Highlights for 2017 and 2018

It’s March, and I’m delighted that my first play is being produced as I write this! The Storm Officer has emerged from a commission for a pamphlet of poems to be inspired by an extraordinary archive of Extreme Weather (over 16,000 entries, from all around the U.K., going back 1,000 years) recently created through the University of Nottingham. The material emerged as a long poem with many voices, which I’ve turned into a play, which will be on in March at Lakeside Arts, Nottingham and again at the Kirkgate Centre, Cockermouth – in the Lake District, where I spent a week doing research into the impact of the floods following  Storm Desmond in December 2015. These first 2 shows are previews, with plans for it to tour in Autumn 2017 and throughout 2018.

Anyway, it’s very exciting, and lots of new, and I’m learning lots, including a range of fabulous thespian terms and stage vocab by working with the Producer, Director, 2 actor-musicians and Musical Director.

I’ve also recently been told, wonderfully, that Smith Doorstop are going  to publish a pamphlet of poems later this year. Called Spoon Rebellion, it’s 20 or so recent poems as well as 5 or 6 older poems that were in my self-published collection  Swimmer. I’m particularly pleased that “Miles from Nowhere”, my long rambling political poem about the Erewash Canal is in there – as I like it, and it hasn’t seen much light of day. Not too long, I hasten to add!

Holiday news for the year! off to Malaysia for 3 weeks in May – very exciting. Am currently learning some basic Malay and finding out about possible poetry events to go to.

Coming up in 2018? Next year I’m looking forward to the publication of Tales from the Leaking Boot, a collection of travel haiku sequences, one each from Texas, Germany, Turkey and Cleethorpes. They were written over about 10 years, and this is particularly pleasing as it’s coming out with Iron Press, who are the main publishers of haikus in this country. Also delightful as the haikus in it are not traditional  – they break with the form! Hurrah! including lots of humour, satire and scurrilous observation (I hope) as well as more reflective moments.

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