Six weeks in a residential summer school and you tend to disappear. Mobile signals are weak inside the perimeter, and internet access restricted. So here's what I've been up to:
A terrific few days at the John Hewitt festival in Armagh, meeting some lovely people including Frances Leviston, Paul Batchelor, Miriam Gamble and Vona Groarke, and the more familiar faces of Paul Maddern and Damian Smyth. Here's a photo of me with Vona Groarke, with whom I read on the last morning, courtesy of Anne-Marie Fyfe who so kindly invited me in the first place:
As well as that, I had a poem highly commended in the Gladstones Library 'Mystery Woman' competition. One day I hope to make it there for a residency.
I'm hoping to make it to Oxford Brookes for a reading on 2nd October for National Poetry Day, and have upcoming readings at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea on 25th September, the Poetry Cafe on 27th October and the Troubadour on 17th November.
Rights pending, I have a poem in Clare Trevien and Gareth Priors' Rewiring History project. Magma's 'Freedom' issue contains a couple of my poems, 'Berliner Dom' and 'Entries.'
I had my first meeting at The Courtyard in Hereford, with whom I have a three year contract treating dementia patients in the South West with poetry. My peers across the country are Richard Scott, Brenda Read-Brown and Diane Hinchliffe. It's a fascinating project, and a wonderful team. I get started in October.
Lastly, I've moved into a cottage in Somerset, deleted my Facebook account and set up my study overlooking a view of sheep on a hillside, from where I'm typing this. Dog come Christmas, stars, bikes and country walks to pubs. Lots to look forward to.