Heart Shoots Anthology of Romantic Poetry

Heart Shoots Anthology of Romantic Poetry

Less than 10 days now until the release of Heart Shoots-an anthology of romantic poetry with work from Dylan,Cohen,Heaney ,Angelou,Mitchell, Zephania..and one of mine amongst many others. Pre orders have already raised a lot of money for MACMILLAN CANCER CARE-it’s a nice way to make a donation and it is an excellent-possibly definitive- collection. 




The Quarterly Review of Bewildering Stories magazine. I am pleased to be associated with Bewildering Stories magazine, an on-line literary journal which belies it’s rather modestly designed website and delivers some high quality quarterly content. The magazine is true the auspicious tradition of American pulp fiction, publishing a weekly page a speculative fiction, week-in.week-out for the last ten years. It is a quite remarkable relay operation involving a large, and eclectic, team of Review Panel members, from various corners of the globe,many of whom find time to review work in great depth, often engaging in a productive dialogue with the artist. My own modest role is that of Review Panel Member and Poetry Editor. Take a good look at the website-the discussion sections reflect the attention that is typically given to work which is submitted

The first day of spring

Time being largely a fancy created by humans to rationalize forces infinitely more complex than our ‘gold-fish ‘ bowl imaginings, it should not be a surprise that the first day of spring can be a summer’s or a winter’s day-today it is most definitely the latter. I spent most of it in the historic market town of Chesterfield, where I read my copy of Crannog magazine- a fine Irish publication from Galway, which landed on my doorstep this morning. It was bloody cold-with a bitterly cold east wind and flurries of snow so I stayed in cafes, writing and chatting to a charming PHD student about the middle east-her specialism-and the impact of social media- i also had a long chat with my old friend Phil- a chat which roamed far and wide. This poem-first published in ‘The Journal’,has nothing to do with Chesterfield. It does however describe a journey by train, a few years ago, to or from Chester.


Birtwisles’ Pies


Three seasons in an hour today


As seen from the window of our train


That nudged its way from Chester.


Weak sunshine, light rain-then snow.



We stopped first at Delamere,


At a field of stubble where fieldfares grazed


By birch trees broken by a storm,


Or snapped clean by weight of ice.




You slept and missed Cuddington,


And Greenbank- where the blond girl left the train


Then teetered off on her high heels


To her distant suburban dreams;


As a flock of gulls left for the Dee


At Lostock Garnham, where the sun appeared again.




You missed the peach cheeked girl at Plumley


By the sign for Birtwisles Pies,


The largest cemetery I have ever seen.


And, as we trundled across the plain


I doubted that I would ever see


Northwitch again.


The execution of Lorraine Lax

The execution of Lorraine Lax

I am doing some creative work based on this story. The great grandson of Lorraine-unusually, in this case, a male- is Kevin Lax, an Ex Carter Lodge student and friend of mine. The story is a particularly depressing tale, encompassing post combat trauma, poverty, despair, injustic and the suffering of innocent children-it reflects the social complexities of the era and is as poignant as any Greek tragedy

Crannog, Ottawa Arts Review, Prose Poetry

Looking forward to receiving my contributors copies of both Crannog and the OAR, in the next few days-very kind of the editors at Ottawa uni to send me a copy, unsure whether or not I will receive a contributors copy of Crannog, but I have ordered one anyway. 

Have been discussing prose-poetry recently at Bewildering Stories and elsewhere  and struggling to find to find a consensus as to what it is. I have yet to find any definitive examples that clearly differentiate between a prose poem and a poem-and yet I feel that i can recognize the sub genre, relatively easily. Perhaps I am deluded. Personally I have never felt the urge to experiment with the form and generally find prose poems unsatisfactory. I expect that there will be stunning work out there that I have yet to stumble across but, in the meantime, i have been re-reading ‘Birthday Letters’ by Ted Hughes and reminding myself what an astonishing and utterly harrowing collection it is

Heart Shoots

Excited about the forthcoming launch of ‘Heart Shoots’ an anthology of romantic poetry raising money for MACMILLAN cancer care-containing a Sheffield poem of mine but, more importantly, work from Dylan, Cohen, Joni Mitchell and a host of top poets-Dylan,Zephania-too many to name. Can be pre-ordered now from Indigo Dreams