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Sue Wrinch – Two Poems

today's poem vertical

Spellbound

I fall into a hare’s being
she opens herself for me.

I slip in, climb
the staircase of her ribs,

and settle close to her
sparking, twitching heart.

Scents, earthy and herbal
wrap my head in a meadow scarf.

Long ears twist to catch sound,
vibrations, high and low.

I can hear earthworms tunnel lazily,
as bird’s scribble notes on sky,

taste the green of Spring in grass,
as sunshine soaks into my fur.

I look out through shining
amber eyes, see field and hedge

blur as my legs hurl
over scrub and heather,

lungs gulp in clear air as
I flow, bounding the furrows.

to lie at last under an opal moon
still spellbound.

.

 

Together – After Terrance Hayes The Golden Shovel honouring Gwendolyn Brooks

Tiny hand clasps hand as we
skip to school with a real

zeal to learn but a longing for cool.
One told off but we

weep together, lives fused, left
to sit side by side at school.

One attacked both become weapon, we
seek to hide as we lurk

in shadow, wait until safe, get home late
but make parents believe all is well when we

know we would strike
and starve for each other, walk straight

down a path of our own choosing, we
will always band together, sing

our own tune believing it no sin
for we have each other and we

could care less what anyone thinks, not the thin
popular pretty or even the scary gin-

ger kid, psycho in making, no, we
just strive to avoid, skipping like jazz

our legs dancing like bees bustling in June
sipping flowers careless and free we

don’t give a fig, never think we may die
but share life together and not part soon.

.

 

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New Baltic Poetry part 1

During the Soviet years, a literary career could put one’s life in danger and so poetry flourished, for it allowed authors to express views in the form of allegories, metaphors and symbols. Poets were treated as rock stars, and their contribution strengthened the idea of an independent nation.

Poetry remains a hugely popular genre in all three countries and to mark the centenary Parthian are publishing an anthology called New Baltic Poetry, introducing the exciting chance to discover their epic past and vibrant, inventive present through the strong voice of modern literature.

Some of the great literary names featured in the anthology include:

download.jpgInese Zandere (1958) is a poet, editor, publisher and has written more than 20 award-winning books for children including her conceptual book of poems for children Medicine Maddy, Other Hospital Nursery Rhymes and One House for All (Book Island, Oct 2017, translated by Juris Petraskevics). Her work has been translated into many languages and inspired the creation of several animations, theatre plays and operas for children.

au.jpegAušra Kaziliūnaitė is a poet, doctoral student of philosophy, a film and culture critic and a human rights activist who has so far published four books of poetry: The First Lithuanian Book (2007), 20% Concentration Camp (2009), The Moon Is a Pill (2014) and I Am Crumbled Walls (2016). She has received numerous national awards, including the Jurga Ivanauskaitė Prize and the Young Artist Prize of the Ministry of Culture. Her poetry will be published in the Anthology of New Baltic Poetry (Parthian, 2018). The first English translation of her poetry, The Moon is a Pill translated by Rimis Uzgiris, is published by Parthian in 2018.
download (1).jpgKai Aareleid (1972) is a prose writer, poet, and literary translator, specialising in writing about history from the perspective of individuals. She translates literature from Spanish, Portuguese, French, Finnish and English, has translated works by Bruce Chatwin, Javier Marías, Paulo Coelho and Roberto Bolaño, and has published two collections of poetry and two novels. Her latest novel, Burning Cities (Peter Owen, May 2018, translated by Adam Cullen) tells the story of a family living in the battle-scarred southern Estonian city of Tartu shortly after World War II. Aareleid will be attending Edinburgh International Book Festival in August 2018.

new

New Baltic Poetry is a collection celebrating the diversity of writing from the three Baltic countries; Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Six of the most talented poets from each country are translated and published in English, in many cases for the first time, providing a taste of the fresh, dynamic literary scene in the contemporary Baltic states.

