Monday, December 31, 2012

A wordle of my Jerusalem poems.

Not reading any poetry at the moment but reading my way through the rather large (but thankfully on my kindle!) 'Jerusalem: The Biography' by Simon Sebag Montefiore. A wonderful history of Jerusalem with all the gory details, feel like I'm living in a permanent Jerusalem apocalypse of mass murder, terror and seige... all excellent reading!

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

So I've had my first meeting with the lovely folk at the Scottish Book Trust. They took a mug shot for the website... :)
I received my cheque of £2000 and was terrified of losing it all the way home. I confess the first thing I bought was a kindle having been sold on the idea since Israel where I was the only person in the airports lugging around a bag of books to read and everyone else had a dainty little e-reader. Since, I've barely put it down. It's like having access to an instant university library in my home, so many free books and books for a pittance. I am loving reading through Virginia Woolf's diaries at the moment, I been wanting to read them for years. 

The plan is to set me up with a mentor for a series of meetings over the next year. I'll be meeting up with some people from the Scottish Poetry Library next month to talk about what I'm hoping to get out of the mentoring so they can find a suitable mentor. I'm looking for someone who will challange me in my writing, give me critical feedback and hopefully help open new directions for my writing. Since the point of the money is to 'further my writing', I'm thinking of using the rest of it to go back out to Israel for a week or so myself this year and spend the time solely in the old city in Jerusalem writing. 
Other good news is that someone has requested to use a poem of mine in a tree poetry anthology, look forward to seeing that!

It's been a year of the most unexpected ups and downs!
I wish you all a wonderful, peaceful Christmas.


Friday, December 14, 2012

I'm now allowed to shout it from the rooftops (and believe me I am)...

I've won a New Writers Award for poetry from The Scottish Book Trust!!!!!

The Scottish Book Trust annually out  gives out  eleven New Writers Awards: four for fiction, two for children and young adult writing, two for writing in Scots, two for poetry and one extra awarded in memory of Callan Gordon.
The Award is an amazing package of a whopping £2000 cheque to further my writing, a year's worth of mentoring with PR and publishing advice and a week at Cove Park which is a residental retreat for artists, musicians and writers and is, funnily enough, just across the Clyde from me!

I head up to Edinburgh on Monday to pick up my cheque and hopefully find out about what kind of mentoring I'll get and who I will get to work with over this next year.

I am so blown away by it all, never in a million years did I dare hope that I'd actually win an award!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I have the most exciting poetry news but I'm not allowed to reveal it until the end of the week which is driving me crazy!
Thanks to Josephine Corcoran for showcasing an old-ish poem of mine a few days ago on her great poetry blog And Other Poems.

A draft poem inspired by James Owens' wonderful photographs which can be viewed on his blog ein klage-himmel.

first draft

(poem removed)