Archive for October, 2016

Autumnal Update

I’ve been so busy it’s tipping towards fraught (and Cate woke me at 5 this morning), so not much of a blog-post this time, but keep meaning to share a few links.



-My big news (for me) of this month has been that I have two poems, ‘Pinocchios‘ and ‘Leviathan‘, in the October issue of Poetry. Under Don Share’s editorship it’s probably my favourite poetry magazine in the world, and getting in there feels like a massive tick on my ‘Do Before you Die’ list. If you’re looking at the site, I must also implore you to read Carolyn Forché’s poem about refugees, ‘The Boatman’ – just stunning. And I’m part of the ‘Reading List’ feature on their blog.

-I’m very also pleased to be in this provocative new political anthology, New Boots and Pantisocracies, ed. W.N.Herbert and Andy Jackson (Smokestack), with a gorgeous ‘Pawnedland’ cover from the multi-talented Tim Turnbull.



-I’ve been on the road with Ovid again, with performances at Bridlington and Ilkley Literature Festivals. It was a pleasure to tour misty Yorkshire and see my friend the poet Antony Dunn (who has a rather lovely looking new book out this week, Take this One to Bed, with Valley Press), as well as spend a night with friends in Hebden Bridge (where I discovered an excellent gin bar in the train station).  I now have ONE gig left, in Nottingham – Thursday 10th November, 6.30pm at The Old Chemistry Theatre. Tickets are available here.

-For Londoners grieving that they missed it though, I will be performing some of the Ovid monologues alongside Patience Agbabi’s reworkings of Chaucer from her book Telling Tales at the Hampstead Arts Festival on November the 13th (very much looking forward to this).

-I’ve also been immersed in a translation of a new poem by Caasha Lul Mohamad Yusuf for Somali week, ‘Calaf’ – it’s an big, brave, moving poem about men and women that I’m very excited about. I’ll be debuting my attempt to capture it tomorrow at Oxford House and we’ll also be reading in Bristol on Friday, alongside W.N.Herbert who has been working on new translations of Mahamed Mahamud Yasiin “Dheeg”, and the revered novelist Nuruddin Farah who wrote From a Crooked Rib, an important novel about a girl escaping an arranged marriage which I read many years ago, and found deeply affecting. Details of the events are here at the Poetry Translation Centre website.

-Also, if you live in London and are at all interested in translation do come to some of the FREE translation workshops I’ll be facilitating for the Poetry Translation Centre over the next 7 weeks. No linguistic ability necessary, but the chance to work on literals by really wonderful translators who will give you an insight into other cultures (poetries we look at will include Cuban, Chinese, Dari, Pashto and more…) They’ll be at 6.30pm on Tuesdays and you just need to reserve a place on eventbrite – you’re welcome to come along for just one or three or all. See more about the poets we’ll be looking at and more details here (scroll down)


And… deep breath. Will go now as I’m on RLF time (I’m pleased to be back at the University of Essex as a literary fellow) and I think a student’s about to knock. Also, I’ve a lesson on Milton and Geoffrey Hill to prep for the Poetry School MA, and Gruff wants me to think up some ‘Spooktacular’ snacks for our Halloween party. Think I might go as one of the living dead.

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