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Where has the last week gone?! Somewhere unmentionable. Kind of.

However. I would like to be able to write posts with this title all of the time: poetry. Poetry. Poetry.

Not always possible though. Of course.

But when it works, it really works. It does the job. It takes you at once much further into something, and much further away. Everything stops.

Last Wednesday I heard Richard Price read as part of his judging of the T S Eliot Poetry Prize (not that one) run by University of Kent. He was fab. Really fab. All night I didn’t care where I was, who I was, or what I had to do the next day (which, as it happened, was a school assembly for the Laureate programme, trying to get kids to submit work: submit! submit!).

Later, at dinner, all of us talked about lots of things: translation, archiving, playground rhymes and games. We saw a waitress exhibit the most wonderful micro-expression of disdain at us for waving her down.

And I got his book, Lucky Day. It’s got prose poems in it. Good ones. And other poems and sequences. His range of tones and registers throughout the book is impressive and in some odd way heartwarming. I leave the pages feeling like taking risks, like anything is worth a try because you might get something that strikes another thing just right, that makes something. 

Thank you Richard. And everyone. I’m still feeling weighed down, but for a night last week, all was flight. 


From January 2010, my new blog is Waving and Drowning


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Who am I?

A writer born in Texas, who grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia (yes, like the song), and who's been living in the UK since 1988. I've published two books (see below), and teach creative writing at the University of Kent. I'm married to a composer, and we have two young children. See About for my full profile.