This collection includes poetry by Benediktas Janusevicius, Antanas A. Jonynas, Giedre Kazlauskaite, Indrek Hirv, Helena Laks, Mats Traat, Kai Aareleid, and others.

 

 

 

 

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The Frogmore Prize closes 31st May 2018

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The Frogmore Poetry Prize 2018

The winner of the Frogmore Poetry Prize for 2018 will win two hundred and fifty guineas and a two-year subscription to The Frogmore Papers. The first and second runners-up will receive seventy-five and fifty guineas respectively and a year’s subscription to The Frogmore Papers. Shortlisted poets will receive copies of selected Frogmore Press publications.

Previous winners of the Prize have been: David Satherley, Caroline Price, Bill Headdon, John Latham, Diane Brown, Tobias Hill, Mario Petrucci, Gina Wilson, Ross Cogan, Joan Benner, Ann Alexander, Gerald Watts, Katy Darby, David Angel , Howard Wright, Julie-ann Rowell, Arlene Ang, Peter Marshall, Gill Andrews, A K S Shaw, Sharon Black, Emily Wills, Lesley Saunders, Sarah Barr and Eve Jackson.

Adjudicator: Janet Sutherland was born in 1957 and grew up on a dairy farm. She studied at the universities of Cardiff and Essex, and has an MA in American Poetry. She has published three collections with Shearsman: Burning The Heartwood (2006), Hangman’s Acre (2009) and Bone Monkey (2014).

Conditions of Entry

  1. Poems must be in English, unpublished, and not accepted for future publication.
  2. Poems should be typed and no longer than forty lines.
  3. Any number of poems may be entered on payment of the appropriate fee of £3 per poem.   Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to The Frogmore Press.
  4. The following methods of payment are acceptable: cheque drawn on UK bank; British postal order; sterling.
  5. Each poem should be on a separate sheet, which should not include the name of the author.
  6. The author’s name and address should be provided on an accompanying sheet of paper.
  7. The winner, runners-up and shortlisted poets will be notified by post. All shortlisted poems will appear in number 92 of The Frogmore Papers (September 2018), which will be available at £5.00 from the address below, and on the Frogmore Press website.
  8. To receive a copy of the results, please enclose an s.a.e. marked ‘Results’.
  9. Poems cannot be returned.
  10. Closing date for submissions: 31 May 2018.
  11. Copyright of all poems submitted will remain with the authors but the Frogmore Press reserves the right to publish all shortlisted poems.
  12. The adjudicator’s decision will be final and no correspondence can be entered into.
  13. Entries should be sent to: The Frogmore Press, 21 Mildmay Road, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1PJ.
  14. The submission of poems for the Prize will be taken as indicating acceptance of the above conditions.
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Unprecedented trio scoop Brunel International African Poetry Prize

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For the first time, three poets have been jointly awarded the prestigious Brunel International African Poetry Prize.

After whittling down over 1000 entries, judges were unable to choose between the three most stand-out poets –  Hiwot Adilow from Ethiopia, Theresa Lola from Nigeria, and Momtaza Mehri from Somalia. (Click on the links to read the poems).

winners

The winners of the annual prize, which challenges African poets worldwide to submit a pamphlet of 10 poems, will receive £1000 each in prize money, and have their work published in the New Generation African Poets series of books by the African Poetry Book Fund.

Judged by a panel of academics and writers, the Brunel International African Poetry prize was launched in 2012 to help revitalise African poetry. Previous winners of the prize have gone on to publish complete works of their poetry.

“Winning the Brunel International African Poetry Prize feels surreal, it is an unwavering highlight,” said Theresa Lola, who was first inspired to start writing poetry after a trip to the Lagos Poetry Festival when she was 12.

“To win the Brunel International African Poetry Prize feels like I am doing my job and responsibility as a poet and human in putting Africa forward where it rightly belongs.”

Fellow winner Momtaza Mehri, who was awarded the Young People’s Laureate of London earlier in 2018, said: “I am overjoyed and overwhelmed to win an award that is changing the landscape of African Poetry. To have won alongside poets I admire and learn from is the proverbial icing on the cake.

