Archive for July, 2009

Procrastination Station #46 & #47

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Look! A link love list! I know I haven’t done one of these for two weeks, so this is a bumper edition. Look out!

SO much good stuff on the Guardian Books Blog recently! It is such a time-eater: Bonding through books // Famous Seamus at 70 // Happy words // a very tricky debate… // Quiz: how well do you know your literary spies? // Faber’s cover archive // Poster Poems: History // I agree with a LOT of this! // Poem of last week // …and this week! // a portrait of the wonderful Michael Rosen // Yet more reasons why e-books are the spawn of the devil // & Viv! I love her.

Awesome alert: Colour Me Katie’s Rules for a Creative Life. I also love her photos of people dancing! Follow this blog… it’s definite inspiration fodder!

It’s official: rejection = brain damage.

I love this picture of the Scottish Poetry Library staff! That’s my mate Dave on the end!

Why big-headed lit mags kind of suck.

As a crafter, I thought this post on crafting motivation was really interesting.

Poetry inspiring fashion…?

Do stories add value? I love the idea behind the Significant Objects project!

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie @ Vulpes Libris

Hello, pretty book cover!

Amazing picture.

Found online this week: Chris Lindores started updating his blog again! Hooray! Plus, a new poem from him! // Former FP Rowena Knight at the Cadaverine // Col gave a shoutout to the London Poetry Pearl, which I helped edit! // at a handful of stones: Howie Good, Colin Will, Regina C Green, & a rare stone from creator Fiona herself! // Speaking of Regina C Green — she’s everywhere! She also had a great piece at Bolts of Silk recently, and gave ONS a shoutout on her blog. Thanks, doll! // Also mentioning me this week: Ms Aiko // I loved this new piece from the ubertalented McGuire // & regular reader/contributor Jim got a mention on PoetHound. Congrats!

I love this gallery of firepoi photos and flash animations!

Beth Ditto rocks my socks right off (aaaah!).

Yet more cool from Rock n Roll Bride! & a sweet story too!

Landlord of the Flies is hilarous. Read from the bottom up, though, or it’ll make no sense!

Wantville!

& finally, if this doesn’t brighten your weekend, I don’t know what will…

Happy weekend!

(Photo by Ilaria (I hate Illinois nazis))

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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More from Featured Poet Jess Winch

Friday, July 31st, 2009

You can see Jess’ previous poem here, and her interview will be up tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy this sweet haiku!

Saturday Morning

Bed fresh white washed sheets
Sun glinting through the curtains
Legs locked lazily

Want to see your poems featured here? Drop me a line to claire@onenightstanzas.com!

(Photo by Eqqman)

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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Things I Love Thursday #47

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Look, I’m back on track with TiLT! & a Procrastination Station (the first in three weeks! Sorry sorry sorry!) is on its way tomorrow, finally! Basically, I’ve been having some family troubles — both my grandfathers are currently in hospital, and they’re both over 80, so it’s a bit worrying. I’ve been finding it hard to put on my positive inspiration face to post here, but over the past couple of days I’ve realised that at times like these, you need that face more than ever! So I’m back with a vengence! Here’s some of the stuff that’s been cheering me up recently…

Rachel Fachner has to come first! Apparently, Rachel is one of you secret readers who never comments on posts, so I was blissfully unaware that she existed (if you’re one of these, say ‘hello’ sometime… in this very comments box, perhaps?). A bit of a creative powerhouse (she’s a director, choreographer, writer and general all-round creative nut-job, obviously a woman after my own heart!), Rachel runs the Project: Transparence blog, which is how I sniffed her out! And she’d given ONS a hell of a write-up… it made me blush! Check this out:

“This woman is my inspiration for productivity… there is almost too much to love about her. she teaches poetry, writes consistently on two blogs, makes jewelry, gets awarded grants… oh, and writes amazing poetry that gets published (all the time). my favourite part of her public life is her commitment to hosting, and participating in, the conversation about her art form. there is a transparent honesty about her… a confidence that leads toward being uncompetitive which I find refreshing.”

Oh my goodness, thank you thank you thank you!

