|My retro clock...tonight we're gonna party like it's 1981|
Maybe I'm writing this post because it's January and I should, but one thing's for certain - I'm not going to yammer on about resolutions. It's January the 17th and we're all beyond that now. However, I did see a post by Josephine Corcoran where she mentioned something about trying to keep up to date with blogging at least once a week. It's a lovely idea, but not sure I can keep up. I can't even keep up with ruddy Twitter - and that's only 140 characters. Even Donnie Trump manages that (sadly). This time last year I put up a vigorous post about sending out regularly and such like...but didn't really send out very much. Because guess what - you can't force it if you know you're not ready. I sent out the grand total of five or six times last year. At one point a few years ago I was sending out six before breakfast or something.
Instead, let me talk about what I'm learning at the moment as opposed to what I'm achieving. I'm teaching Creative Writing at DMU and now for a term at Warwick University. Teaching also means learning. I have been busy making lots of new resources and reading work by poets I'm less familiar with, as well as re-reading old favourites. My word, I ended up falling in love with 'Avenue A' and 'Now That I am in Madrid' and I Can Think' by Frank O'Hara last Sunday. I digress. Part of the job involved sitting in on one of David Morley's seminars in December to meet the new students. I LOVED it. I felt like I wanted to read and write and read and write and then remembered I was meant to be the teacher. Not a bad thing though. Everyone has their words of wisdom of course, but here's another newsflash - as a poet I don't think you should take yourself seriously, but be overtaken by writing.There is nothing like getting caught up in the jolly artwork stage of writing a poem. I come across lots of learners with enthusiasm and this fires me as well. This is a good thing as there have been times last year when poetry and I were not the honeymooners we used to be. Now we're holding hands again. Relief.
Wednesday is my free day and it's reading and writing day - hurrah! I work part-time but once you factor the little things like life, family, colds, lack of sleep, Lego, exercise classes (I can do a mean plank I'll have you know) and so on it doesn't leave much time for concentrated writing time. Wednesdays are a good start.
Nine Arches Press and I have a long history of working and publishing together. One enchanted evening eight years ago this very month, I met them for the first time. I am really proud of Jane Commane's achievements with the press and was really happy when Jacqueline Saphra's Nine Arches collection 'All My Mad Mothers was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot prize. When you have seen someone work their ruddy socks off over eight years, publishing, editing, organising readings, giving up hours and hours of their time and one of NAP's poets does really well you can't help but smile. Good for them.