Merry, Faithful and Virtuous: some reading at Christmas

December 30, 2014

Right! We have weathered Christmas here in Baroque Mansions, the last child has departed, and the panettone is getting smaller. The Christmas tree is still twinkling behind me, and so is the balcony. It’s a cold sunny day and I am back at my desk. Surprisingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly given the amount of cooking and […]

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Merry Christmas, everybody

December 25, 2014

The Reprieve The Christmas tree, so I’ve heard told, grows most lush where it’s most cold. The Star of Christmas, some remark, shines brightest where the night’s most dark. Christmas comes, like all tomorrows, to him who laughs and her who sorrows, we carol out our Christmas songs while sleigh-bells toll like tiny gongs. But […]

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Eyes on the Prize: 3rd annual TS Eliot shortlist workshop

December 4, 2014

Ten books. Ten poets. The most prestigious poetry prize in the UK.* The day before the big prize reading. Yes, it’s time for my third annual all-day workshop on the TS Eliot Prize shortlist ! All ten, count ‘em , ten of ‘em. We’ll be at the Poetry School in Lambeth Walk. This workshop takes […]

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Back from the poetry: Aldeburgh 2014

November 30, 2014

Well that previous post about changing my inactive ways  didn’t exactly come to pass! It’s now been a good few weeks since the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, and the same few half-written posts have been sitting here ever since. I tried to write a post while I was there; I even tried to write just a Facebook […]

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The Train to Aldeburgh

November 7, 2014

Well, Baroque in Hackney must being the running for Least Active Poetry Blog of the Year. But that is about to change, at least for a few days, because I am on the train to Saxmundham, for the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival. I’m in the way of a no-strings junket; the idea is that the people […]

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October! Half over already!

October 19, 2014

This autumn is really dragging us along like puppies on a lead, isn’t it? Here in Baroque Mansions we are all – me, my alter ego, my esteemed other, my kids, everybody – sort of inundated, in both good ways and puppy-on-a-lead ways. In between juggling bills, reluctantly updating web domains, and feverishly checking lottery […]

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Forward on National Poetry Day

October 2, 2014

Happy National Poetry Day! I’m heading down to the Southbank Centre in a little while to hear live poetry in the Clore Ballroom (in the Royal Festival Hall building), and then to not one but two events this evening. At 6pm, The Pity – four poets reading specially commissioned work on war. Steve Ely, whose […]

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Dannie Abse the infinite

September 28, 2014

  On Tuesday this year’s Forward Prize winners will be announced, and the entire auditorium will be in a hush of sorrow. There will be a hole where one of the judges was to have sat, and most of the people in the auditorium will be feeling bereft. A light has gone out. I use this […]

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