Sunday, April 11, 2021

It was lovely to receive a parcel from Athens last month with my contributor copy of a selection of Scottish poetry translated into Greek. The anthology contains poems from Niall Campbell, Penny Boxall, Stewart Sanderson, Janette Ayachi amongst others. Now I know what my name looks like in Greek!

I've been reading poems by the Polish poet Adam Zagajewski. I attended his zoom reading recently as part of the StAnza poetry festival online, which was really great. Then sadly he passed away just over a week later. It's an oddly different experience reading someone's poems just after they've died, as if all of their poems now take on the spectre of elegy regardless of what the poem is about. 

I was asked to contribute a poem inspired by George Mackay Brown to a book coming out this year celebrating the centenary of his birth. So I spent a very pleasant few days reading through my collected GMB which I hadn't done for a while and wrote a poem inspired by a line from his poem 'Beachcomber'.

It's an odd place to be - at the end of a collection of poems and inevitably at the start of another. Plus the process of submitting to publishers and the endless cycle of acceptance / rejection and re-submission endemic to writing and publishing. The endless waiting for responses... such a slow process.

Except for a few intense writing spells, last year was not a hugely productive poetry writing year for me. I hope this year will be different and I've certainly found myself writing my way though this month so far and seemed to have, without planning to, joined in with national poetry writing month! Lots of dross coming out but I'm long enough in the tooth to know, if I persevere, I'll get past the dross. 

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