No man is a Love Island

Finally starting to feel better this week – after the fug of the week before.

Not a huge amount of writing, if any, done, but I’ve worked on a pamphlet submission. That’s been interesting in how it has developed over the course of a couple of months. A week ago it was in themed sections and called one thing. Now it’s flowing a lot more and has a new name.

There’s still a week to go, so I may tinker some more before submitting, but I’m much happier with it now – and my thanks to the two folks that have helped me with it/ given me a couple of amazing quotes to use. It’s very odd to have someone writing about you.

I struggled with writing about myself for bios in the 3rd person, but to have someone write about your work as a bit of blurb is most odd – almost like they can’t mean you. I went to school with a Mat Richies; they must mean him. Or the other Mat Riches who appears to work for Terence Conran. Still, I come above him in Google searches.

This relentless niceness was counterbalanced by a rejection this week from Strix. I kind of expected it and the email was very kind to say they’ve had well over a 1000 poems in for this submission window. It’s tricky and I get that, but this will have been my 4th or 5th unsuccessful attempt. I think that makes it clear it’s time to go away for a bit and come back with something different for them. To use a phrase that’s been made popular on Love Island recently, it is what it is.

It’s all good and I really look forward to seeing what has made it into the new issue. Strix is a fantastic mag that has really established itself as a quality publication over it’s short life so far. I think it will be around for a long time, so I’ll have another crack next year, or maybe in a few months when the perfect poem presents itself.

Are you watching Love Island? I’m hooked, and that’s not the day job talking.

The pictures have come through from Firth on tour. Thanks to my old mate, Andrew Wright, we now have pictures of the mag in Busan, South Korea.

I’m blaming smog for the lack of focus here

In other news, I finally found a bag of old poetry mags that I bought while in Devon. They’d fallen under the passenger seat of our car. I saw them in a second hand book shop at National Trust place in Knightshayes and was intrigued. Obviously a bookshop is catnip to me, but usually the secondhand poetry sections of these place don’t exist or are a bit crap. However, this one yielded three issues of Birdsuit, a mag put together by Helen Ivory, George Szirtes, Andrea Holland and Christopher Reid as part of Norwich Art College. I’ve not read them yet, but Norwich, poetry and a new to me magazine. What’s not to like?

The other mag I found was an old copy of Acumen from October 1989. It features a poem from Dannie Abse called Not In Proper Light that, at this moment in time, I think remains uncollected, and an early review of Simon Armitage’s Human Geography. It’s not what you would call complimentary, but I think his career appears to have coped. It is what it is, yeah!


  1. Pocket Squares
  2. Section by section, we laid the track
  3. Frog, March
  4. Full Court Press
  5. Boxer’s Break


41K run – Including 18k today and 15K on Friday

1 HapWrap drafted for Nell Nelson’s Wrapper Rhymes Project

1 group joined of old school mates – there to support each other when things get too much. It’s made me quite teary.

2 CDs burned – It’s scary how much this feels like an anachronistic act

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


Read: Very little apart from Surveys and survey results. Must try harder this week.

Watched: Love Island, 30 Rock, Schitt’s Creek, and Catch 22

Listened to: The Cinema Under The Stairs Podcast#4, Bruce Springsteen – Western Stars, The Drift – Memory Drawings, Frank Black – Frank Black, Jane Weaver – The Silver Globe, Daniel Maier – The Not Knowing on Radio 4

This was going to be Birdbrain as a nod to Birdsuit above, but I’ll go with this for the chorus in tribute to Eva