Monday, 17 August 2015


You can never have enough poetry, especially if it's first rate poetry, and the reading by George Szirtes on Saturday was just that. It was a privilege to be supporting him. I think we all felt we were basking in his light a bit.

He read from several collections, including his latest, 'Bad Machine'. He is a master of form - the canzone is a particular favourite of his - and he has a unique and sometimes slippery way of looking at the world. Reading - or listening to - his poems is like stepping into a hall of mirrors. There are reflections and inversions and truths contained within truths. Contradictions and juxtapositions abound. His work is sinuous and fugue-like. If you're not familiar with his oeuvre, visit his entry in The Poetry Archive.

My current task is finding time to judge the entries to Back Room Poets' first international poetry competition. It is daunting, not least because sifting through so much work inevitably makes you reflect on your own practise. There will be an award ceremony on Saturday 26th September at my favourite bookshop - The Albion Beatnik Bookstore - and I shall keep you posted on that, though it is not for me to announce the winners publicly. That will be done by BRP, of course.

Eventually, I hope to find time to write myself. I have notes for 11 poems from my recent holiday. I'm hoping it won't take till my next holiday to work through them...Perhaps I should just have more holidays. Anyone got a caravan or a shed in a remote part of the world where I can hide for a week or so?