Discovering new blogs. As well as Rachel’s blog, I’ve also discovered a bunch of new stuff this week that’s keeping me from getting on with my tasks! ChickenDinnerCandyBar has a seriously healthy attitude to consumerism, fashion, body image and life in general… plus, with a gorgeous old typewriter as her header-image, how could I not love her blog? Blue Horse Poetry is the blog of ONS reader Matt Haigh and he posts his poetry, opinions and TiLTs (yay!) there. I’ve already geeked about The X Files and got bolshy about Carol Ann Duffy in his various comments boxes… sorry, Matt! And sad but true, Book Covers Anonymous is basically bordering on a fetish for me. OH MY GOODNESS beautiful books (expect a post on this soon, maybe)!

The Formula 1! OK come on, I’ve been good recently and not geeked about motorsport for at least two TiLTs, so bear with me. I can’t resist a quick mention of everything that’s happened recently! I’m really not a fan of Mark Webber (I think he’s an average driver and he’s been lucky enough to get a good car… I know that can be the nature of racing, but schmneh!), but I was happy to see him win his first Grand Prix after years and years of racing. Nice one! I’m also not a fan of Ferrari and therefore Felipe Massa figures low on my list of F1 favourites, but his terrible crash during qualifying at Hungary was a real blow for the sport, particularly coming so soon after the tragic death of F2 driver Henry Surtees. I’m glad to hear Felipe’s condition is improving though, and despite being a Ferrariite, I hope he’ll be fit enough to come back to racing soon… not least because he’s been replaced by none other than the Schumachersaurus! (Cue Luke-Skywalker-style “nooooooo!”)
There is the issue of How The Season Is Going, though. Boy had managed to convince me that Jenson was deserving of a Championship title (I have never been a big fan of the Magic Button, but I conceded)… but after his performance at Hungary, wailing on the team radio and sniping at the mechanics, he has totally lost my support! Other drivers get oversteer and hot tires all the time, and they deal with it… they don’t behave like divas! Now I’m backing Seb Vettel for the title, though I think chances are slim. However, I reckon 09 has been the best season for years… great racing, great cars, plenty of suspense, scandal and drama. Hooray! (PS: you think this is geeking? Look out: I have just started watching the MotoGP as well and really enjoying it, plus I’m developing an interest in the BTCC. It can only get worse!)

Tattoo ideas. Right now I am very much in the mood for a new tattoo/tattoos! Unfortunately you need money for such things, but it doesn’t stop me looking into cool designs and getting excited about heaps of ideas! At this moment in time I am really loving punctuation tattoos… Contrariwise just posted a great semicolon, and I am also loving this funky ampersand (and its placement! Brilliant!), speechmarks, and this punk questionmark. Nice!

Wardrobe remix. I’ve been having to explain to people recently why I’ve chosen to do this, and it’s tricky as a lot of people think it’s just vanity. I guess taking photos of your outfit is a bit narcissistic, and I really hate the commerical and pro-consumerist way it’s done on a lot of big famous blogs these days. However, I have a lot of good (I believe) reasons for doing it. One: I have really shitty body image — it varies, but generally I pretty much hate how I look. I’m 5′11″ which makes me rather awkward to start with, and although I know I’m not “fat,” like most women I carry more weight than I’d like. Until recently I avoided creating or even seeing full-length images of myself, which actually led to a lack of awareness about what I really look like. Seeing my wardrobe remix photos has a) made me realise that actually, what I look like and what I think I look like are two very different things, and b) if I accept what I am rather than fighting it, I actually do look better. I was inspired by this lady to embrace and celebrate myself rather than trying to change myself, and wardrobe remixing — a technique she also uses — is really helping. I’m also a big believer in thrifting, recycling, found clothing and second hand shopping, and I’m very much against large-scale consumerism and the buying of ridiculously expensive designer label goods (particularly when you only buy them to put on a shelf, because they’re too valuable to actually wear). That’s why I put the prices/estimated prices of my garments alongside my wardrobe remixes… some entire outfits cost as little as £10, but they don’t look cheap or crap (weird, maybe, but not cheap or crap. I hope). I’m also a bit of a lazy mare and will wear the same outfit over and over and over if I like it. This is making me more adventurous and encouraging me to wear clothes that were previously gathering dust in my wardrobe. All good, right?

