebrating with them this year because of covid-19 but looking forward to hopefully being able to see them and all my friends and family properly in 2021.

BIG NEWS

My big news to end 2020 with is that I’m absolutely delighted to have won the Chaffinch Press CP Aware Award Prize for Poetry 2021. The prize is awarded to a poet whose submitted collection is socially engaged and highlights cultural and/or political injustice towards individuals, gender groups, ethnic minorities, communities or institutions. Both the manuscript ‘Blood Sugar, Sex, Magic’ and this win mean a lot to me, as the poems tackle aspects of life with a hidden disability, as well as elements of sexism, ageism, and generally trying to find a meaningful sense of self and living life with purpose.

Slightly aslant to this but still related, I also have an article ‘It’s Not Personal But… or Getting All Confessional, Subjectivity and the Rejected (Reworked) Manuscript‘ up on The Blue Nib – about writer rejection, how I’ve bounced back from that and some of the ways I’ve overcome the fear of feeling exposed when writing about personal experience.

Meanwhile, my big thanks to Diabetes UK and Balance magazine‘s editorial team for featuring a piece about my type one diabetes-inspired Arts Council England funded multimedia hypertext poetry narrative > Room as the Star Letter in their Winter 2020 issue.

OTHER COMPETITIONS

Splattered (photo) is winner of the Poetry and Covid Photography Competition for October 2020;

Kelly’s Key (flash) shortlisted in the Tortive Theatre #FlashFiction101 October prompt-themed competition in Nov 2020.

The Invisible Bruise (short story) longlisted in Cranked Anvil Short Story Competition in Nov 2020.

PUBLICATIONS

Sickle Moon Dreams (poem) was selected as one of the 2020 Bards in da Bog poems displayed in local conveniences throughout Shetland, posted on the library web page, shared through the library’s social media and featured on BBC Radio Shetland’s Good Evening Shetland during Book Week Scotland (16 -22 November 2020).

Sea Glass (poem) on One Hand Clapping in November 2020.

The Hedgerow’s Song and The year everything stops except the seasons (poems) published on Poetry and Covid in October 2020.

Perturbing Paws for Thought (poem) published in Purrfect Cats (Dream Well Writing Ltd) in October 2020.

Another Shell (poem) features in Episode 2 of Salon B podcast at Berghan Books, which can be listened to here. (My poem is the final item on the podcast.)

Because One Thing Leads to Another an article on writing life, including creative flow, space leading to inspiration and fear as a challenge to be embraced, published in The Blue Nib (online and print versions) Issue 44 in December 2020.

It’s no secret that the environment and climate change have come to pre-occupy me (and my creative work) lately – as they should all of us. I also have to confess to coming to love nature a lot later on in my life than many people, having spent my twenties and early thirties pre-occupied with work, then children. My enjoyment and interest is perhaps the stronger though for having come to it through walking and cycling in the countryside and more rural areas as my most effective way of dealing with depression and as an escape from personal pain. Anyway, that background revealed, I’m delighted to have two pictures included in the Wood People Connective’s new online tree gallery here.

POETRYFILM

Writing Life a poetryfilm about a writer trying to capture the essence of life, and its beauty, in just one poem was selected for the Big Picture Festival 2020. The film is based on a poem first published on Irisi magazine.
 

VIDEO POETRY

I’m absolutely delighted that my videopoem Winter has been chosen as the Artists For A Better World International “Poetry of the Month” selection here. Although I’ve been working in poetry and film for about a decade now, this is my first video poetry success and was directly inspired by taking part in the Zebra Poetry Film Festival inspiring and informative Masterclass with Tom Konvyes last month.

ACCEPTANCES

I’m delighted to have two poems accepted for Highland Park Poetry’s Daily Poems. Viral Infections features in November and Stacking Up in December on Facebook. The poems are then be included on “Daily Poem” Gallery throughout the following month with all the other poems from the month.

Post-Everything, Day 186 (flash) for the ‘doors’ theme issue of Flash Frontier.

What We See (flash) for Fragmented Voices in March 2021.