Sunday 30 May 2010

"Lilliputian manipulations"

When a magazine I admire accepts my work, I'm delighted, tickled, heartened. When a magazine I've admired for umpteen years accepts my work for the first time, I go giddy. I've been reading The Iowa Review since I was a teenager sitting on the floor amid the stacks of Milner, the university library I might say I grew up in, just over a mile's walk from my parents' home. In the current issue they've published the only really humourous poem in my manuscript Imagined Sons, "Imagined Sons 18: Greek Salad," and visiting the website, I find the new editor mentions its "Lilliputian manipulations." So now I've had my work spoken of in Swiftian terms upon appearing in a long-admired journal...I'm feeling dizzy....

i.m. Leslie Scalapino, 1944-2010

She was example and inspiration for me. Read the Electronic Poetry Center's obituary here.

Saturday 15 May 2010

Tuesday 11 May 2010

"Three Statues" is Poem of the Week at The Poetry Library

An old poem of mine (written in 1997), "Three Statues," is currently Poem of the Week on The Poetry Library's magazine site. It was originally published in Tenth Muse 13 (2004).

Sunday 9 May 2010

Infinite Difference appreciatively reviewed

Steve Spence's appreciative review of Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets appears in Stride Magazine. NB Helen Macdonald was repeatedly solicited for work for the anthology, but never sent any.

Friday 7 May 2010


In March I mentioned that Richard Owens, of Punch Press and Damn the Caesars in Buffalo, New York, had expressed his interest in doing a letterpress chapbook/pamphlet of poems from the Divining for Starters series. I'd submitted poems to the magazine, and following that, Owens had asked to see the whole DfS series. I feel only about a third of it is good enough to share publicly, so I sent those pieces to him. Eight will appear in the next issue of Damn the Caesars, while twenty will be collected in a letterpress chapbook, Divinations (there's some overlap). Tonight I returned the proofs for both, so I gather publication will follow shortly. More news as I have it!

Wednesday 5 May 2010

Reading Claire Crowther's "The Thike" on Poetry Radio

A recording WGLT made of my reading of Claire Crowther's poem, "The Thike," aired on their Poetry Radio programme on 29 April and can be heard here.

Monday 3 May 2010

May events

A light month, most fortunately...

10 May 2010, 6-8 p.m. I will read from and speak about my own work and Infinite Difference to the Poetry and Poetics Research Group at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk campus. Free and open to the public. For further details, please contact Robert Sheppard at sheppar at

12 May 2010. Bath Japanese Festival launch with numerous poets working in Japanese forms, including a haiga artist. I'll read from my haiku and senryu manuscript, The Broken Kite. Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute, 16-18 Queen Square, Bath. £4, £2 students and BRLSI members.

25 May 2010. I read at York University. Details TBA.

Sunday 2 May 2010

Why I'm a little homesick already

The house cats Luigi and Mario,
who constantly pestered my mother and I for attention.
I seem to have pissed them off by using the flash.

Lindsey up a tree in the front yard.
The expression on her face well shows how kind she is.

We had a much-loved visit with Katie.
Here she is with my mom, her grandmother.

My family's very affectionate;
I miss it.

Saturday 1 May 2010

Did you think it was over?

Yesterday in the MA poetry workshop I lead at Bath Spa, student John Wheway told me that he'd had such pleasure and success in writing a poem a day for National Poetry Month, that he was going to extend the practice into May. Caught up in the enthusiasm, I said I too would try another month. I've written today's, but what have I done?