Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'm delighted to have a four-part poem, Fatras, published in the latest Ofi Press Magazine, a Mexico-based online literary mag.
You can read my poem here. I love the image with my poem and I really like the other poems in the issue. Plus there are short stories, interviews and artistic collaborations, a really lovely issue!

Cove Park 2013

Looking across Loch Long towards Dunoon
My accommodation, a recycled freight container
from the inside, a self-contained apartment called 'the cube'!
view from my cube
the neighbours

Had an excellent three nights at Cove Park. Spent the days in my cube reading and writing in blissful silence and for a few hours in the evening socialized with five other new writer's award winners who were there. It was a good, productive time for me. I came back with six draft poems to work on and thoughts of how I want to develop my writing. For sheer personal enjoyment and indulgence I immersed myself in Plath's Ariel (the restored edition) reading it alongside Hughes' the Birthday Letters, just because it's fascinating to see a relationship played out in poetry and it's such a great opportunity to see how one poetry collection can respond to another. I also spent a good bit of time reading through a selection of short stories by Kate Chopin, one of my favourite writers. In the Cove Park library I found Jen Hadfield's Almanacs collection which I'd never read before ( I had taken her Nigh-No-Place with me) and absolutely loved it. All the other award writers there were novelists and it was interesting chatting to them and listening to novelist-speak as opposed to poetry-speak! A lovely group of people doing all sorts of interesting writing. Cove Park was just perfect for a writing retreat. We were fortunate with the good weather and although it was pretty cold outside, my cube was so cosy and comfortable and what a stunning view! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

I've decided to start a private blog where I'll post drafts and poems I'm currently working on. I'll continue to post on this blog general poetry news and updates but I'm more than happy to add anyone who wants to, to my private blog. Just let me know if you would like to be added.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I've been having a busy time of it with family and life in general. I had a meeting last week with the Scottish Book Trust people where they interviewed me to see if setting me up with a mentor was going to be beneficial / worth the money in terms of where I'm at in my poetry and my ability to devote time and energy into it. They're definitely going to provide a mentor for me, which is fantastic, and I'll be paired  up with someone after my Pascale Petit course in May for a period of nine months.

I was back in Edinburgh yesterday for a meeting at the Scottish Poetry Library (SPL) where I got to meet the SPL Director, Robyn Marsack, and the other poetry award winners. It was my first time in the SPL building and it is poetry heaven! I was looking through their old issues of poetry magazines and came across issues of  The London Magazine, where Sylvia Plath published fairly frequently in the 1960's. I was delighted to see the original mags from that period with Plath's poems and stories in them just as how she would have seen them in her contributor copies.

I joined the library and borrowed:


 Next week I'm off to Cove Park for a writing retreat. It's supposed to be for a week but I think I might just manage three or four days without using up all of my babysitting goodwill. Plus it's going to be strange being essentially just across the Clyde. I'll almost be able to wave to my house!