We've moved on from the flurry over that P.N. article being mean to Holly McNish to the need to replace the word 'young' with 'new', particularly in calls for competition and prize entries. This was sparked by an article in The Guardian which prompted a measured response from Jacqui Saphra, or as we should now joyously say, 'T.S.Eliot short-listed Jacqui Saphra', in her blog. This is a subject close to my aged heart as I gave up poetry - both writing and reading - at around 22 and didn't return until I was in my 50s. Why? Life - work, family, finances, community issues, all crowding in to fill up that personal space to play. But I re-found it. Yes, I've a lot of catching up to do but I also have a lot of lived material to mine. I published my first pamphlet at 64, with the very youthful Emma Press, and I hope to publish a collection soon. In the meantime, I continue to learn and to play, to be delighted when my poems are accepted for publication* but to try to remember that 'it's about the work'. And if you're having one of those days when nothing surfaces, listen to Caroline Bird on the Lunar Poetry podcast.
*On which note, I am delighted to have had three new poems accepted so far this year - by Under the Radar and The Fenland Reed.
Robert Lowell's New Selected Poems, Vicki Feaver's Book of Blood, Paul Srephenson's Selfie with Waterlilies and Elisabeth Sennitt Clough's Glass.