Honourable mentions: Boy… off work for a while, and painting again for the first time in years, literally! // Emails from Crazy People, from the makers of FAILblog. This is freaking hilarious, while this — as a teacher myself — just shocked and saddened me. // this picture // Everyone who’s bought a copy of Sharks Don’t Sleep so far — you guys freakin’ rock! // Getting my millions of projects a bit more under control and actually looking forward to working on them! // Driving. Don’t get to do it often, and I love it!

And you…?

(Photo by ~aspidistra~)

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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This week’s Featured Poet is Jess Winch

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

So, you may have noticed that there was no Featured Poet last week… don’t worry, the concept is still going strong! The week’s poet just postponed in order to coincide his appearance here with his forthcoming book launch… exciting! So, back to the schedule, and I am very pleased to announce that this week’s Featured Poet is Ms Jess Winch!

Jess Winch is in her final year studying English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. She has just returned from a year abroad in Barcelona, where she spent a lot of time drinking coffee and was bitten by the poetry bug. While in Spain, she enrolled on an online writing workshop, which gave her the confidence to continue writing poetry on her return to Scotland. Her goals now are to graduate, write at least five memorable poems, and work out how to combine a job with a Masters degree with a year in France.

Peace

Dressed
all in white
with feet bare

a cracked hand
that tousles
your hair

a jazz beat,
low like
a heartbeat

the smart rush
of sea salt
in air

i am silk
lying rich
on your skin

cucumber
fresh
on your tongue

the promising
step to
begin

And the smile
in your heart
when it’s done

Want to see YOUR poems featured here? Drop me a line to claire@onenightstanzas.com!

(Photo by Boy_Wonder)

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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Things I Love Thursday (Friday!) #46

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Sorry for the lack of TiLT last week — and the lateness and shortness of this one! I have been rushed off my feet putting together a certain new book which by now I am sure you’re all aware of! Still this is better late than never, right…?

Sharks Don’t Sleep The aforementioned book! I have spent the last few days printing, folding, trimming, stapling, embellishing, and sending out copies. This book looks freaking amazing and is truly full of awesome, I’m really pleased with it and it’s been great to work with Eric (and my sister, who did the artwork!) on it. Find out more about it here and grab yourselves a copy here or here!

Wardrobe Remix. I just started doing this “properly” after doing it on a very on-and-off basis for a while… it may seem vain to some, but it really makes you think and care more about how you look and what you project to other people. I’m finding it very useful! You can see some of my bizarre outfits (and faces!) here.

The Bookseer. Wait, you tell this site what book you just read and it tells you the perfect one to read next? Awesome! I tried this and it actually threw up three titles that were already on my next-to-read list. That would suggest it actually DOES know what I would like to read!

Honourable mentions: Getting a new lecturing/tutoring job for the coming academic year. Hooray! // Having my sweet tattooed friend Martyna visiting from Poland for two months! Already my life is full of cool things like visiting tattoo parlours, hair-dyeing sessions and in-depth discussions on the birth of punk. Yes! // Speaking of tattoos, I’m plotting new ones! Need money… // This… snarfle. // Beth Ditto’s Evans clothing range. Love this! // Writing new poems

Et toi?

(Photos by Sarah .K)

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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Sharks Don’t Sleep: now available to buy from Read This Press

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Sharks Don’t Sleep is the title of the brand new chapbook from New Jersey-based spoken word poet Eric Hamilton, and it’s published by Read This Press. Described as “a book that crackles with life,” and “a grimy, romantic and fucking funny look at the world,” Sharks Don’t Sleep is a beautiful 32-page chapbook, hand-made with high quality cardstock covers and embellished with a black ribbon bookmark and original artwork.

Once the book goes on general release, it will be priced at $10 (£6), but right now you fabulous ONS readers can get your hands on a copy of Sharks Don’t Sleep for the bargain price of just £4 ($6.50). If you’re in the UK, you can check out the Read This Press Artfire site for listings in GBP, or if you’re in the USA, you can check out our Etsy shop for listings in USD. If you’re from elsewhere, don’t worry — you can still buy from either of these sites. And if you have any queries about the book, the press or purchasing copies, just drop me a line to claire@onenightstanzas.com

You can also buy a copy of Sharks Don’t Sleep at this special reduced rate (just £4 + £2 P&P) by clicking the button below!


