Be prepared for a lifetime of misery, heartbreak, and insufferable pedantry. Studying English is HARD…
This poem means I’m a quarter of the way through my year of poems! If you’re enjoying them, please share them around.
Almost every device I own and use daily broke simultaneously recently, and – among other things – I lost all my laptop files. This is about the things that are really worth saving…
PAW #12 is about John Kennedy Toole, the ill-fated would-be novelist whose book A Confederacy of Dunces was repeatedly rejected by publishers throughout his life, which Toole prematurely ended when he gassed himself in his car in Mississippi, aged 31. The novel was later published when the gatekeepers realised the error of their ways and Toole won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in the 1980s. That’ll teach them.
This is a poem about telling someone you love them for the first time. Or, rather, about the build up to telling someone you love them for the first time. Inspired by a brilliant workshop from Andrew McMillan, and by the wonderful poem ‘Hyphen’ by Geoff Hattersley, I wanted to write something that throws itself off the edge of a narrative cliff, lemming-like, ending where another poem might begin.
PAW #10 is about the hairdresser at the University of Birmingham students’ union (she’s astonishingly nice), and about how shocking and beautiful it can be when real talk emerges from small talk.
This week’s PAW is all about trying not to completely lose yourself when moving to London, and comes complete with all the identity crises you’d expect
Warning: contains mild romance
PAW #6 is a slightly surreal look at how bizarre even very recent past can seem. It’s about Ant, and Dec, and table tennis, and the fact that we never, ever, learn.
Poem A Week #5 is about the dislocation I felt when moving house from Birmingham to Cardiff, and what I did to remedy that. It’s about ancestral memory, and the sea’s power to make a new place feel old.
‘Nightswimming’ was shortlisted for the Bare Fiction Poetry Prize.
The 3rd Poem A Week is about the Midlands: my birthplace, one-time sexual hunting ground of Lord Byron, and perennially ignored b-road between the affluent south and the quaint, charming north. It inspired much of Tolkien’s Mordor, but it’s home.
Poem A Week #2 is here. This one’s about generational bigotry, formatting errors, and amateur musical theatre. Yay! And it’s sort of set in THE FUTURE. Can we teach old dogs new tricks? Or encourage old dogs to be nicer to other, different, dogs? I like to think so.
Today sees me launch Poem A Week, which is my does-what-it-says-on-the-tin attempt to upload to YouTube a poem a week for a year. The first poem is called ‘Punchline’ and explores masculinity and mental health, lad culture, bad jokes, and escalators.