Friday 28 November 2008

More poetry in the news: Mary Jo Bang's Elegy

I'm glad to see Mary Jo Bang's wonderful book of poems, Elegy, has made it onto The New York Times' 100 Notable Books of 2008 list; I only wish TLS would print the review I submitted back in March!

Poetry in the news: "New Poetry Society Director lays out plans to grab public's attention"

In today's Guardian, Judith Palmer discusses some of her ideas for making poetry more publicly appreciated and available, ranging from the practical to the laughable.

Sunday 23 November 2008

Friday 21 November 2008

The Poetry Hearings Brunch, Berlin, 15 November 2008

Annie Freud and John Hartley Williams

Me in profile, Prosecco in hand

Jaya Savige, Jem Rolls, Alistair Noon and Richard Toovey

Thanks to Alistair and his partner for the scrumptious brunch and to Catherine Hales for these photos. More Poetry Hearings photos anon!

Thursday 20 November 2008

8 May 2009--The New Star Trek movie!

Click on the post title to be directed to the YouTube copy of the trailer....

Yes, I am a sci-fi geek, though not so extreme that I've ever dressed up as an alien species or attended a convention. As I've often explained, I was my father's first daughter: he didn't know what to do with girls, so he held me up to see the moon landing and he had me watching Star Trek with him as long as I can remember.

Tuesday 11 November 2008


On Halloween I received my settlement cheque--connections, anyone?--and since then I've been buying things to improve my day to day life, including a new, powerful eco-radiator for my used-to-be-cold flat, new glasses, membership in the university teachers' union (which I'd been wanting since I began at Bath Spa), a microwave, Circulon 2 saucepans to complete my cookware collection (actually my first settlement purchase--I bet you didn't think I was that domestic), etc., as well as taking out to dinner those who stood by me through the injury itself--Matt (and so I need to treat Claire soon, too)--as well as friends who supported me through the suit &c., such as Alan Summers and Karen Hoy.

I'd still rather have my left jaw normal, but in lieu of that, I'm enjoying a sense of the improved ease and quality of my everyday life. That eco-radiator has, at long last, made it comfortable to be in my bakehouse flat in cold weather, and that truly makes each day better. I also decided for my trip to Berlin this weekend for the Poetry Hearings Festival to forego Easyjet for an airline that would neither try to sell to me throughout the flight nor nickel-and-dime me for such things as hold luggage, etc.

Small pleasures.

Wednesday 5 November 2008


I only wish I could be in Chicago for Obama's victory speech. I'm awed and thrilled by this result.

Monday 3 November 2008

Dad has another setback--will you send a postcard?

This is my sweet father late last year. This was as far as he got in his rehab before developing multiple infections and having several hospital stays that took him out of physiotherapy.

A month ago he finally returned to a physical rehabilitation centre, but this weekend he had two breaks in his right tibia and so will probably be coming home for the recovery period. There have been so many setbacks I can only imagine his frustration right now.

I'd like your help in cheering him. If you'd send my father a postcard, just to say hello and wish him well (of course you can say I sent you), I think he'd be pleased, and if you have any love for sci-fi, particularly Star Trek and/or Stargate, he'd be over the moon. His name is Henry Etter (no Henrietta jokes!), and the address is 220 Arlington Drive, Normal, IL 61761-2749, USA.

I'd be most grateful for your help. He's so dear to me, I'd be delighted to trade places with him.