Posted by Expert Gadget Reviewer on Friday, 13 October 2006

Once again a whole month elapses without a single post, and I’m forced to consider the fact that I am probably becoming increasingly lazy. But then again, having settled back into a routine of lectures and reading, not to mention being a relative novice to the blogging world, I have both time-consuming distractions and inexperience to justify my reckless abandon. There. That seems like a relatively logical argument that might hold for a while.

National Poetry Day passed quite uneventfully (I couldn’t make the open mic session in Sheffield City centre), and surprisingly my little-worn Philip Larkin t-shirt (white on red ‘Life is slow dying. / And saying so to some / Means nothing; other it leaves / Nothing to be said’) which I hauled out for the occasion (yes, I’m aware of how sad this is; even more so when you put it down in writing) drew a distinct lack of strange looks. However, I did submit my entry to the Eric Gregory Awards (hoping, perhaps, that National Poetry Day might be the good luck charm I need to suitably impress the judges), and felt an initial wave of terror at doing so, but ultimately a feeling of contentment that 1) the poems are done, 2) I’m happy with them, 3) they’re ordered in the best way I could conceive of ordering them, and 4) the collection represents my efforts from the past one-and-a-half to two years, and hence is a reflection of where I am currently. The hope of winning, consequently, has been replaced with the feeling that putting the collection together was a worthwhile enough exercise in itself, whether rewarded or not. Which is unusual, because typically I’m quite keen on the whole recognition/prizes side of things, and have to hide such fantasies under a guise of something close to professionalism. Perhaps professionalism is too strong a word.

Anyhow, the poetry’s on hold now as I immerse myself in more Derrida and deconstruction, Sartre and the imagination, and feministic concerns. That, interspersed with a reading by Simon Armitage at the Showroom, which promises to be an enjoyable evening. If anyone’s at a loss for anything to read, I’d advise his new collection Tyrannosaurus Rex versus The Corduroy Kid. You can also hear a selection of his poems read by the man himself, along with readings by many other poets, contemporary and classic, at the Poetry Archive, a site envisaged and created by Andrew Motion. Definitely worth a visit if you haven’t been before. In the meantime, here’s a poem by the emerging and talented poet Frances Leviston, winner of an Eric Gregory Award last year: Moving stuff.