Poem in Wales Arts Review Digithon

I was delighted to take part on Sunday 29th March in

Digithon Lit | Arcade Poets

Poetry In The Arcades is a project which puts poetry onto the walls in one of the busiest areas in Wales’s capital city – its network of Victorian and Edwardian shopping arcades which are a distinctive feature of Cardiff, the ‘City of Arcades‘.

The project commissioned several poets to write poems and later launched a competition to elicit more poems on the theme. The winning poem will be put on display. Continue reading Poem in Wales Arts Review Digithon

1 of 100 Women of Wales on Twitter

For #IWD2020, the writers of Wales Arts Review have nominated 100 women of Wales who we think you should be following on Twitter (if you’re not already). Here is a list of women who will keep you informed, entertained and inspired on social media’s premier platform.

I’m delighted to be included in this list, although it’s immediately evident how many more ‘followable’ women there are than such a list can contain! But, for me, this is one way of encountering some women outside my own field of activity and I find it a broadening and enriching read.

#IWD2020 | 100 Women Of Wales On Twitter

2 Poems in The Lonely Crowd #12

I am very pleased that two of my poems will be published in issue 12 of

The Lonely Crowd

They are from a series of poems on iconoclasm, the destruction of expressions of ideology other than one’s own. Thanks to Madeleine Gray for the photograph from Llanfair, Yr Wyddgrug/Mold.

One of the poems appears in ‘Heartland’, the anthology of the PENfro Festival Competition published by Parthian Books.

Heartland: PENfro Anthology

Poem in Places of Poetry anthology

My poem ADMISSION, ON LEAVING THE PORT OF BELFAST, 1988 has been selected for inclusion in the Northern Ireland section of  the anthology Places of Poetry: Mapping the Nation in Verse.

The book will comprise 180 poems arranged in 8 sections: Wales; England divided into 5 regions; Scotland and Northern Ireland. Each region will open with one or two famous (out of copyright) poems from that area, followed by poems from the Map. Continue reading Poem in Places of Poetry anthology

First draft of novel completed

I’ve finished the first draft of my novel, Thorn. I have to set it aside for a while to get some perspective on it, so I’d like to mark this milestone by saying thank you for the help and kindness I have received during the research and writing. I am looking forward to thanking everyone properly – inside the covers of the published book – and perhaps anything less than an exhaustive set of thanks risks making someone feel left out, nonetheless I want to express my gratitude in a ‘big picture’ way at this point. Continue reading First draft of novel completed

My Pitching for Creatives Workshop

I really enjoyed giving this one-day hands-on Pitching Skills workshop in Cardiff on 6th February for CULT Cymru. It was inspiring to encounter the passion people brought to their projects and to be in the same room as so much imagination and dedication. And I felt that each of us was so pleased to see our colleagues’ work develop in its clarity and focus.

In the workshop there are sessions on Pitch Theory, Content, Design and Delivery with an hour of preparation time before lunch. Each participant has the chance to deliver a 3-minute verbal pitch twice. Feedback is given on each delivery and one-to-one attention is offered to help focus the pitch content and design. Continue reading My Pitching for Creatives Workshop

Poem in Community Arts Partnership Anthology

My poem ‘The Landing Window’ has been selected for inclusion in the Community Arts Partnership’s Poetry in Motion Anthology, entitled “20:20 Vision”.

The anthologised poems are eligible for the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing.

Damian Smyth, Head of Literature and Drama at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, has stressed that, ‘The Seamus Heaney Awards, as offered by CAP, are the only awards in the world to carry his name.’ Continue reading Poem in Community Arts Partnership Anthology

Poem in #73 The Interpreter’s House

Woolworth’s Employee, Reid Street, Belfast, 1965


My father — stockroom-man, Store Fifty-nine —
Knew how Christmas ought to look,
Loading emptied shelves afresh each day
With shiny things; with holly colours;
All that brought the outdoors safely in —
Electric stars, snow in a globe
And plastic icicles. He could afford
Red tape and Blanco whitening.
Voilà! A wintry window, many-paned,
Its left-hand corners blizzarded.
My father wanted us to feel secure.
Here we are, in the flash-photograph
He took through the window from outside; my teethy play-along
Bleached by the bulb-pop, my mother’s hair
Combed long for effect. His family. His idyll.
Some of it was fake. Not all.
At least he tried to make a Christmas for us.
His high-point, a Stewart’s grocery manager
But, pro-trade union and the wrong religion,
Soon purged. A Merchant Navy
Cook before that; formerly a steward, a cabin boy.
A life of feed, fetch, carry.
Coronary. Just short of fifty-nine.