Swissa EuroOver the next few days I’m going to be doing an ad hoc series of ‘Letters from London’ for the Best American Poetry blog in New York. I gather we’re all over the news over there, but (kind of like here) nobody can really tell what’s going on. It may be that they’re just too taken up with the Donald-Bernie-Hillary show to be able to parse out the Brexits and Lexits, or whatever it is… Not that my posts are really going to help them.

I’ve started it with a little meditation on a little typewriter – partly written on one of the typewriters in question, produced to a design which was licensed out to companies in various countries; for this reason it’s sometimes called the ‘Euro family of typewriters’.

In any case, my first letter is up and you can read it either here or by clicking on the picture.

My Top 10 Reasons for Staying in the EU

June 9, 2016

Hi guys. Sorry to do this to you. I know everyone is sick to death of this debate, but I set myself a challenge to outline my reasons for Remaining without resorting to quips about Boris, etc. Especially since I just met his dad, Stanley, at a book launch the other week. Let’s keep the […]

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Free your verse with the Free Verse Poetry Competition

May 23, 2016

Sorry – it’s not free to enter. That would be just too perfect. But it IS in a good cause, if you support the indie book fair that once a year presents thousands of small-press poetry books together under one roof, gives workshops and readings, and basically is the living spirit of poetry in action. The fair will […]

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A few lines on Elizabeth Jane Howard

May 19, 2016

I am currently reading the novels of Elizabeth Jane Howard, one after another, on the advice of Hilary Mantel in the Guardian. (Above, a different piece from the Guardian, with Howard at 90: ‘Writing is what gets me up in the morning’.) Mantel has written the introduction to a new edition of The Long View, but the article […]

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The typewriter revolutionary & National Poetry Month

April 8, 2016

It can’t have escaped your notice that it’s April. The cruellest month. The month with shoures soote. The one that come she will. (And also my birth month – it’s my birthday on Monday, and I’m just recovering from my weeks-long virus enough to begin to think about that gruesome fact.) The other thing it is, of course, is […]

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Ach du lieber, mein Drumpf

March 4, 2016

There are a few things I haven’t yet done this week that I should have – but the thing I was doing (in between the other stuff I did do, ie teaching and writing and so on) has taught me a lot. Basically, I was ill for two days and – so you wouldn’t have to – I glued myself in […]

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TS Eliot shortlist workshop: poetry for our times

December 31, 2015

Happy New Year! Kicking off 2016 the way I mean to go on, I’ve been reading the ten books of the TS Eliot Prize shortlist. For the fourth year running I’ll be doing a workshop on all ten books on Saturday Jan 9th (spaces free). This is the best way I’ve ever found of really getting a lot out […]

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