October, and the past week has definitely been colder and greyer. So I’m going to contort this into a justification for my blog resembling a rather thick verbal duvet this week.

Working anti-chronologically (well, why not?!), I had a great time reading my Parallel Universes science poetry competition winning poem ‘Transplanted’ at Radcliffe Science Library in Oxford on Friday night.

The lovely relaxed event was also a chance to catch up with old friends, as well as meet other writers. It goes without saying, of course, that there was a lot of enjoyable poetry talk.

The past few weeks have also brought good news on the publication front, with a poem accepted for under the radar, another for Abridged‘s ‘in the blue’ theme and proofs through for my poem in Drifting, a beautiful anthology of art and poetry, due out next month.

Slipping back to the end of September, Anne Carson’s fascinating (and wonderfully dry humoured) lecture on The Untranslated is still resonating in me, along with Zizek’s Pervert’s Guide to Ideology. While I’ve been in London, I have also been working on a new experimental poetry collection, as well as the more mainstream portfolio for my MA. An increasingly imminent deadline is starting to focus the mind!

This week, I was lucky enough too to get to The Print Room in London to hear Helen Mort, Jean Sprackland and Christopher Reid share extracts from their latest collections.

Jean is my MA portfolio supervisor (so lucky me!). I loved her Hard Water and Tilt andhad already been enjoying her latest collection Sleeping Keys. It was great to hear some of the poems aloud in her voice, including a few of my personal favourites. This is a collection that I’ve really enjoyed and decidedly should have had a proper microreview by now, if this month had not been so busy.

Likewise, Mort’s reading from Division Street really brought the collection to life for me, while the characterisation and emerging plot in Reid’s snippets from Six Bad Poets were very intriguing. Again, two books that from first impressions deserve both proper reading and fuller microreviews if/when I have the time.

And, on the microreview front, a pamphlet that really should have had a mention before now: Signs of the Sistership (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press) by Sarah Crewe and Sophie Mayer. I love the whole concept/structure of it, its incredible energy, the vibrant imagery. Also the re-readability of it. It travelled with me the first week to and from and around London, and every time I picked it up to re-read, something new struck me or I made a different connection. I started my usual trick of highlighting the particularly resonant lines – only to find there were becoming more highlighted than not!

On that note, I shall finish this blog now and attempt to snatch an hour or so of reading time before I head back to London tomorrow, to start the week with a poetry workshop with Pascale Petit at the Mosaic Rooms (working around the body and art). I’m very much looking forward to it!