Monday, 13 December 2010


Grey Hen Press have just brought out a beautiful anthology of poems about birds called "No Space But Their Own"; I have three poems in it, and very short poems they are too! On Saturday the 11th December, Lynn Alderson, Joan Poulson, Gina Shaw, Jo Haslam, Joy Howard and I all gave a reading from it in Todmorden library to a very satisfactory audience who were packed in on every manner of chair the library could assemble, and still there weren't enough!
It was very pleasant, the reading accompanied by plentiful mince pies and wine, and each of us had a generous 12 minutes, so that as well as readings from the book (mine took barely two of those twelve minutes - I do somewhat specialise in short poems!) we could read other poems as long as they included birds, even a mere "token" bird. Well, this was something like my idea of heaven, a whole afternoon spent listening to poems about birds and they were excellent poems too. It was every bit as good as an afternoon spent watching birds!

Anyone who likes birds would really love this anthology. And it has illustrations too, done by Emma Stansfield. One of my poems about the heron sits opposite one of her spare and exact sketches,and since my poems are also spare, they suit each other perfectly!

The bird in my photo is a fan-tailed dove that just happened on my roof during snowy weather and it looks like a snow-bird.

Woodcock seem to be appearing out of their seclusion this weather: the poet Matt Merritt mentions a sighting on his blog of a woodcock seen in Leicester, and another poet, Chris Kinsey, has seen one in Newtown, Powys. Do they only appear to poets? Well, this poet has never had the luck to see one. Yet...

Joy Howard, who runs Grey Hen Press, deserves great credit and admiration for her extraordinary energy in bringing out anthology after anthology, and there are two more in the pipeline.
There are some truly amazing women around and I have been lucky to be published by three of the most energetic women I know: Helena Nelson of Happen Stance Press, Jan Fortune-Wood of Cinnamon Press and Joy Howard of Grey Hen Press. And all by pure happenstance too.

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