Yes, I know, it's been ages since the last blog update. But as it seems like I begin every new entry with an apology, I won't bother this time. Moving house is a mighty old chore, especially if you're moving into a new place that needs considerable volumes of work done to it - I'm typing this entry right now from the one inhabitable room on a laptop with a newly cracked screen (if anyone has one they'd like to sell to me, you know where I am) while builders have left their bricks, concrete, wood and rubble in the downstairs area.
Still though, I'll be out of the chaos on the evening of Thursday 26th November and doing a gig for the Girlfriend in a Comma spoken word night, alongside musical comedian and poet Cecilia Delatori and award winning American poet Molly Rivkin. It all kicks off at 8pm at the Full Stop Cafe at 202 Brick Lane, E1 6SA. If you're on Facebook, you get the simple and easy diary details here.
It's been a long time since my last gig as well, largely due to various bits of chaos (good and bad) that took over my life from the Spring right through to this Autumn. I've given some material a test run at Poetry Unplugged and it felt very, very unusual to be back out doing poetry again, while at the same time reminding me why I enjoy it so much. I complain and whinge as much as the next poet about the fickle waves of fashion in the scene, but the reality is that none of it really matters that much - twenty years down the line, just getting a chance to mess around with new ideas is still simultaneously nerve-wracking and thrilling.
It's been my absolute pleasure to review Emma Hammond's latest collection "The Story of No" for the Morning Star newspaper. Like any other daily newspaper, The Morning Star doesn't have room for 1,000 word dissections on new poetry collections, which is a deep shame as this a book I would have been fully able to give that treatment to. Early drafts of the review sailed way over the word limit. The poets I tend to respect the most are those who have a very recognisable style and world-view of their own, and Emma has that in spades - her influences always seem to be as much rooted in the 60s/ 70s poetry underground as they are modern spoken word and satire, and it meshes together unbelievably effectively.
You can read the review here, and you really should buy the book.