‘I’m hungry less/and eating more’

*Waves from the internet void*

This isn’t a Napowrimo poem. I know, I know, an actual fucking lockdown seems like it’d be the perfect time to tackle Napowrimo. We’ll see. I’m trying not to over-ascribe myself jobs, because my sense of worth being tied to my productivity is a relationship I’m trying to break.

In the meantime, have a quarantine poem that I am mildly pleased with. Needs tinkering, but sharing is good as well. Need to remember to share my writing, instead of just sitting on it, especially now that I won’t be performing in person for a while.

Hope everyone is healthy, safe and relatively sane.

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Poem: I Am Convinced the Cat Loves Me

I work in a school, which means I have 6 weeks off over summer, which is indisputably lovely and wonderful.

And I’ve done some very exciting things this summer; I’ve performed on the main stage at Blue Dot festival (bonkers), worked another festival (Green Man), visited a close friend in Sheffield, been driven to London and back in a day to watch professional wrestling (and heard the best heckle of my life: ‘You look like a shit Charles Manson!’), been in the sea during a thunderstorm, (semi) adopted two kittens, seen some excellent live music (Kraftwerk, John Grant, Easy Star All-Stars, New Order, Four Tet, Self-Esteem) and some excellent films (MIDSOMMAR, MIDSOMMAR, MIDSOMMAR)… but summer holidays also produce their own lulls, among the highs.

I’m currently in the middle of said lull, brought about by a combination of shit weather, no plans and exceptionally minimal funds. I’ve been rattling around the house the last few days, and the over-access to sleep and television and relative lack of exercise and stimulation (plus some stressful life admin) has resulted in my moods being fairly low.

As always, the best and quickest way for me to deal with these lows has been to write. Producing something creative, even something slightly scrappy and odd (as this poem undoubtedly is), produces a little endorphin rush, that doing the washing up and tidying your bookshelves can’t quite match (though I do also enjoy these activities/false illusions of being in control of my life).

And because I’m trying to be better about sharing my work, I thought I’d whack it on up here, with basically no editorial faffing, because otherwise it’ll just sit in my onedrive getting dusty and because I, like everyone else, am constantly seeking instant gratification.

If you would care to read it and validate me internet, that would be greatly appreciated. It’s somewhere between a love poem about the cat and a treatise on self-delusion.


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Chester: A Poem for a King



This is Chester. One time he jumped in my lap and it was one of the Top 10 Most Glorious Things That Have Ever Happened To Me in my entire life. He hated everyone and everything indiscriminately and we loved him for it. And last weekend we had to say goodbye to him and it fucking sucks. The house will not be the same without its raggedy ginger tyrant.

We’ll miss you and we love you Chester, you beautiful grumpy dandy.

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‘The Push’ by Rebecca

Look mum, I’m on a youtube!

I go to an excellent poetry night at the Eagle Inn in Salford (‘Evidently’, check out the link below, they’re class) and whilst there last month some folks from Speculative Books press in Glasgow (link also below) asked if they could film me doing my poem from the open mic.

I should point out – I was a little bit drunk, and so you’ll have to excuse the slight wibble of emotion that escapes at the end there.

In my defence it was Easter half term and I didn’t know I was going to be filmed when I piled into the pub that afternoon. Please show Speculative Books some love and give them a follow, they’re doing good work.




Speculative Books

Drag becomes her

Just when I thought I couldn’t love Jinkx Monsoon anymore she uses Farenheit 451 as a reference point to explain the legacy and importance of drag culture and I love her THAT MUCH HARDER.

This is a really lovely interview if you have 20 minutes to spare on a gloomy Tuesday evening; Jinkx is such an articulate and thoughtful speaker and it’s a really interesting insight into the impact of cinema on queer and drag culture.


Poetry rec: ‘My People’ by Kim Moore

Today’s poetry rec is ‘My People’ from the The Art of Falling by Kim Moore.

I saw Kim read a couple of years ago and she was phenomenal; she made me snort laugh (at a very hush hush poetry event) with this poem, dealt smoothly with some slightly misogynistic questioning from an old dear in the audience and her poetry sequence about surviving a domestically abusive relationship was completely stunning. The only reason that I’m not recommending a poem from that sequence (‘How I Abandoned My Body to His Keeping’) is that I simply wouldn’t know which poem to single out.

But you know what you could do? Buy her collection.

Returning from the void

I’m sharing this again. For anyone who’s ever wondered where the line of poetry tattooed on my right arm is from, this is it.

Most people ask to read my tattoo and then give the overly serious nod and slight side-eye and move swiftly on to another topic. I’ll admit, it doesn’t make much sense out of context, taking only the following lines from the above;

‘I send my rockets forth/between my ears’

As an avid fan of both poetry and space travel, an image which merged the two ideas was irresistible to me and I couldn’t not steal it.

But the poem as a whole is something I think best experienced in context.

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Celebrating Honno Press

Another article for the Welsh Writer’s Trust, this week on Honno, the excellent co-operative press that promotes women’s writing within Wales.

Welsh Writers’ Trust


Throughout the last few decades – and arguably centuries – Welsh writing has suffered a great deal of oversight, when it comes to recognition on the wider literary scene.

Although much has long been recognised by both critics and readers of Welsh writing – as is the often case within groups of writers and artists – Welsh women have suffered the severest neglect, often by these same critics and readers.

This situation has not arisen from a lack of quality in Welsh writing by women, or a dearth of interest in them – quite the opposite. A fact which Honno recognised, decades ago, and more importantly, did something about.

Honno is an independent co-operative press, dedicated to the promotion of Welsh women’s literature and run entirely by women. It was established in 1986 by a group of volunteers, and since then has been maintained with the support of the Welsh…

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Sound the trumpets

For my MA is done and dusted – with no small amount of stress and slight-sleep-deprived-mania (Rosey Brown and I spent a good 5 minutes giggling over the concept of bras the morning of hand-in)* towards the end, but it was good to send off those poems I’d been obsessively editing since June-time into the wild to make it on their ownsome.

And to celebrate (although I also plan to actually celebrate, with some kind of alcoholic beverage and possibly some dancing, sorry world) I thought I’d post one of the poems I have been labouring over all this time.

See employed friends, I am not a layabout to quite the degree you think I am!

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Interview with Clare Potter

An interview I conducted with the poet Clare Potter, for the Welsh Writer’s Trust this week.

Welsh Writers’ Trust


Clare Potter is a writer, (performance) poet and teacher, originally harking from Blackwood, South Wales. She taught and lived for several years in New Orleans, where she was a consultant for the New Orleans Writing Project. Her collection, ‘spilling histories’ (Cinnamon, 2006), is based around the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

These days Clare lives and works in South Wales, where – in addition to her many other responsibilities – she also acts a board member for the Welsh Writer’s Trust.

This week, she kindly let us quiz her about her work, her thoughts on poetry, and her upcoming projects. Enjoy:

Your collection ‘spilling histories’ was written in and about the aftermath of the New Orleans disaster. Do you find that creative writing can help reconcile the trauma of such disasters?

I don’t think there can ever be reconciliation after such a disaster, especially when there is still so much anger over…

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