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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Donaghy: ten years today

September 16, 2014

‘Don’t be afraid, old son, it’s only me…’ Today, 16 September, while the Scottish Referendum rages, the future once again seems uncertain – like it did for some of us this week ten years ago, when Michael Donaghy lay in hospital, on a life support system, after a massive brain haemorrhage. Of course, I now […]

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Free Verse and Penned in the Margins: be there or be square

August 29, 2014

Once again it’s that time. If you can possibly get to London next Saturday – the 6th, that is, not tomorrow – and are even remotely interested in the state of UK poetry, Free Verse is the place to be. I think this might be the fair’s fourth year; it’s now such a well-embedded date […]

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The Great Below and the great after

August 18, 2014

This year marks ten years since Michael Donaghy died. As it happens, this autumn his Collecteds – poems and prose – are both going to be out in paperback, at last. Almost more to the point, the first critical guide to his work (appropriately called Smith: A Reader’s Guide to Michael Donaghy) will be published by […]

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