Friday, 29 July 2016

Disko Bay - news and reviews

  • Recently The Poetry School invited me to write a guest post for their blog about a poem from Disko Bay, describing how it moved from first drafts to publication. My account of the writing process behind 'The Survivors' can be read here.

Some reviews of Disko Bay have been published in the last few weeks. Here's a selection:
  • Theophilus Kwek considers the book in a round-up of titles nominated for the Forward Prizes (Felix Dennis Prize for First Collection) in The London Magazine: 'spare, supple lines serve as indispensable guides in the unfamiliar visual and mythic landscape'. (Read the full review here)
  • Martyn Crucefix reviews my collection for his excellent poetry blog (well worth following for his forthcoming reviews of other books on the shortlist): 'eco-poetry without shed loads of landscape description'. (Read the full review here)
Many thanks to both poets for the time they have taken to read and respond to my work.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

'Paint her to your own mind' - Shandy Hall

There's a blank page in Tristan Shandy, where Laurence Sterne invites his reader to recreate their ideal woman, to 'paint her to your own mind'. Such a gesture on the part of the author acknowledges that perceptions of beauty differ just as widely as the means of depiction might.

This spring the Laurence Sterne Trust challenged 147 writers, artists and composers to fill in the blank page with their own representations of beauty.

Now the results of this commission are on show at Shandy Hall in Coxwold, the home of Laurence Sterne Trust, until 30 September. All the works in 'Paint Her To Your Own Mind' are available to purchase by online auction, with funds going to the support the wonderful work of Shandy Hall. All artworks are anonymous, leaving the viewer to guess which artist created which page. Can you spot mine?

Friday, 1 July 2016

Gladstone's Library Shortlist

I am honoured to be on the shortlist for the 2017 Writers in Residence Award at Gladstone's Library. The book collection of the Victorian statesman William Ewart Gladstone is now the core of a remarkable residential library 'dedicated to dialogue, debate and learning ... in an age of distraction and easy solutions.' Read the full shortlist here.

The winners will be announced on Monday 3 October at the National Liberal Club in London when the four winning authors will read from their work. Tickets for the Writers in Residence 2017 launch event are priced at £10. To register your interest, please call 01244 532350 or email