Goodness me, it has been a minute since I updated you all. The past month has been swallowed by the medical. About three weeks ago I had sepsis. It was all very dramatic and I’m still living with a lot of pain and other ramifications, but in all for something as serious as Sepsis, I’ve come off rather lightly.

In really lovely personal news my first collection of poetry is going to be published by Seren in early 2022! This last year has been very difficult. I haven’t left the house other than to go to hospital. However, it has meant I finally had time to go through my medical notes and write some work based from them. I honestly don’t think I’d be putting out my first collection so soon without the pandemic – I simply wouldn’t have written enough. The amount of workshops and other creative nutrition I’ve been able to access is wonderful.

Speaking of creative nutrition, Stanza Poetry Festival was online this year and a storming success. There was a memorial event for Roddy Lumsden, and it toed the line of warmth and genuine poetry talent needed to make these things work. It was lovely to hear from his family and friends, to be introduced to his early work. As a poet living with a life limiting illness myself, I can say that there is no greater compliment than love – both personal and professional, and if an event as heartfelt as this happened in honour of me I would be bowled over.

Sadly, the above was live. However, all of the next things I’m going to discuss below are still up on the Stanza website until the 31st March.

A personal favourite of mine from the festival was Ella Frear’s poetry film. It discusses a strange phenomenon I’ve also noticed amongst poets – only about half of us drive. It discusses why this may be, and looks at motorways, service stations, and teens singing Abba at 10pm from their car. It really was very excellent.

Another was Raymond Antrobus, who is a deaf poet and quite possibly one of my all time favourites. This reading speaks for itself. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Finally, I absolutely love Jericho Brown. His work always leaves me breathless. One advantage of internet based festivals has been putting faces to names. His reading style, and general personality, is an absolute delight, and I’ve since been looking for him reading on YouTube nonstop. See if this gets you hooked also.

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