looking for guinea pigs

True, the small furry rodent in the picture is a squirrel, not a guinea pig, but surely that further justifies the post title, which says I’m looking for guinea pigs.

I need them because I’ve just published an online video course – The Essential Poet’s Toolbox for Readers and Writers – on Udemy and I need some students. (If you don’t know about Udemy, it’s got lots of interesting courses in all sorts of areas from lifestyle to business to technical, some free, some not. You need to create a user account, but once you’ve signed up for a course you have access to the content for ever without paying any more.)

The Essential Poet’s Toolbox for Readers and Writers takes a non-technical look at modern poetry, grouping the tools into five main areas: metre, form, rhyme, layout, and sound. It’s gone on sale at £35 (for 2.5 hours of video lessons) but I’m giving away discount coupons.
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poems & pomegranates


It’s been a while since I talked on the blog about the narrator/writer dichotomy, but it’s still a subject that interests me.

Recently, I started writing a column for The Woman Writer (the magazine of the SWWJ – the Society of Women Writers and Journalists). In the article “I”: an invitation to poetry, published in the April issue, I talked about how first-person, present-tense poetry can encourage the reader to empathise and participate rather than simply observe.

Although it’s not a long article, it brings together a number of my thoughts on the subject, so I’ll include it in its entirety here:
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night noises

The last few posts have been fairly rural – which is reasonable given where I am at the moment. But to carry on from yesterday’s insomnia, I’ve dug out this older, rather more urban piece:

night shades

Sounds rise through plaster, wood and dust; they twist
between the ceiling joists, and round ceramic tiles to twine
with moonlight, drifting, woven in dreams, until
they filter into consciousness. Then,

there are no more dreams:

the sounds contract
to words as hard
and tight as fists that punch
into the sobbing night.

I hear the darkness
catch its breath
and a banshee wail
drags the dawn

Continue reading “night noises”

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