“This prize will hopefully entrench me deeper into the wider community of African poets both in the continent and those in diaspora. That is a community I wish to continue speaking to and with.”

Dr Bernadine Evaristo, Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London, and founder of the Brunel International African Poetry prize, said: ‘To be one of three winners of this prize, out of 1000 entries, is an amazing achievement.

“I’d like to congratulate the winners for rising to the top and wish them well with their future careers as poets.”

 

For further information go HERE

 

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Tunbridge Wells Poetry Festival 15th-16th June

The inaugural Tunbridge Wells Poetry Festival will take place on 15-16th June 2018. There are workshops, readings and evening events, including an open mic night.

Friday 15th June 2018

susarmsPoem for a Pint
Venue: The Basement at The Sussex Arms
Time: 7:30pm
Cost: FREE

If you want to read your poetry to a willing audience, why not come to The Sussex for ‘Poem for a Pint’? Put your name in the hat when you arrive and we will draw the 10 poets that get to read their poems on the night. Each chosen poet gets a free pint as payment!

Saturday 16th June 2018

Poetry Workshop for Emerging Poets

Venue: The Studio at The Trinity Theatre
Time: 10.00am-12.00pm
Cost: £15.00 (14 places available)
GET TICKETS

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Join prize-winning poet, Jill Munro, in a workshop for emerging poets. Jill will advise on some of the fundamental skills in writing poetry and participants will be able to get one-to-one feedback on poems as well as participating in writing exercises and tasks.

Getting Published Seminar

Venue: The Studio at The Trinity Theatre
Time: 1.00- 2.00pm
Cost: £5.00
GET TICKETS

Join our panel of poets and editors for advice on getting your poems published and the dos and don’ts of submitting.

Advanced Poetry Workshop

Venue: The Studio at The Trinity Theatre
Time: 2.15 – 4.15pm
Cost: £15.00 (14 places available)

GET TICKETS

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For poets who want to learn new techniques, push their writing and hone their skills. This workshop also includes an editing element. Run by Forward Prize shortlisted poet, Abegail Morley, who is also co-editor of Against the Grain Press and blogs at The Poetry Shed.

Poetry Reading

Venue: The Bar at The Trinity Theatre
Time: 4.30pm
Cost: FREE

Join us for a cup of tea (or something stronger!) while listening to some of Kent’s best poets.

Featuring Louisa Campbell, Jane Lovell, Jess Mookherjee, Abegail Morley, Jill Munro, Siân Thomas and Lawrence Wilson.

The Word is Now
Venue: TBC
Time: 7.30pm
Cost: £5.00

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Starting with an open mic session (slots available for booking), we have a fabulous line-up of some of Kent and Sussex’s best spoken-word poets, with Saboteur Award shortlisted, Susan Evans, headlining.

 

 

 

Please note, all payments are directed through the Paper Swans Press website, to whom we are very grateful. Paper Swans Press makes no profit from this festival.

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Loose Muse Winchester: Poetry Anthology

coverThe Loose Muse Winchester anthology was launched last week at the Discovery Centre by organiser and poet, Sue Wrinch.

The cover was from the artwork, Hilliers Arboretum, by Hampshire artist Caroline Hall and is the perfect backdrop to the poems from the 23 poets who appear in the anthology.

To bag a copy of the anthology contact Sue Wrinch through her website or P&G Wells Bookshop, 11 College Street, Winchester, Hants. SO23 9LZ pgwells@btconnect.com

The anthology brings together the voices of some of the poets who play a role in Loose Muse Winchester. It is a collection that celebrates poetry; it may begin and end in Winchester, but it travels through generations and across the globe before it settles back in Hampshire. We are taken to towers in Japan, to roofless ruins on St Kilda and back in time to wave at troop trains, and all the while we hold a token tightly in our palms as if holding on to time itself. Here we find the intimate moments, the untamed landscapes and the complicated, magical and tragic world that surrounds us.

