Poetry update

Over my poetry-related blog How I Learned to Sing, I’ve added a Reviews page, to stop me bragging/complaining each time a new one comes in. (There are some good ones, and some I feel deliciously ambivalent about – ‘hugely underrated’ is definitely a compliment, but is it a good thing to be?)

I’ve also just posted with news of two upcoming readings. The first is on Sunday October 6th at the Voodoo Cafe in Darlington as part of the exciting sounding Jabberwocky Market festival. (Darlo is standing up for itself these days artistically, with the Festival of Thrift this weekend on the very arts-supportive (office/industrial) estate of Lingfield Point.) The second is in Durham on Sunday 20th October at 12.30 with my fellow Read Regional 2013/14 poets Cara Brennan and Tara Bergin As ever, if you happen to be in striking distance, it’d be good to see you there.

The picture above is a little Twitter discussion Oliver Mantell did on one of the poems in How I Learned to Sing, something he does to (with?) a poem some evenings. As a special ‘freegiveaway’ here’s the poem he was tweeting about:

If I said I was reading

The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan

whilst watching The X Factor,
having cooked tofu, broccoli and garlic noodles,
with the sake I brought back from Japan,
the morning spent recycling cardboard
and the afternoon at the gym to watch
the football results happen on Sky Sports,
North End throwing away an early lead,
and that I was somehow caught in the bosom
of my family in the warmth of the evening,
would you raise a glass in quiet praise
or reach for my mum’s favourite question
to enquire in the most neutral of tones
whether I was bragging or complaining?

If that, or the blog should you stray there, makes you want to buy a copy of How I Learned to Sing, you can do so direct from Smokestack or via Inpress, or indeed email me and I’ll send you a signed copy in return for a cheque.