Friday, 20 February 2009


A thousand cheers for Jo Bell (Derbyshire born & bred). Her brilliant collection Navigation, contains poems she wrote as Cheshire Poet Laureate 2007 and many others, including one of my favourites - Blessing for a Child.

I also commend to you Jo's blog (a sight more jolly than mine) and any workshops that she might run in your vicinity (I've just been on one and it was full-tilt, top-to-toe poetry).

Other news: if you or anyone you know is in Year 9 at The Pingle School, Swadlincote, there's a brand new writers' group starting up. I'll be running the first session in the school library on 3rd March.

And - on Thursday 5th March to celebrate International Women's Day and World Book Day, I'm launching Some Girls' Mothers alongside my five fellow authors. SGM is a collection of stories about mothers and daughters. Chesterfield Library, S40 1QN (lecture theatre by the basement cafe) at 7.30pm. See you there!
Pic: Jo on her canal boat. Credit: Andy Pratt

Monday, 2 February 2009

Poets with Derbyshire connections: an occasional series

Born in Birmingham, Roy Fisher has lived in Derbyshire for many years. A jazz pianist as well as a writer, his poetry is most often associated with the post-industrial landscape of the Midlands but has universal appeal. Here's an interview from 1989, and here's Roy reading his poems on the Poetry Archive. Published by Bloodaxe, some of Roy's books are out-of-print but you can find them if you look. He'll be eighty next year and a celebratory volume is being planned.

'.. anything I have seen, I've only seen by virtue of having been very inattentive or rebellious at school, and looking at what was out of the corner of the picture, what was outside the frame.' - Roy Fisher

(photo by Caroline Forbes)