A number of the poets read at the launch and it was fantastic to hear the poems Sue and I had been reading over the last couple of months. Some stunning work is included from:

Helen Whitten, Pat Kelly, Ilse Cornwall-Ross, Amanda Oosthuizen, Lyn Smith, Cassandra Scott, Hilary Hares, Lynda O’Neill, Sue Spiers, Andrena Yeats, Madelaine Smith, Cat Randall, Angela Ward, Bev Hooper, Joan McGavin, Penny Monro, K .J. Barrett, Sally Russell, Patsy Rath, Rebecca Lyon, Susmita Bhattacharya, Wendy Dishman, Louise Taylor.  I don’t have space to put them all up, so here’s just one to give you a bit of a taster.

 

In Birkenhead Park

This is the park, this is the
place, where we walk, you and
I, where feet meet
paws and the light
hangs grey over the
horizon.

Hair in bunches, one ribbon
lost, I run at the swings, and you
leap for my mittens, trailing
on their elastic, until the seagulls
trawling for food on the
football pitch kick off
a better game.

With wheeled feet, I wobble down-
hill, past the rocks we like
to climb, the ones the Victorians dug
out to make our lake, the ones
you are foraging among, looking
for last night’s fish and chip wrappers left
by last night’s teenagers.

The lake path’s a trail for
today, me riding and ringing
my bell, you easy at this speed, dashing
from dog-friend
to dog-friend, into the lake ‒ watching
out for the geese ‒ and back to me, always
back to me.

Dark past the bushes, the moon
clutching at her cloud and the stars
too shy for this night, but you
trotting at my side, your body
between those bushes and
mine.

This is the park, this is the
place, where we walked, you and
I, where feet met
paws and the horizon
grows gold because
we were there.

Louise Taylor

blurb

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The Space Between Us by Neil Elder

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In 2017 Neil Elder won the Cinnamon Press Debut Poetry Collection. His winning collection, The Space Between Us, has just been published. Having won this prize many moons ago I know how thrilling that feeling is when you open that letter! Congratulations. I do recommend entering this competition, so keep a look out on their site.

Here are some of Neil’s poems and and a few words from the amazing poets who have endorsed the collection.

Like My Daughter Says

If, like my daughter says,
you are now a million particles
orbiting in space,
may you keep on spinning.
Or else as I look out tonight,
I hope you fall like snow
and settle for a while.

.

Butterfly Test

In bed we make a butterfly:
as if the sheet’s been folded down the middle
we lie spine to spine, knees and elbows out at angles,
mirrored in the dark.

And before we sleep
you stare into our future while I stare into mine.
Or perhaps we make a Rorschach test –
tell me what you see.

.

At Sea

Whenever we reached the marram grass,
away from parents’ eyes and pressing jumble
of the caravan park,
we knew we’d arrived.

Like corks out of bottles we raced off the dunes
in such hurry that I often missed my footing,
coming down in a buckled heap.
Leaning forwards, wrapping your hand around my forearm,
you’d always get me on my feet.

Then we’d tumble into the sea,
delighted by the shocking cold,
being sure to keep our shoulders under.

We’d drift in the current,
carried unknowingly along the shoreline,
have to swim back to where towels
made a strip of sand our own.

Now when I drift too far,
I search for you among the marram,
try to grab your hand,
try to beat the current.

.
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At times tender and at times laugh-out-loud funny, Elder seamlessly negotiates anything from the terrors of a BBC fact file to an ancient jeep in Mombasa. The canny spaces between statement and inference and the flawless cadence make for a truly scintillating, cutting-edge debut.
Daljit Nagra

The gift shop in ‘Thank you for visiting’ holds souvenirs from a man’s life – moments from childhood, artefacts of his body, desires both real and imagined – a conceit that spills out across this beautiful and accomplished collection, which seems to hold a man’s life up for examination. The poems explore domestic life, fatherhood and nature with great tenderness but often framed by an unease with the world, and a sense of important things being said, but being told ‘slant’, in the words of Emily Dickenson.
Hannah Lowe

