Just a quick blog to share a few links, as last week was a blur of poetry. On Monday I started my online Poetry of Parenthood course (given added drama by the fact one of the students gave birth during the week and we kept getting updates.) Then on Wednesday I headed up to Manchester to judge the International Poetry Prize with Adam O’Riordan and Adam Horovitz – the very brilliant shortlisted poets are listed here.
On Thursday I was in The Guardian offices recording this podcast with Tom Chivers, talking about Next Gen – it’s worth listening to for a really wonderful interview with Kei Miller, who I was extremely pleased won the Forward Prize along with Liz Berry (commiserations to Jack Underwood though, who would have won the poem category easily if I’d been judging with ‘Thank You for Your Email‘). The Forwards were held in memory of Dannie Abse this year, and I recommend reading Katy Evans-Bush’s tribute.
Afterwards it was off to the Southbank to watch a brilliant set from Emily Berry, have beers with Tim Wells (I kept asking for white wine, but Tim refused to hear), and watch a memorial reading for Michael Donaghy – a reminder of just how perfect his poems are. There were so many lovely poets I haven’t seen for ages, it was one of those nights where you get carried away and fall asleep on a nightbus (well, I do).
And then on Saturday I was back at the Southbank again, to run a poetry workshop for their YA mini-fest, and watch my friend Luke Wright supporting John Cooper Clarke in the enormous main auditorium. Just going back stage was pretty thrilling, and felt a very cool end to my week.
While I’m at it too, a couple of other links to share – The Idler have gone online, and I wrote a piece for them about Ovid, Feminism and Literary Transvestism. And my Arvon mentees are running a very nice little tanka project over October called Octanka. You know how I like haiku, and I think these are beautiful – do follow on Twitter at #Octanka.