Monday, 4 May 2015


One of the minor delights of working as a Medical Engineer in the NHS was the opportunity to slip off if I’d been sitting down too much at the bench. Save up a few jobs and say I’m just going to Ward such and such and I could have a stroll, a chat to people and get back a bit later refreshed.

One of the problems of writing now is the sitting down without an excuse to move. I always fancied getting a lectern. In fact, I still do. But I did find a sort of solution towards the end of last year when, of all things, I’d put a small table on top of my dining ( and writing ) table to get it out of the way when I vacuumed. The combined height is just about right although the surface area could be improved. Vacuumed.

I use it for two tasks. In the morning I can lean on it, hold it and lean back, stretch my legs and most usefully it can be used to lay down my A4 sheets, pencil and rubber. In the evening it does duty as a place to put my laptop.

I was feeling rather pleased with myself until I discovered that loads of other writers have written standing up. Rather confusingly not many seem to be writers that I like.

However, I then found that there are other ways of solving my problem. There are actually companies that make stand up desks with or without drawers. I presume an online search would find something to suit and joy of joys I’ve heard of some that come with a foot rail.

I have seen an adjustable computer desk although I can’t remember where it was. And I don’t really like designed computer desks as most that I’ve seen are useless.

It’s possible also to make a desk that fits to the wall. I have thought about this but I don’t really have the space unless it folded up and I think I’d find that irritating.

I just had a peep on the internet to check on any articles on standing and writing and blow me there’s dozens. In the second one I read the writer actually said ‘that having a stand up desk is now hip’. Hip.

Oh, well.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

judy brown at Conti

reponse to david perman

letter to acumen from david perman

Buy this

Buy this – it’s terrific:

Julie Maclean’s latest collection, inspired by a research intensive to Scandinavia with Deakin University, was published in October and is available from Poetry Salzburg as part of its pamphlet series with samples of poems from the collection here:
Reviwed here:
The launch in Oz will be at;

Sun Nov 9 at 3pm 
Paton Books 
3/329  Pakington Street

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Guernsey Int Lit Fest

Guernsey International Literary Festival must have some of the best prizes in the country. The first three get cash but they and another three plus winners of certain categories such as school, Channel Islands residency also get their poems on pop up posters at the airport which will be moved to places round the island during the year plus all those then get their poems on the buses for the year.

And that’s not all. The winning three poems also get a painting based on their work by professional artists and this year the art teachers involved in schools on the island decided that art students would also interpret their poems so in a gallery they had around 10 paintings based on a poet’s work.

The four days of the Festival are packed with lectures, workshops, music and film. Well worth a visit next year.

It also has Herm Island aka Paradise three miles of its coast.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014


from Preston Poets' Newsletter


A tentative glimpse of Spring so welcome to this quarter’s Newsletter with the hope that there will be sufficient poetry and poetry events to keep everyone happy.

Linda France will certainly be happy. She is the winner of the 2013 National Poetry Competition with her poem entitled Bernard and Corinthe. It is the account of an erotic encounter between a repressed man and a flower. The first two verses:

if a curtain is always a velvet curtain
onto some peepshow he never opens,

it’s a shock to find himself, sheltering
from the storm in a greenhouse.

The reason for mentioning this is not the actual poem. Some people have criticized it, others like it, mostly ( as far as I can find ) people don’t seem to care one way or the other.

What I am concerned about is the subject matter. For the last few years the National Poetry Prize has been won with poems about Clothes from the Great War, Virginia Woolf, a Robin, something about time past, a father, something about looking through a window.

This is the National Poetry Prize. Presumably this means that this is how the state of British poetry is seen as viewed from the rest of the world and somewhere there’s a quote suggesting that poetry reflects the underlying state of a nation. I just can’t find that quote, if anyone knows it could they let me know.

So, on an earth that has Climate Change, Peak Oil, water shortage, food shortage, wars, the list goes on, the concerns of British poetry revolve around flowers and Robins.

Perhaps I should put some parameters on that paragraph. There are poets who write about such global matters but they are not those being taken up by what can be termed the Poetry Establishment. I’m not talking about the really top poets like Carol Anne Duffy or Simon Armitage but the ones below that level who have been to the same Universities and share the same beliefs in terms of poetical values and also control the purse strings and access to the publishing houses.

Did I enter the National Poetry Competition? Yes. Is this sour grapes? Maybe. Is there any truth in these thoughts? I think so, how about you.