Friday, 31 October 2008

Poetry & Money

There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money, either. (Robert Graves)

Thanks to Cathy Grindrod for drawing my attention to the following, apposite for our 'interesting' times, written by poet Richard Armour.

That money talks
I'll not deny,
I heard it once:
It said, 'Goodbye'.

You have until midnight tonight to enter the Poetry Society's National Poetry Competition, where the first prize is £5,000.

If you want prime poetry for minimal outlay there's still 2 days left to catch an event at Sheffield's Off The Shelf Festival.

A final word on the subject:
'Money doesn't talk. It swears.' (Bob Dylan)

Thanks to Doug Savage for permission to use the Chickens. Check out more of his great poetry-related cartoons here.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

More Reasons to be Cheerful

There was such an abundance of cheer last week that I ran out of room, so here's the overflow:

1. Thanks to the Lovely Fiona I have a new website. It is the product of technical wizardry & much patience (plus the home page sports an ironic Byronic picture of yours truly, windswept in Whitby).

2. This Friday 17th Oct sees the official launch of The Purpose of Your Visit. 7.30 pm at Bank St Arts, 32 - 40 Bank St, Sheffield S1 2DS. I'll be reading alongside Michael Laskey and Pam Thompson.
3.Cathy Grindrod (former Derbyshire PL) and I were in Chesterfield Library last Friday for a brilliant book-based event to mark World Mental Health Day. We played Poetry Bingo with an impressively creative audience, who collaborated on the poems featured below.

Seven Things I Like About Autumn

Chestnut leaves changing to yellow.
Frost crisp in the air.
Spiky shells scattering.
Children in woolly hats and scarves - pink, orange.
Acorns snug in their pods.
Wind whistling up the fireplace.
The promise of snow on car windows -
white, vanishing.

Seven Things I Will Always Remember

16 July 1973, Northern General Hospital, Emma.
A psychiatric ward, occasionally sympathetic.
Easter 1960, the sun shining for me.
The empty house when he left.
Disneyland Paris, with Mickey Mouse.
The day I left Ireland, tables and chairs on the Liverpool streets.
My dad holding me safe to the saddle,
letting me go.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Happy National Poetry Day!

The day started early. Ann Atkinson (Peak District Poet Laureate) and I were interviewed on the Shane O'Connor Breakfast Show, BBC Radio Derby. Ann has written a brilliant poem for Shane (a self-confessed poetry sceptic) which she read on air to much applause. Ann and I are promoting poetry in our Village of Two Laureates - Grindleford - and will be joining local writers for poems & coffee at the Maynard at 11 a.m.

Today and all week you can send free poetry e-cards to your loved ones at the National Poetry Day website.

I have in my hands my brand new pamphlet 'The Purpose of Your Visit', published this week by Smith/Doorstop. It has a dazzling magenta cover, and I've surprised myself at just how proud I feel :-) Oh and it's for sale!

If you're in Chesterfield from 5.30 - 7pm today pop in to the library coffee bar, where myself, Janet and Ruth from the library will be dispensing after-work refreshment in the form of poems, tea and cakes.

So, many reasons to be cheerful. Have a great day, take time out for some poetry and here's a tip o' the cap to the late great lyricist, artist and poet Ian Dury.