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Archive for May, 2017

Apologies for another hasty blog – this still isn’t a proper post – but there are a couple of things I promised to flag up this month and time is slipping away. I’ve mainly been frantically trying to finish my translations of Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf for her Bloodaxe collection (I’m trying to alliterate a 21-verse poem in S today), and last week we also chatted to Helen Mort about the poems for a forthcoming Radio 4 documentary about translation, which sounds like it’s going to be fascinating.

I did manage to fit in a couple of readings this month though – it was a pleasure to be part of Somewhere in Particular’s event about Brexit and Belonging, and I also had an absolutely fantastic time reading for Neu Reekie in a church in Leith. I got there and they offered me the pulpit, which seemed like a fairly ideal place to read out of Incarnation!  There was an enormous crowd, and such a varied, exciting lineup feat.: Bill Drummond shining people’s shoes, Callum Easter singing a beautiful strobe-lit set, funny animations, Corbyn, nasty women, and a bid to be MP of Hull. There’s a great review in the Scotsman here (‘In particular, the poet and spoken word artist Clare Pollard’s set was masterful, as dryly amusing as it was tender and occasionally shocking in exploring the meaning of parenthood…’)

And if you missed it, I’ve been invited by the wonderful Jenny Lindsay to do another Edinburgh set on Friday the 19th at Flint and Pitch. It’s at the Bongo Club at 7pm and costs £6. Claire Askew will also be reading – who I’ve wanted to see for ages – along with lots of other delights. Please come, I’m up for a big night!

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I also promised I’d tell you about my new online course for the Idler Academy. It’s a six lesson course about stealing from classic poetry, with a session on basics, followed by nonsense, ballads, sonnets, dramatic monologues and taking your poetry further, and there is a forum for sharing your work. It would be a great gift. I absolutely loved filming it – I think the Idler have done a gorgeous job, and autocue was AMAZING. I could totally engage with the audience whilst sounding incredibly clever, without any anxiety about forgetting important points. Honestly, after an afternoon of filming I was thinking I need autocue for at least 50% of my life. Also, I should be a guest presenter on Have I Got News For You.

There’s a trailer and more info here. It costs £60, or for £95 you can join the Idler Academy and access all their online courses. They have some marvellous stuff like How to Write a Song with Chris Difford from Squeeze…

I think that’s all for now. Hoping to swing by the Free Verse Poetry Magazine Fair this saturday, so maybe see some of you there?

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