The Space Between Us mines the gap between aspiration and reality, appearance and truth, the said and the unsaid, but never takes itself too seriously. With wit and tenderness, Neil Elder explores love, loss and the absurdities of life on earth, bridging the chasm between disappointment and hope. As the narrator of his poem ‘Flatpack’ declares, “I’ve learnt the ways to improvise”.
Lorraine Mariner

To find out more about Neil and to purchase a copy of his book visit his site:

Capture

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McLellan Poetry Competition

The McLellan Poetry Prize is awarded by the Arran Theatre and Arts Trust as part of the annual McLellan Arts Festival.

Now in its twelfth year, past judges have included Kathleen Jamie, Robert Crawford, Jackie Kay, Peter and Ann Sansom, Michael Laskey, Simon Armitage, David Constantine and Maura Dooley.

A poem in English on any subject, maximum 80 lines.

Prizes:
•1st – £1,500
•2nd – £300
•3rd – £150
•6 commendations of £25
The judge for the McLellan Poetry Competition is Sinéad Morrissey.

morris

Morrissey is the author of five books of poetry: There Was Fire in Vancouver (1996), Between Here and There (2001), The State of the Prisons (2005), Through the Square Window (2009), and Parallax and Selected Poems (Carcanet 2013, UK; FSG 2015, US). Parallax won the TS Eliot prize and is nominated for a National Book Critics Circle award. In her review of Parallax in the Telegraph, Charolette Runcie wrote that the book, “is an ambitious and complex collection, which takes as its broad theme the distance between what we see and how things really are.”

Morrissey has also received the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award, the Irish Times Poetry Now Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, and first place in the 2007 UK National Poetry Competition. She teaches creative writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Queen’s University, Belfast.

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The closing date  is 21st June. The winners will be announced at Friday 31st August 2018 at a prize giving event on the Isle of Arran.

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Flood by Jessica Mookherjee

Following hot on the heels of Joyride, published last year by The Black Light Engine Room, Jessica Mookherjee’s first full-collection, Flood, is published this week by Cultured Llama. Poems within this collection have appeared in a whole host of magazines and journals; Mookherjee is quite a prolific poet and last year a poem published by Sam Smith in The Journal was commended in the Forward Prize. Mookherjee is also part of the Telltale collective.

flood

I haven’t seen a copy yet but can share with you a little bit of blurb, endorsements and a poem… “In these poems, Jessica Mookherjee inhabits several identities in her ‘bone-framed coat’. With overarching themes of migration, otherness, sexual awakening, maternal mental illness, the impact of catastrophe, of loss and being lost, Flood is a debut collection from a genuine virtuoso with a powerful original voice.”

.
The Escape
The trick was sewn into your mouth,
commissioned by a mirror. You complained
about Stockholm Syndrome as I handed you
means of getting free. You suspected
the tricks were faked. You wanted to fly
the plane, not just sit next to emergency exits.
Let me fly you to Uluru, land on sacred rock,
take in the landscape, we are always trying to escape.
You pour your heart out, always on the run.
Perhaps I’ll be a wild man or a card-sharp on Coney Island. How about a trip to the Bombay slums? You ask,
They don’t call it that these days, I sigh.
Take these keys, take this knife, these pills, this ring, these handcuffs. Take them three times a day with meals, be a showman
at baffling us all until you’re judged safe,
do the world tour. We cut out pictures
from conjurors monthly. Put me in a straightjacket,
you command quietly. How thrilling to be
so close to death. I lower you into packing crates, boilers, wet sheets, machines, the belly of a whale.
I challenge you to escape from a beer barrel.
That’s the hardest trick of all, you smile.
Write down the history of your magic, tell me
you’re a liar and fraud and describe the torture, overflowing with water.
You turn into a bird in front of me, spread your blue wings and sing
your song of a lifetime of escaping
behind curtains, you say – watch
and learn, We’ll make these tricks into art.

