A Raise of Sunshine

Crikey, it’s been a red letter week for the poetries stuff.

1. I actually wrote a poem
2. An actual idea for a blog post occurred to me during the week
3. I attended a brilliant reading for the launch of Maria Taylor’s new collection, ‘Dressing For The Afterlife.’
4. In non-poetry stuff I’ve found my ancient sandals. I feared them lost after our camping trip last week. It was intense, but they were still in the tent.

Maria’s Reading…

I urge you to watch this if you get the chance as not only is Maria excellent at reading, but she reads excellent poems. I’m very much looking forward to my copy landing on my doormat any day now.

*Curses postman for not delivering on Saturday*

Maria was also ably supported by Mona Arshi and Kostya Tsolakis.

Mona’s reading served as a reminder that I have been remiss in not buying her latest collectionn, Dear Big Gods. Especially as I loved Small Hands so much.

Kostya’s reading suggests I’m going to have to buy his forthcoming pamphlet, Ephebos from Ignition Press (Sorry, can’t find a better link).

I had an ideaAlternative Poetry Prizes

Now I look back at the scribbled note what I wrote on the back of a flyer for a youth theatre group that had been unceremoniously shoved through our letterbox this week(* & **), I’m not convinced it is the greatest idea ever, but it’s something .

I was thinking about poetry prizes and the way great poets can be left off lists. A recent example of this is Rory Waterman’s ‘Sweet Nothings‘. In my eyes, it is an excellent collection. Certainly his best work to date (and his other two collections weren’t exactly shabby), but somehow not included in the recent Forward Prize list or even commended.

This is not about saying the list is wrong—the folks on it are there on merit and I get at people miss out. It is, however, hard to see why Sweet Nothings wasn’t included. Read Matthew’s excellent essay at Wild Court on Rory’s latest as well, or just do what Mark here has done and listen to me. Buy the book.

It’s clear that awards are subjective things, and the debate about them will continue from now until the end of time, so we won’t get into that now. However, while everyone wants to win the Best Director, Best Actor, Best Film Oscars, there is much to be said for winning the best On-set Catering award (Subs to check this award exists), and with that in mind I’m suggesting a few poetry award categories of my own.

Highest Simile Count
Lowest Simile Count
Fewest Typos Per Collection/Pamphlet
Most Use of Quotations At The Start Of The Poems
Longest Dedication
Longest Acknowledgements
Shortest Acknowledgements
Most Footnotes
Highest Use of Run-on Titles
Best Use of Italics
Most Sections
Best Use Of The Word ‘Sunbeams’

I’d love to hear if you have any more suggestions.

*Where the bollocks have the paper and pens gone in my house?
** Just to be clear, it was a flyer shoved through the letter box, not the actual Youth Theatre group

An Actual Poem Happened

Yep, an actual poem occurred.

I’m sure everyone with school-age kids is finding it the same, but now that Flo’s back at school, we’ve been spending a lot of this week getting used to a new routine in the house. She’s getting up earlier again and that means we are too. It’s amazing what a difference an hour makes. Please note this is not where I start singing the praises of rising 12 hours before you go to bed, etc. I won’t do that as it’s a shit state of affairs and I’d rather stay in bed.

However, in an attempt to make hay, etc I’m trying to make sue of the time and do my exercises and then spend at leats 30-45 mins writing before work. You take what you can, I guess. I managed it once this week and that was more by luck than judgement, but it happened and the poem that emerged from it wasn’t half bad, if I say so myself and so far.

It’s based on an idea that’s been hanging around for a long time—well, almost a year, in scribbled note form, but sometimes these things just need to just do their thing sub-consciously.

Who knows what will happen next week. I don’t think it’s the sort of ting you can do consistently… I admire folks that turn up and just do the “work”.Perhaps I should do that. Sod it, let’s see what happens if I make a point of doing that for the next week.

See you back here for the next exciting update.


35 press ups, 12-20 sit ups, 20 Trunk Curls, at least one minute of Plank and 10-15 Tricep Chair Dips a day so far

34k running – Including an impromptu and entirely unplanned Half marathon this morning. And a

39th fastest on a local route. All hail the RAB…

1 Half Marathon signed up for – Brighton in Feb next year

2 tip runs

1 family walk

1 poem worked on

1 great bit of news for a friend

0 submissions – The cupboard is pretty bare

1 day without cigarettes…I was doing well, again…

1 more week that I’m not having an affair with Eva Green


If You Had To, Would You…?
The Way I See It
The Whey, I See It…



Explosions In The Sky
All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone
The Earth is Not A Cold Dead Place
Friday Night Lights – Studio Demos
Friday Night Lights
How Strange, Innocence
Manglehorn (OST)

Andrew Male’s Motorish Playlist –https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4ThmNR3biLFvsWfhX16IZi 
Hannah Georgas – All The Emotion

Harry Nilsson
Nilsson Schmilsson

Sugar – Copper Blue

Pablo Honey
The Bends
Ok Computer
Kid A
Hail To The Thief
In Rainbows
King of Limbs
Daily Mail/Staircase/Spectre/Ill Wind/ Supercollider/The Butcher/Harry Patch/These Are My Twisted Words
A Moon Shaped Pool

Doves – The Universal Want
Craig Finn – All These Perfect Crosses
Jaimie Brockett – North Mountain Velvet
Saint Saviour – Tomorrow Again
Throwing Muses – Sun Racket
Madder Rose – Panic On
Laura Veirs – My Echo
The National Trouble Will Find Me
El Vy – Return To The Moon
Arthur Prysock – Arthur Prysock Does It Again
Prince – Hot August Nights
Bob Mould – Patch The Sky
The Sea & The Cake – ST

Hangouts/Video Calls/Zoom/Etc (not for work)
None this week

Battlestar Galactica S1E3-11
Devs E1-2
Selling Sunset S1 E1-3 – OMG, I am so disappointed and pleased with myself for starting this
2 x eps of Bottom (with Flo… so happy)

Nowt – feel like I’ve given up on The Archers and can’t find the time to listen to Podcasts.

A record player for Flo’s birthday
Florence & the Machine  – Lungs on vinyl for Flo

Flo & Machine LP
Olivia McCannon – Exactly My own Length

Poetry Birmingham Issue 2
Renni Edo Lodge – Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
Rhian Edwards – The Estate Agent’s Daughter

One thought on “A Raise of Sunshine

  1. Pingback: Poetry Blog Digest 2020, Week 37 – Via Negativa

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