Eric Hamilton is a deranged artist who paints everything from canvas to freight trains. He also writes poetry and enjoys sharing his spoken word at slams or cafes everywhere from NYC out to LA. He was born and raised in Las Vegas, spent a lot of time living in east Los Angeles, and is now unemployed and attending college as a journalism major in New Jersey, where you can find him at art galleries and coffee shops politicking with the poets, art-fags, and random transient folk. He’s a bit of a broken man who receives a lot of undeserved attention from women, smokes cigarettes, and stumbles in and out of short-term relationships looking for love. He spends most of his time waiting for lung cancer and responses from publishers, and has been known to occasionally set fire to a booklet of poems aged with the experience of time.

Remember this is just one of the Read This Press titles — we’ve also published a fantastic anthology of poems on the subject of tattoos and tattooing, Skin Deep, which you can buy here. And the last Read This Press single-poet chapbook was from upcoming Scottish poet Chris LindoresYou Old Soak, also available to buy. Both these titles are also a bargainous £4. Please do support our small press and make a purchase!

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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Procrastination Station #45

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Link ♥ List.

Which words make you wince? (never mind that, tell me here and maybe win a book!) // Don’t build your relationship on books // Behind Purple Ronnie // Poem of the week… // some great (and not so great) Wuthering Heights covers // Beware the writing masterclass…

Think YOUR rejections suck?!

Found online this week: Juliet’s recs for Open Air Poetry this summer… // New work from former Featured Poets Alex Williamson, Heather Bell and Kerri Ni Dochartaigh // & a story from regular reader Beth!

Urban decay: Moscow tunnels // abandoned motels // stubborn little houses // underwater ruins

The guy who kept Polaroid in business.

Amazing photos: fighter jets // rain

Before they were music stars…

Vintage Hollywood

So useful: Gickr

A useful coffee chart…

Whoah.

Want, want and want!

& finally…

Have a great weekend!

(Photo by Supercapacity)

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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Things I Love Thursday #45

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

The love list!

My new job at the London Poetry Festival: I am Residency and Education Director, which sounds very important and terrifying, but which actually just means I book the poets to read at the event. In London from 7th - 10th August? Want to read? Check this out then drop me a line! You can also follow the Fest on Twitter.

My new baby. Yes, once again the Boy and I have welcomed the tiny pitter-patter of typewriter keys into our ever-more-cluttered flat. I really need to quit, but it’s hard when Freecycle is offering up such delights as this. It’s a Litton Imperial Safari, and I freaking love it. A few of you have asked where I store all the darned things — I now have eight — and the answer is this: whenever I get new one, I make myself Freecycle/thrift store a bunch of other stuff to “make space.” Four of them share a shelf-unit with my records and a few books, and one takes up the entire chest of drawers in my bedroom. But the other three are kind of tucked away — The Beast is currently in my wardrobe as it is too big to put anywhere else (sad face), my Silver Reed is stuck on a random shelf, and there’s also one of the brood at my parents’ house…

Edinburgh adventures. This past weekend, Boy’s mum and her bloke, Ledger (who live at the other end of the UK) visited us in Edinburgh for the first time. It was great showing them around — the weather was absolutely beautiful and we walked round pretty much the entire city, stopping for many cups of tea along the way! One of the highlights was wandering around a deserted Greyfriars Kirkyard, reading all the ancient graffiti and creepy poems on the tombs, and — according to Boy — getting inspired for tattoo designs
…and speaking of tattoo designs, Boy got some new ink! I also spent a few days out and about with my delightful sister, which is always eventful — good lunches at Black Medicine, messing around in toy stores and bathrooms, buying brilliant steampunk glasses that make you look like a fly, and dancing around in the respectable Stockbridge streets at the dead of night, plotting a potential joyride

Finding old photos on my camera I’d forgotten about: minor detail I know, but how cool is this photo?

Honourable mentions: creating to-do lists and then storming through them, Twittering like mad, Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Cosmopolitan Greetings’, getting tasks that I put off ages ago done, prepping for the interview of my LIFE (no joke, everyone cross their fingers, toes and everything else for me at about 11am tomorrow please!), writing new poems, selling a bunch of my vintage stuff!, going on holiday next with with a view to just chilling out and writing heaps, bus day-tickets, cool Freecyclers.

