I spent National Poetry Day yesterday in the company of Emily Vanderploeg, Rae Howells, Natalie Ann Holborow and (in spirit) Mari Ellis Dunning at Waterstones, Swansea. A great event showcasing their recent collections and also delving into the behind-the-scenes writing processes. All the collections are available now from Parthian Books.
Poem from each poet + links to buy their books.
Throughout August I took part in #TheSealeyChallenge – a reading challenge where participants read a book of poems a day during the month of August, and share their picks on social media to promote the poets/the reading of poetry. There's some good quotes about the challenge from founder Nicole Sealey in this Electric Lit article.
As a slow reader I’m lucky if I get through 31 books in a year, so for my first attempt at the challenge I chose to revisit 31 single poems instead – all favourites from collections and pamphlets I’ve recently read/re-read.
Hats off to those reading entire collections, because I fell behind a few times during the month. It's been great to revisit poems though – you can see all my picks on this Twitter thread.
Not the best M.R. James, but glad I managed to fit in a short Ghost Story for Christmas on a busy Christmas Eve.
A must-read for anyone who has ever attempted to write a 100-word author bio. Sit down with this and a cup of something when you get a chance.
Finished reading Fflur Dafydd’s novel Twenty Thousand Saints this past weekend, after starting it during a recent trip to the Llŷn Peninsula. Odd to think of the island being uninhabited now, to me it’s filled with Fflur’s brilliant cast of characters. I’ll have to make the trip out next time.
Two years makes it a tradition! This year’s ghost story for Christmas Eve is 'The Toll House' by W. W. Jacobs.
Last year's ghost story
I recently had the pleasure of reviewing these three excellent pamphlets for Poetry Wales. The full review is in the Summer 2017 issue, out now.