mouth formed thought formed mouth formed thought mouth formed

If you have to know, don’t edit, or an interim attack of conscience at the coal face.

Calling oneself a poet is a kind of confidence trick. In the face of a new day or a new sheet of paper there is no knowing how it will come out. In fact when it does come out there is no knowing (for the author certainly) that it has come out. "If you have to know, don't write" (Berryman I … [Read more...]

Forthcoming Events May-July

A quick roundup of events I'll be taking part in over the next few months. Apart from the regular Ouse Muses (16th May and 20th June) you'll find me reading in the following venues. 8th May Hammer and Tongue Cambridge where I will try my hand at slamming for only the third time. 15th May Barbican … [Read more...]

Poetry (Jan 2013)

Chicago-based Magazine Poetry is one of the landmarks of global poetry publishing. Founded by Harriet Munroe in 1912 - as it says on every title page - it championed modernism in the US and has published virtually every significant poet of the last century. The bequest of pharmaceuticals heiress … [Read more...]

Events update

Just a quick catch up on things forthcoming - as always the best way to stay fully in touch with Ouse Muse and poetry in Bedford is by signing up to our mailing list here and joining the facebook group here. March 21st is World Poetry Day and Ouse Muse at Harpurs, 8pm to celebrate! Ouse Muse for … [Read more...]

Tears in the Fence 56

Is it 'teers' or 'tares'? No idea. I have been a subscriber for about three years (and the magazine has printed one poem of mine in the past). Tears in the Fence has been going for some time, edited by David Caddy from the hotbed of intellectual ferment that is Blandford Forum (maybe it is, I've … [Read more...]

Ouse Muse Feb 2013

The second Ouse Muse of 2013 saw some new faces at the mic and a steady growth in audience numbers. Highlights included a spectacular full scale classical ode to whisky (Ian Colville), newcomer Ian Ortiz and the triumphant return of Helen Osborn. Meanwhile the old lags did their stuff with aplomb. … [Read more...]

Willpower and Stamps

One thing I still can't get used to about the life poetic is the very random rate of 'success'. 2012 marked a new personal best for magazine rejections. The year began pretty well. In January I learned I was one of the top 10 in the National Poetry Competition 2011 and in February Cinnamon Press … [Read more...]

Why Books?

What does a book have that a kindle doesn't? It partly depends on your purpose. If it is merely to scrape the propositional information from the text then any medium for transmitting that information seems as good as any other. But there are problems. As a partisan for poetry it is poems I think … [Read more...]

Magazine Review: Poetry Wales Winter 12-13

I have an addiction, an addiction to poetry magazines. A rough count says I have 11 active subscriptions at the moment - but I've probably missed some (oops, yes 12). To get it out of my system, and maybe give anyone listening a few ideas about what you might want to buy (poetry mags need … [Read more...]

Today I have been mostly (re)writing Apollinaire

Sometimes I come across a poem with such a distinct atmosphere that I have to set off in pursuit. It  just happened with Apollinaire's 'L'Avenir' (I'd been reading Beverly Brie Bihac's translations of Appolinaire, Little Auto). To be frank most of the poems left me cold, either in French or in … [Read more...]