And you…?

(Photo by Re(Becca) Tabor Armstrong)

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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Found online this week: JoAnne McKay’s “The Fat Plant”

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

OK, again, I’m kind of cheating here — JoAnne contacted me online to tell me about her debut pamphlet collection, The Fat Plant, but I actually found the book itself sitting prettily in my PO Box. However, I had already heard a fair bit about this little collection from reading Rachel’s great review of it, so I reckon this does count as “found online…”

And what a find! The Fat Plant is a brilliant collection of highly original and distinctive poems — narratives that speak plainly, grab your attention and refuse to let go. It opens with an absolute gem — a child’s eye view of heavy industry and working class hardship which is grim and unflinching but also darkly funny, deeply moving. At the other end of the scale there’s a lighthearted piece about the perils of laundry — there’s no doubt that JoAnne’s work is wide-ranging. For a slim collection containing only sixteen poems, it’s amazing how far this book take you.

My favourite pieces in this collection, though, are the ones in which JoAnne talks about her father. There is a real deftness here, emotion pulses through every word but is kept in check by the poet’s steady hand. The father figure looms large in the background of most of these poems, but in every case he is beautifully drawn, complex. My firm favourite is the three-part poem, “Mourning” — the bittersweet humour in the “cortege of Satanists” following a coffin piled with “chrysanthemum-clustered / lambs, dogs and sheep,” the poignancy of aftermath: “Mum, shoeless, sitting in shadow.” This series is unapologetically honest, brilliantly paced and ends with a real cliffhanger: “We look at each other and think, / ‘I know what you did’.” Brilliant stuff.

JoAnne is holding a reading to launch The Fat Plant on Sunday 12th July, and I’d really recommend that if you’re in the area — or hey, even if you’re not — you should go along! The venue is Thomas Tosh in Thornhill, Dumfries and Galloway, and the reading begins at 3pm. As well as some fantastic poetry, drinks and canapes are also on the menu!

And if you can’t make the launch, you really ought to check out JoAnne’s blog. You should also really think about getting your hands on a copy of this book — it is an absolutely bargainous £5 — which you can do by emailing titusmckay@aol.com for more details.

I’ll leave you with the collection’s final poem, “On my death”.

On my death

When I die do not celebrate my life.
I have done enough of that myself.
No, you may: weep; wail; keen;
gnash teeth and rent garments
and be very sad that I am gone.
That is fitting.

Know of a poem, poet, project or resource that needs some promotion> Drop me a line to claire@onenightstanzas.com!

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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Featured Poet Rowena Knight interviewed.

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Tell us about your poems.
My poems are nearly always very personal: they’re usually about my relationships with my friends, boyfriend, and self. Honesty is central to my writing, and I’ve had to accept that whenever I do a reading or submit work to magazines I’ll be giving people a lot of information about myself. The last time I read my work I covered my last break-up, self-esteem problems, my religious background, and my dad issues, in less than ten minutes. I’m envious of people who can write poems about interesting moments in history or imaginary characters, but I don’t feel like I could be genuine when writing about something like that.

I tend to focus quite closely on the body, and lately I’ve been writing a series of poems centred upon specific body parts such as navels, earlobes and hip bones. I’ve also been challenging myself to write about love, which I think is a really difficult topic if you’re trying to write something original and interesting, and on painful personal topics, where it can be difficult not to be melodramatic or to shy around the issues. So it doesn’t look like I’m going to stop shouting about my personal life any time soon…

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was seventeen, so about three and a half years. It feels like a lot longer though – I can’t imagine my life without it. The prominence of poetry in my life is always increasing. I began by scribbling a few things in my journal at school, and didn’t really know why I was writing or think about how I was doing it. Winning a commendation in the Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award in 2006 gave me an enormous confidence boost and encouraged me to write more. Now I’m constantly writing and reading, attending poetry readings, and sharing my work.

Do you have any publications to your name (apart from this one)? What’s the next stage for your work?
I’ve been published in a few magazines run by students in Durham . I’ve also been in the ezine Pomegranate a few times, and I’ve been in Read This, Angelic Dynamo, Spark Bright and Rising magazine. I also have work forthcoming in Cake, the Cadaverine and the Glasgow Review. I think the next stage is to just keep reading my work to audiences to improve my confidence and reading style. And I’d be pretty excited if I had work accepted by a well-established magazine.

