reader, beware

In these days of economic recession, credit crunch, financial crisis, or whatever term the media are using today, it’s logical that we should look back to the Wall Street crash of ’29 in an attempt to make comparisons and perhaps find solutions.

However, in these days of electronic media, blogs, wikis, archives and resources written by “the unwashed masses”, it’s all too easy to get confused by what’s real and what isn’t. Continue reading “reader, beware”

from poem to picture book

Any author will tell you that the process which results in a book reaching the bookshop shelves is long and, at times, tortuous.

My own experience makes it five and a half years from the original poem being written to its appearance this month as Bubbles, a bilingual children’s picture book, now available from Topka.

from poem to picture book
from poem to picture book

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personal details to go

I’ve already had a moan about Starbucks and their grammatical inadequacies, but now I’ve found further reason to complain.

At the weekend, I had to meet a fellow writer who lives in the centre of Madrid; she suggested we meet in Starbucks. Not my first choice, perhaps, but no problem. When I got there, there were two customers at one of the tables, and no one else in the whole place. The camarero – I bet he’d have called himself a barista – took my order.

It annoys me that the smallest measure in Starbucks is “tall”. It annoyed me more that the waiter wanted to know my name.
Continue reading “personal details to go”


Castilla y León 17/11/2008
Castilla y León 17/11/2008

ivy snakes
scaling trunks of pines

east, west…

… home’s best.

After nearly a month of travelling and living out of a suitcase, I am back in the pueblo in Spain. It’s gloriously sunny, there are huge drifts of leaves, snow on the mountains, cats on the verandah…

Thanks to Randall Munroe at xkcd for his thoughts on the relativity of east and west.


poetry listenings

Being based in Spain, I don’t get to that many English poetry readings or open mike events, so the recent opportunity to go to several in a short period of time has been really interesting.

The two poetry venues I know best are the Torriano Meeting House and the Poetry Café, both in London. Both are almost airless, ill-designed rooms which are over-full with fifty people in the audience. Then again, from what I’ve seen, they don’t often get that many. Certainly not for the whole evening.
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what’s in the poem

I’ve been in the UK for the last three weeks during which time I’ve managed to attend five poetry readings in three different venues. One was an open mike (the regular Tuesday night Poetry Unplugged at the Poetry Café, London), and three of the other events included ‘poems from the floor’ as well as the invited poets, so I’ve probably heard some seventy poets read recently.

I’m amazed how differently different people approach the opportunity to share their poetry with an audience.
Continue reading “what’s in the poem”