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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

Jeremy Noel-Tod: ‘a dish served rare in the John Keats Steak House’

November 23, 2015

As I’ve practically neglected to mention up until now on this blog, my book of essays (Forgive the Language: Essays on Poets and Poetry, Penned in the Margins) is out on 1st December; click that link there and you can even pre-order it. Naturally, with this in mind, I’ve been in a mood to support books […]

Read the full article →

Entering the typosphere

November 9, 2015

I’ve been meaning for months to write more, and specifically to write more about typewriters. All my energy has been going into a combination of job-hunting and working on the last bits of Forgive the Language – out in three weeks, folks! Can you believe it. I think it goes to print today. Just a few days […]

Read the full article →

Another earnest chestnut for Remembrance Day

November 8, 2015

[This reprises a post I first wrote in I think 2008. It appears in my book, Forgive the Language: Essays on Poetry and Poets, out with Penned in the Margins on December 2.] In June 1918, a young poet called Eloise Robinson, touring the Front on behalf of the YMCA, was giving a poetry recital to an audience of […]

Read the full article →

Forward into the poetry season: books, book fairs, prize events, and Schlock!

September 22, 2015

The air is cold. The nights are dark. This week is the beginning of term in my Advanced Poetry workshop. And the events are beginning to arrive thick and fast. Someone said something to me the other day about something happening ‘in the new year’. THAT’S how serious it’s getting. In short, there’s plenty to […]

Read the full article →

Some poems by Eloise Robinson

August 20, 2015

Some years ago now I came across a little mystery, by accident.  Reading an essay by Guy Davenport, I found a story which moved me so much I wrote my Remembrance Day post about it. It involved a young woman called Eloise Robinson – seen in the story reciting poetry to the troops during the First […]

Read the full article →

August 20, 2015

Yesterday in Gipsy Hill. Scrubby little flowers, next to an ordinary suburban driveway, suddenly seen in all their unexpectedness, and the surprise of how their delicate colours. It’s a thing that didn’t need to happen. Then a little kid on the number 3 bus, singing a little song, over and over while his mum intermittently tried to tell him […]

Read the full article →