NaPoWriMo & an MA Offer

Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog – my apologies!

First off, NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month). I have a poetry deadline coming up, so the discipline of having to write one poem a day will be very good for me! Here’s today’s effort, fresh off the keyboard and completely without edits. I like to return to my writing later to edit, so I’ll probably go over this again in a couple of weeks, or bring it to my class to be workshopped.


Half-moment: looking out a window, perhaps,
you let yourself think – what if everything
went easily: the money paid itself from accounts
that somehow always balanced,
the next bed came gifted, or offered open-handed
by some stroke of luck –
then you would slip into the next day
sleepy as a sluggish autumn term,
unworried by all the things that replace each other
as they come, tumbling
hot through your outstretched fingers.

Next item – news…. Firstly, One of the poems from my undergraduate dissertation, world enough and time, is going to be published in the 2015 UEA undergraduate anthology. I was on one of the poetry subcommittee’s this year (not the one reading my own poem!), and I’m very pleased to have something in the anthology – it’s a lovely way to end my degree!

Lastly, I can say that it looks like I am going to be doing an MA in Creative Writing (Poetry). I now have an offer from a university which I like very much, and although things aren’t finalised yet and won’t be for a while, I’m very happy and excited about this opportunity. The encouragement of people reading this blog and commenting on my poems has been very important in giving me confidence in my own writing, so, thank you.

Poetry Update // The Cadaverine // Dissertation Progress // River

Term progresses and so does my dissertation. After it’s submitted in January, I’ll share some more of them on here. I’m really proud of most of them – although I’ll be thankful when it’s done…

This week, The Cadaverine published the second instalment of the poems I had accepted back in August. Second Annunciation and Grit can be found here (and the first poem to be published, an excerpt from After Pill Blues, can be found here).

As it’s been a while since I last updated it, I am going to leave you with something. This poem, River, is a dissertation one. I’m currently wrestling with my line count for the dissertation overall, which is not long enough for all the things I’d like to include,  but hopefully this will make it to the final draft.


I am cold, or otherwise engaged.
Thermostatics are essential: I exist

by the temperature. In rock beds I
am not as angry as you think.

I do not want to drown you,
I have seen enough dredgers

and barge hulls. Even fish disturb me,
and they’re mostly water:

their fins change my current.
Where they are I am not. Being liquid

I am always losing myself,
or part of myself, I have trouble

keeping my particles together
without form, although without form

I can run dry for ten years, and yet
after rainfall run again.

I am warm. I am mountain heat
and midge-clouded summers,

I am the sound of boys pissing
under bridges and your dog

doing things he shouldn’t.

doing things he shouldn’t.
In spring I am the water meadows

over the towpath, I am
risk rising quietly through dark mud

underfoot. Give me a name
better than rain percussing the water:

I am I am I am.

UPDATE, MARCH 2015 – the end of River changed in my final submission for the dissertation, and I like the second version better, so I’ve updated the one on here. The edited section is from ‘In spring’ to the end – it originally read ‘And yes, as you say so eloquently // as you stumble into me blindly/ and I gently lift you from the stones // I am, ‘fucking freezing”

Dissertation Update // Kayak // Beloved

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this, so here are two poems – the first is a few months old, and the second a few minutes. I’m about to start work on a poetry dissertation (a short selection of poems with a critical essay) based around ideas on the relationship between poetry/people and landscape, and how it’s changed in the last couple of decades.


Not dead, as such; she was no longer here,
gone on, departed, headed up and out
to the blue yonder, or perhaps some heaven where
she would wear wings and dance with her mother –
he didn’t know, except it still seemed right
to bring flowers and talk solemnly
to the ground, to her – the nearness
still meant something, as it always had,
the nearness they’d shared for forty years of nights,
days tucked into her sleeve like discarded tissues.
And flowers seemed right. Perhaps the scent
would lift upwards to her star, or pearly seat,
and she’d stir, send the message he so wanted –
although her silence now was like her,
the solidness of her presence living
through forty years of silence.


Knee-deep, I tack
boots to the kayak’s straps
and wade,

spread skinny feet
taut to the skim floor

tack my weight against the pebbles shifting.
I’ve given stable ground
before –

given it to drunkenness,
easy tides I’ve pulled and called
for fun –

made ground for myself
in strange places,
stone-picked pebble beaches

for the kayak’s soft belly.
Now knee-under and still
I go on walking

waiting for a catch,
the water’s nod of permission,
blessed with the salt

drying on my arms,
my cheeks, my hair,
all tease

the salt says you cannot grip
the ocean
the boat lurches forward

says now