What do you think is your biggest poetic achievement to date?
Being accepted for the 2008 Tower Poetry Summer School was very encouraging for me. They take poets from the age of 18-23, and I found out about it when I was 18, so I’d planned to apply every year for five years. I was accepted on my second try, and I was over the moon. I also recently found out that one of my poems made the top 100 shortlist for the Mslexia competition, and as it’s an international competition I’m really happy about that.

What’s the best thing about writing poetry? And the worst?
The best thing has to be the moment of writing itself. Few things are as exciting to me as when I get a new idea for a poem, and the lines start developing in my head. I know it’s a total cliché, but I love it when I’m writing and the rest of the world fades away, and I feel like the idea is taking shape and looking good. The next best would be reassurances that the hours spent writing and editing aren’t for nothing – the Foyle commendation, having work published, the Tower School , encouraging rejection letters. Having strangers compliment you after a reading is amazing too. I am always so grateful to people who do that.
The worst… Well, looking at a poem the day after you wrote it and realising that maybe it’s not so great after all can be quite depressing. But I’d have to say the worst is how isolating it can be. Until recently I didn’t know anyone who wrote poetry; I can’t really bring it up in conversation with friends or family because they wouldn’t know what to say. And it can be very difficult to improve your writing when you don’t know anyone else who writes.

Got any suggestions for young, upcoming poets?
It’s hard to come up with something valuable that hasn’t been already been said here, although the three tenets (read, write, share) can’t be stressed enough. If I could give advice to my seventeen-year-old self, I would say:

1. Don’t hide too much in metaphors. They can be a great way to express ideas, but they can also be an easy way to avoid coming to grips with a topic.
2. Don’t keep your work to yourself because you’re afraid people might not like it. Poetry is a highly subjective art form, so there will always be people who dislike your work – it doesn’t mean you’re a bad poet.
3. If you find it difficult to find poetry you enjoy, then shop around until you do. Don’t feel embarrassed that you don’t know anything about the “great” poets — a lot of people don’t know anything about contemporary poets.
4. Consider carefully everything you write — every metaphor, simile, word, even punctuation. Think about whether they are appropriate to what you’re trying to say, whether they fit with the rest of the poem, whether an idea actually works. When I look back at my older poems I think the biggest weakness is that I didn’t think about these things, often I simply wrote what came into my head and consequently there’s a lot of clichés or ideas that simply don’t work if you take a moment to think about them.

Who/what influences your poetry?
As I said, my friends, boyfriend and family have a big influence – they send me to the heights of happiness and the pits of despair, so they’re what I write about most. Talented young poets like the winners of the Foyle award and the poets in the tall-lighthouse’s “Pilot” series are a source of inspiration, because their poetry is often so original and brilliant they prove that age has nothing to do with writing fantastic poetry. I recently bought Jay Bernard’s pamphlet from the tall-lighthouse website and some of her ideas and imagery are stunning. I also love reading Kathryn Simmonds and Catherine Smith right now. They both take everyday topics and shine a light on them, showing how extraordinary they are. Their poems show that you don’t even have to leave your front door to find something beautiful.

Kid Cygnet

I wore my uniform long after the school bell’s
startled cry. That sagging material became my skin,
I couldn’t tear it away.
The years were narrow corridors
lined with carefully-placed legs,
Coke bottles making hollow sounds
as they hit my head. Each day hoping
my friends wouldn’t have to peel
another crusted sanitary towel from my back.

There were more ways to get things wrong than I could comprehend.
Hot pink ankle socks, Woolworths shoes
with heavy soles. I didn’t understand
how the other girls could fly through school
- their swan-white Topshop shirts, weightless laughter-
when I couldn’t find space to lift a wing.

They took off when the bell rang.
I remained, searching each bathroom mirror
for change, stealing bits of sky
from the windows.

But today I have looked down
to find a single brilliant feather.
And found the sky pressing
against the glass, so close
I could reach out and clench the clouds,
swing myself into the air.

Want to see your poems featured here? Drop me a line to claire@onenightstanzas.com!

(Photo by Sasha of www.birdsflyphotography.com)

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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