I’m a writer and poet based in London. Thanks for visiting.
- Selected writing: This is where you’ll find some recent poems, essays and reviews which other people have been kind enough to publish elsewhere.
- More writing: You can also read and subscribe to this website for occasional new writing (the blog’s below). Once I’ve worked out how best to set it up you should also be able to search the archive…
- Re-readings: I began posting these responses to some of my favourite poems during the pandemic. I still write one every now and then.
- Featured poem: One of mine – this, hopefully, is self-explanatory!
Finally, you can also find me on Instagram & Twitter – or write via email.
That’s all very well, but who are you?
Potted biography to follow…
Other Worlds: Poetry (in Schools) Please
Yesterday Macmillan publishers and the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education announced the result of research done on the place of poetry in primary schools – the first of its kind since a report by Ofsted in 2007. The conclusions make depressing, but not entirely surprising, reading: many teachers don’t feel confident teaching poetry and…Keep reading
“Throughout bandit country, Patterson notates what the blurb describes as a ‘hybrid dialect of Newry-streets and Scots and Irish-inflected English’. For most readers the dialect will be the first thing they notice. For many it will represent a barrier to entry, but it is the kind of barrier I am grateful for. It makes you…Keep reading
Shepherds at the gate?
In the last couple of weeks I’ve come across two recent blogs from poets who are always worth listening to which offer sideways looks at the poetry-publishing-machine – what Jonathan Davidson calls the ‘poetry-industrial-complex’. I want to draw your attention to them here and then add a couple of thoughts of my own about the…Keep reading
The Quiet Part Loud
As far as I know Mark Antony Owen’s project iamb is one of a kind: an online journal which exclusively publishes poets reading their work. I was really glad to have three poems featured in the most recent edition. iamb was inspired by the Poetry Archive, but works like a magazine of new poetry. If…Keep reading
The Sign Says Hungerford
The first poetry competition I ever entered was a local one. Test Valley Borough Council had just re-opened a bridge along the canal path north of Romsey, or just a bit of path, perhaps a bench (it was a long time ago) and wanted poems from local residents to mark the occasion. I was a…Keep reading
Born Yesterday: Philip Larkin at 100
The 100th anniversary of the poet Philip Larkin’s birth took place earlier this week. Larkin is an important poet for me, personally, yet I still somehow manage to underestimate the hold he has on the imagination of the British public. For better or worse, if you mention poetry in this country to someone who doesn’t…Keep reading
Which Yet Survive: Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias’
Percy Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias’ is not exactly a neglected poem. It was an option in my GCSE anthology fifteen years ago. For all I know, it still is. It’s tempting to approach the poem as a kind of relic, like those ‘two vast and trunkless legs of stone’ standing in the desert, a monument that won’t…Keep reading
Back to Basics
For various reasons, it’s been a while since I’ve published anything here. I’d like to get back into it but I also want to see if I can get more out of it. One of the things that makes a blog a blog is that’s its unplanned, so I’m wary of being too focused. But…Keep reading
A Year in (Not) Publishing
Like more people than you would imagine, I once had a spreadsheet keeping track of the poems I had written, the outlets I had submitted them to, and the results. I rarely look at it now. I have not published many poems recently, either. Partly this is just life. Letting go of a poem -…Keep reading
A Full Look at the Worst
In the introduction to Thomas Hardy’s comprehensively if not especially catchily titled collection Late Lyrics and Earlier with Many Other Verses, the author addresses the charges of ‘pessimism’ which dogged him his whole career. Hardy protests that ‘what is today [this was just over a century ago, in 1922] alleged to be “pessimism” is in…Keep reading