October started with a writing week just outside Whitby. It was led by Ann and Peter Sansom, with a group of poets of all ages, including one who had known Siegfried Sassoon. A highlight for me was the appearance of a teapot on the table from cereal to shepherd’s pie. I’d forgotten about that. Two bonus days of bright sunshine made beach walks irresistible so I didn’t get as much re-drafting done as I perhaps should have, after mornings spent responding to prompts and poems and evenings listening to the work of favourite poets each of us had brought along to share. Now I've a pad full of plumbers, weather, the toppling of the Sundial Pillar, what’s in the cupboard, a local crack addict called Heather, and Sammy Davis Jnr in an amusement arcade, as well as, if I do say so myself, a very fine piece of doggerel about cross-country running and Consulate.
Immediately before this, I’d been up in Sheffield for the last meeting up of the 18-month Poetry Business Writing School. We’ll be convening in March next year for a final residential and a reading at Dove Cottage but this was the last of the two-monthly seminars. If you get a chance to do this course, jump at it. As always, the best thing has been meeting poets from all over the country, making new friends and connections, as well as working with Peter and Ann who are the most generous, knowledgeable and entertaining teachers you could hope to meet.
And this month I’m very grateful to have two more poems included on Josephine Corcoran’s estimable on-line collection, And Other Poems and a poem in issue 7 of Fenland Reed.
Andrew Mcmillan's Playtime (Cape); Tom Weir's Ruin (Templar Poetry); Fiona Moore's The Distal Point (Happenstance)