Odds and Ends

Posted by Expert Gadget Reviewer on Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Still haven't found time to blog about my time at StAnza, Scotland's international poetry festival held in St Andrews, yet - though I intend to get round to it soon. In short, it was a great (long) weekend: particular highlights including readings from Bill Manhire, New Zealand's foremost contemporary poet; the excellent Simon Armitage; poetry centre stage with Robert Crawford and Kate Clanchy; and the launch of Roddy Lumsden's new collection, Third Wish Wasted. And I enjoyed taking part in the poetry breakfast on young poets, as well as the tall-lighthouse Pilot reading (alongside Abi Curtis, Adam O'Riordan, Jay Bernard and Emily Berry) and pamphlet signing, both of which proved popular.

Before I get to doing a proper write-up then, I thought I'd flag up a few forthcoming odds and ends: I've two new poems that'll appear in the next issue of Poetry Matters on the Tower Poetry site, and a short sequence that'll crop up in a future issue of Stand magazine. Also in the next two issues of Stand, I've a couple of reviews: first of Colette Bryce's Self-Portrait in the Dark; second of Glyn Maxwell's Hide Now. And I've completed a fair number of critical perspectives of poets for the British Council Contemporary Writers site which'll go live in due course, including Robert Crawford, David Constantine, Patrick McGuinness, Carol Rumens, Tom Paulin, and the late Mick Imlah.

Alongside forthcoming reviews for Magma and the TLS and working on new poems, then, I'm having a happily busy time of it - the only problem being that man flu has recently halted me from doing much at all productive; hunched as I am over the PC with a mug of tea and packets of honey and lemon Lockets. Even if you are misguided enough to do so, however, please don't extend your sympathies - many, not least my girlfriend, will amply attest to how utterly pathetic I am when afflicted with only the slightest of sniffles.