 

“The language of Jessica Mookherjee’s poems is vividly immediate, with its own rich culture, distinctive rhythms and striking imagery. The separate stories in the poems of Flood flow together into a single current, deep and powerful enough to evoke the experience of several lives.”

Susan Wicks, author of De-iced and House of Tongues

“Jessica Mookherjee’s Flood is an at-times overwhelming read. It is dense with the loss and longing of mothers, daughters and childless women. This tremendously unified book demands to be read at a single sitting, and is a striking testament to a life lived – and survived.”

Fiona Sampson MBE, author of On the White Plain: the search for Mary Shelley, and Limestone Country

“In this collection, Jessica Mookherjee is a genuine virtuoso with a powerful original voice. She creates a vivid cosmos as, with verve, she cuts through façades, plunges into depths, and shows a gutsy life on the edge of things. Wales, England, London, Bengal, India and elsewhere are woven with wondrous imagination and sharp, incisive imagery into the poems, all of which breathe and flow with a music all her own, exposing what it is to live and be brought up in our multi-cultural society. This is poetry worth noting.”

Patricia McCarthy, editor of Agenda (www.agendapoetry.co.uk)

More about Jessica Mookherjee

Jess-168-1-LO-RESJessica is a poet living in Kent for the last 8 years. She lived most of her adult life in London. She was brought up in Mumbles, Wales. Jessica is a poet of Bengali origin. She grew up in Wales. She has been published in many print and online journals including Agenda, Interpreter’s House, The North, Rialto, Under the Radar and Antiphon. Her pamphlet “Swell” was published by TellTale Press in 2016, JoyRide was published by Black Light Engine Room Press in 2017. Her poems appear in various anthologies including Templar 2016, Eyewear’s Best of British and Irish Poets 2017 and Paper Swans’ Chronicles of Eve. She won the Paragram Prize in 2016 for her poem The Beast. She was ‘highly commended’ for best single poem in Forward Prize 2017. Her first full collection, Flood, will be published in 2018 by Cultured Llama. Her second collection is forthcoming in 2019. Jessica is a board member of the Kent and Sussex Poetry Society and Co-Editor of Against the Grain Poetry Press. She has a background in Biological Anthropology and currently works in Public Health.

Jess is passionate about spreading the love of poetry into local communities and is part of a number of local writers’ groups. She is an active member of the Kent and Sussex Poetry Stanza and has run local workshops for local arts festivals. She is part of Fractal, an artists’ collective of Poets, Photographers and Artists in Tunbridge Wells.

Loose Muse

London's only regular event for women writers of all genres.

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Jessica Mookherjee's Poet Blog

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creative therapeutic writing

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Singing in the shallows

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Artwork and exhibitions

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Freelance writer back on the edge ready to jump!

a dreaming skin

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The #1 budget recipe website

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E.E. Nobbs, poet

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by Christine Murray

Emma Lee's Blog

Welcome to occasional reviews, comments and news from this Leicester, UK based writer of poems, stories and book reviews

Gillian Prew // poetry

for the earth and the animals

And Other Poems

New poems to read every Friday.

Loose Muse

London's only regular event for women writers of all genres.

thejessicapoet

Jessica Mookherjee's Poet Blog

monicasuswin

creative therapeutic writing

J V Birch

Singing in the shallows

4artkent

Artwork and exhibitions

awritersfountain

Freelance writer back on the edge ready to jump!

a dreaming skin

Writing, Poetry & Creativity | Angela T Carr, Dublin, Ireland

Cooking on a Bootstrap

The #1 budget recipe website

elly from earth

E.E. Nobbs, poet

clarepollard

Clare's Official Site

Anthony Wilson

Poetry, Education, Research

Poethead

by Christine Murray

Emma Lee's Blog

Welcome to occasional reviews, comments and news from this Leicester, UK based writer of poems, stories and book reviews

Gillian Prew // poetry

for the earth and the animals

And Other Poems

New poems to read every Friday.