Category craic

magical mystery tour

I can’t remember when exactly it was that I decided my life’s mission would be to follow my nose and see where it led me, but – weighing up the evidence of the past decades and the scrapes and adventures…

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dungheap cockerel

Culture Matters have been playing their part in supporting and promoting radical, political poetry for years. The work they do is invaluable – and achieved on a shoestring budget. They’ve commemorated the coronation of our latest monarch with an anthology of…

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exquisite

A couple of years ago British Art Show 9 came to Wolverhampton. To complement this, there was an event called Offsite9, involving local artists, and as part of that I was one of ten people commissioned to write a piece…

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demanding better

This week’s kerfuffle in the UK poetry world seems to centre round the announcement of the Caffe Nero book awards and the absence of a category for poetry. Here’s my thoughts. Some poets are up in arms about what they…

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poets and players

Whisper it quietly, but I’m having a bit of a year when it comes to poetry. One poem shortlisted in the Verve poetry comp, and now another awarded joint second place in Poets & Players. Last Saturday I headed up…

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rivers of stupid

It’s fifty-five years since Enoch Powell made his infamous ‘rivers of blood’ speech, and judging by yesterday’s comments beneath a Twitter post pointing this out, there’s plenty of people dumb and deluded enough to still believe “eNoCh WaS rIgHt” despite…

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spring clean

Maybe it’s because the clocks are going forward and I’m anticipating the arrival of summer already, but this last couple of days I’ve been having something of a spring clean. The house is tidier, the hoover’s been pressed into action,…

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no compromise

I suspect every poet – and every person who tries to scrape some kind of living in the arts – has days where they wonder if what they’re doing has any kind of value. And lord knows we’re living in…

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the protest of dogs

Winter can be a right old struggle, but this one has been considerably brightened by the news that my poem ‘El Vaquita’ was one of twenty-one poems commended by judge Kim Moore in the Verve poetry competition, which sought poems…

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moving pictures

I’ve always been fascinated by other forms of creativity – ones that I have neither the talent for nor the patience to learn – whether that be painting, sculpture, music, or working in wood, metal, or glass. I find it…

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on the road

Last Thursday morning I started the car up and headed north. A long, leisurely drive up the M6 with Emma Purshouse so the two of us could do a gig in Gatehouse of Fleet in SW Scotland. It was good…

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