Posts Tagged ‘poets’


I am trapped in the decaying coffin of bark

Forming the only life in this span of land

Trying to escape to breathe the air surrounding me

My existence only broken by the changing

Of the four seasons over time

Coming, going, as sure as the tide comes and goes

The tears of spring flow down my exposed features

Warm rays of summer split my gentle skin

Autumn blows through on currents of time

Blind winter darkens unreachable corners

Piece by piece I fall apart

Breaking away and falling to nowhere

Less and less turning to nothing

Mind and body decay

Soul and spirit evaporate

Only dust is left…


Some good advice from Angela Topping for young poets.

Angela Topping

ange2_n

I originally wrote this resource for some A level students I was delivering workshops for in Lancashire, but I decided to give it a wider readership. When I was a teacher, I encouraged my students to submit their work to magazines and competitions, and relished seeing their confidence improve. But although there are many oportunities for your poets, not all young people are aware of them. The advice below will apply to oder poets as well, but I have focused it towards youth. At a later stage I will collate similar information for other groups.

All magazines and journals have websites, so it is easy to glean information about them. If possible read them. If you can’t afford to subscribe, source them at the library.
Postal submission: send no more than 6 poems, with your name and address on every page and an SAE big enough to hold all the…

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A great blog that sums up the emotional rollercoaster we all go through as writers and poets very well.

Roy Marshall

Some of the time you feel that your obvious talent is being ignored. Your ego pounds the table and shouts ‘not fair’ as you watch other (obviously less talented people) parading their successes. But your monstrous ego won’t always win out. You will feel genuinely pleased for other people too. The poet you met at a reading and had a good chat with, the poet who you went on a course with, the poet whose work you love, whose kindness and humility you remember. You will seek feedback.
'And do we want to know why a haiku is like a thong?'

Some of the feedback will annoy or upset you. The poem will be fatally wounded. You will abandon it. You will seek more feedback. You will ignore it. You will learn to listen. The poem full of holes is patched up. It floats. It is magical. You float in it. You begin to recognise and accept good advice. You know what to reject and…

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Another blog from the excellent Simon Zonenblick. This month Simon looks at the humble sheep in poetry and highlights some of the many poems that have been written about this much overlooked animal. The link to Simon’s blog is here: https://sites.google.com/site/ryburnramblings/lizard-point-to-dunnet-head-september-2006/01-sheep


Here is the link to the superb Hinterland Journal of Contemporary Poetry: http://www.hinterlandpoetry.com/


A link a great page of poetry from poets local to the Ryburn Valley, Sowerby Bridge. Have a look and enjoy.

https://sites.google.com/site/ryburnramblings/local-poetry


Today was an amazing day for me. I was invited to Specialist Autism Services, an autism charity based in Bradford, England. I was invited down to talk about my poem ‘My Eyes’ and the subsequent film derived from it made by Courtney Sandifer to some of the students from the creative writing workshop. It was a surreal experience for me answering questions about one of my poems and talking about the story behind it. I’ve never experienced anything like it before and it was humbling for me to have people there who wanted to listen to my words and hearing one of the students read my poem out.

After the reading and the film I read my new poem ‘Ignored’ out and the students then got very creative turning it into a film and a cartoon. It was inspiring for me to see and hear the ideas they came up with just from one of my poems! I felt that they had far more creativity in them than I did and to me they proved it. When the workshop had finished and the students told me that they could not believe they were meeting a real life author and how much they had enjoyed the workshop it really hit home how words and writing have the power to change lives and inspire others.

For the record I don’t consider myself an author. I’m just someone who is able to put his feelings, thoughts and emotions into words that other’s can take something from. This makes it very, very rewarding for me and very worthwhile to keep going and never stop writing.


Last night was another auspicious moment in my poetry experience. I lost my poetry reading virginity! I was very, very nervous as you can imagine, but the evening was made far more relaxing by being held in a small restaurant called the Kava based in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. I had never been to the Kava before but it is a lovely little vegetarian restaurant with a very pleasant and convivial atmosphere, helped by the intimate surroundings.

I went there with two friends, Nuala Robinson and Gaia Holmes. Both Nuala and myself attend a workshop run by Gaia called ‘Igniting the Spark’. The workshop is held every week although we are taking a break for the summer. The workshop is a very friendly environment and achieves what it sets out to do. It has certainly ignited my spark and I am enjoying writing poetry and having my creative side challenged every week by the various activities Gaia sets us. It is the other writers who go to the workshop who also inspire me to write better poetry and without them I would not have come so far in such a short space of time.

In the Kava was another friend who I knew and this helped to settle my nerves knowing that there were people there who had come to support me and the other poets based purely on our performance on the night and nothing else. Gaia was the guest poet and performed several of her amazing poems to a spell bound audience. All of Gaia’s poetry was very well received and she had well deserved rapturous applause at the end of her readings. The compare Anthony then read a poem and after two other poets had performed some outstanding poetry it was my turn to perform.

I got up and very nervously began to read my first poem ‘She Dreams’. All of a sudden my first night nerves had disappeared and I just concentrated on reading my poetry to the best of what I consider to be my limited ability. My next reading was ‘My Eyes’ which is a very personal poem about how I see not being able to read and understand non-verbal communication because of my Asperger’s Syndrome and how I imagine it is for someone else. The last reading was ‘Emily Bronte’s Pen’ which is my interpretation of what it must have been like to be the pen with which Emily Bronte wrote ‘Wuthering Heights’, Every since discovering the Bronte’s and Haworth last year they have held a special place in my heart and every time I visit Haworth Moor or the Bronte Parsonage I feel a tingle down my spine at the thought of walking in the footsteps of literary geniuses who changed the literary world forever with there outstanding poems and novels which have stood the test of time and always will do. At the end of my reading everybody applauded loudly and vigorously, especially my friend Simon who should be a professional applauder! The relief from finishing my very first poetry reading and losing my virginity was immense. All I wanted to do was find a bed and lie down for a very long time! But being 20 miles from home and with other poets still to read I couldn’t lie down anywhere. 

The rest of the poets were equally impressive and I realised how much I have to learn about poetry and I took inspiration from the other poets and their readings. After the event had finished everybody congratulated me on losing my poetry reading virginity and said I was a natural. To hear this gave me a boost to my confidence and has inspired me to carry on writing and reading poetry. Having Asperger’s and suffered from bullying has severely dented my confidence, but I am slowly getting it back through my new found passion.

I cannot thank Gaia Holmes enough for the lovely words she said to me at the end of the night, nor for the owners of the Kava Café who let us have the venue and all of the other poets and people who made it a magical evening for everybody. I got some ideas for a theme for my poetry and I cannot wait to read some poetry again whether it is one of my poor attempts or poetry by one of the greats.