Monday, 29 August 2011

Live from Neptune!

Hello world, I've been having many technological gripes at the moment. The television has had a nervous breakdown since the digital switch over and I can't watch 'Come Dine with Me' anymore. My record player's packed in and I refuse to accept that my video player's also suffering a similar fate.Yes I know these are ancient forms of technology for some, but to me they're so real in my heart. Plus the down key on my mobile no longer works. There's no money to fix this. I walked into an O2 shop completely bewildered by words like 'bluetooth' and vaguely aggressive sounding acronyms like 'SAR.' I scuttled away down the Cattle Market feeling rather left behind and I'm technically not that old, but all this upgrading is leaving me flummoxed.
                   Ironically, I've been watching things on the Internet, to cheer me up. Three loud hurrahs for the Internet, even most Luddites get it. If YouTube had existed when I was a teenager I would have probably exploded with excitement and spent my days glued to Smiths and Blur videos, emerging now and then, a pale-shade of yellow. So here's a scratchy demo recording probably made circa 1967-8, although it sounds as if it's being broadcast from Neptune.That's the Internet for you, it's spell-blindingly modern enough for a person to access the past and otherworldly items.

Shindiggery - Monday 22nd August.

The Leicester shindigs jointly held by Nine Arches Press and Crystal Clear Creators have a real sense of buzz about them and last Monday's was exactly in that vein. The headline readers were Matt Meritt, Roy Marshall, Alex Plasatis and Deborah Tyler Bennett, whose new pamphlet 'Mytton, Dyer, Sweet Billy Gibson' is out now. All of them were wonderful. Alex's reading was a real surprise, of a very lascivious nature you'd say, very funny though. I'd go into details but there might be children reading. Matt's work is always a pleasure and was, as always, evocative and well-written. His writing is at full strength, and we were lucky to hear some brand new pieces. Deborah's work is always a treat and some of the poems from the pamphlet were based on her own great-grandfather and very strongly-voiced, making use of her Nottinghamshire roots and dialect. I was born in Worksop, you know, I'm very fond. Roy's work is imaginative and sonorous, my left ear was right next to the speaker, I savoured every word.
         The open mic, was very strong indeed, performances came from Mark Goodwin, Jayne Stanton, Gary Longden, Jane Commane, Jonathan Taylor and others. All wonderful. I left with rather a glowing feeling, happy that such things were occurring in my own city. Put that in your pipe, London town. If you would like to read other accounts of this event then are two I know of, one by Gary Longden:
and Matt Merritt:

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Under The Radar 8

UTR 8 - with added Cow!

The other day I got my new copy of 'Under the Radar' and I really think it's a very strong and memorable issue. There's poetry by Robin Vaughan-Williams, Claire Trevien, Deborah Tyler-Bennett and I was really impressed by Kate Fox's poem, 'My Mother as a Sunday.'  UTR 8 is just a pleasure to read. There are also reviews by Alison Brackenbury, Zoe Brigley and Matt Merritt on the intriguing Roy Fisher. I'm really pleased to have two reviews in this edition of collections by Michael W. Thomas and Simon Perril. There's an extract of my review of Perril's book here at the Salt blog:
Under The Radar 8 is definitely worth seeking out. I should also mention that Tears in the Fence, edited by David Caddy, is experiencing trouble at the moment. It must not go under! It's a beautifully and very carefully produced magazine which always features very striking work. Pester your library to get a copy if you can't afford a sub. (Not too unkindly though, I love libraries, so please do it ever so graciously.)

Tuesday, 9 August 2011


[N.B. There's no reason for why I called this blog post 'Frog' I couldn't think of a better title and Roy's blog features a frog and what a lot of assonant rhyme there is here.]

Roy Marshall has put up one of my poems on his excellent blog, it's called 'Fable' and you can find this here:
I should also mention that back copies of 'The Rialto' have gone up on the South Bank poetry magazines website, here you can find one of Roy's poems, 'Hayride' on this great resource:
It was a very good edition which also included poetry from Katy-Evans Bush, David Morley, Sarah Jackson and some frozen peas from Simon Armitage.