September 2017


I was tickled pink, or probably more correctly, red, to have a little ranty poem in The Morning Star at the end of last month. And this month I've three reviews in The North, issue 58: Jo Dixon's A Woman in the Queue, Alex Bell's Bad Luck Woman and Maria Taylor's Instructions for Making Me - each one highly recommended.  


This is the season of quinces - the pome fruits at the top of this page - which means jelly making. This year I've come to grips with achieving clarity, turning the hard, fuzzy yellowy-green fruits into a pinky-amber which the light shines through but, despite a sugar thermometer, it's still a matter of luck to get the perfect set. 


Jam aside, September's awash with poetry. We've had the Forward Prize readings which was a big beanfeast then there's, National Poetry Day on the 29th and the Poetry Book Fair on the 30th. I'm particularly looking forward to Jill Abrams' Stablemates , a poetry salon with Roger McGough, Malika Booker and Kathryn Maris of Penguin Modern Poets.  The Poetry Business's Writing School seminar in Sheffield was its usual heady self, a mixture of laughter and groaning as we wrote and wrote and wrote. I came away with three possibles. Shamefully, I hadn't made much headway with the homework. My PB partner for the summer, the poet and indefatigable eco-campaigner Sally Goldsmith,  didn't do much better, but she had (and still has) the excuse of being engaged in direct action in a battle with her local council over the uprooting of street trees in Sheffield. My partner for the next few weeks is Norwich-based poet Ramona Herdman who won the Poetry Society’s 2017 Hamish Canham Prize and whose pamphlet, Bottle, is due out from HappenStance this year. Perhaps the principal joy of the 18-month course is the chance to work with some cracking poets.


I'm reading:

Selima Hill's Splash Like Jesus (Bloodaxe), Emma Simon's Dragonish (Emma Press), Jorie Graham's Sea Change (Carcanet)  and Patricia Smith's Incendiary Art (Northwestern University Press)

Kathy Pimlott