My poem ‘Mrs Smithfield’ has been selected to appear in The Wait Poetry Anthology – especially pleased as all proceeds for the book go to Cancer Research 🙂
My promise to post Worcestershire Literary Festival photos has been on the back-burner as I’ve been a bit busy looking after a friend who broke her ankle while on hols.
Here is a gallery of photos taken at the LitFest 2014—it gives a flavour of the fabulous time we enjoyed 🙂
Click on the images to see them full size.
A soothing blue cumulus of cranesbill clusters beneath laurel, the petals grey veined, stretching for the sky under the sagely green canopy. Before such beauty there’s the sweet clingy stuff – the sticky burrs that blight dogs’ coats later in the year – and an empty bed with last year’s faded, crumbling woodchips, the scent lingers still. Look again, the bed is not so empty… a crumpled weed control membrane lurks partly hidden by compost, held down by red brick, butting up to decking. Shining silver, a meshed pit shows off yellow ragwort on which cinnabar moth caterpillars’ chomp.
Polly Stretton © 2014
The latest edition of my collection of poems Girl’s Got Rhythm is out. It has a gorgeous new cover, thank you Black Pear Press, and a different layout.
It was delightful to be given the opportunity to update Girl’s Got Rhythm, a collection of my poems first published 2012. Like many poets, as I read and re-read my work I can’t resist tinkering to improve them – it’s not often that I’d be bold enough to call a poem ‘finished’ – though as some will recognise, lots of them are finished as they form on the page.
I hope you enjoy reading my collection – it was wonderful when the first edition was published, and I’ve loved creating this revision.
It’s available here. See links below.
My series of poems, in an elegant pamphlet (thanks to Black Pear Press), is from the viewpoints of those who loved or were somehow influenced by ‘the beautiful boy’. I imagine them gathered around the foot of his deathbed, remembering and commenting on his life. Each individual, from his mother to his doctor to various poets, have their own poem about him.
I’ve loved the Henry Wallis painting – shown on the front cover of the pamphlet – since I studied the pre-Raphaelites many moons ago – it’s the inspiration for the series. And I was asked to do a potted history of Thomas Chatterton – it appears in the final pages.
There’s a limited first edition of 50 copies and I’ve signed each one (phew!).
Now you can get your copy here. Because it’s a limited edition, it’s available only here or direct from my publishers Black Pear Press. Also because it’s a limited edition and not available on Amazon, we’re missing the usual review facility so we’d be very grateful if you’d leave a review in the comment box below. Thank you.
‘Chatterton’ will be performed by writers at 42 Worcester 30th April 2014, at Coach House Writers 1st May 2014 and by writers from Worcester Writers’ Circle 12th June 2014.
Award winning novelist Carrie Rubin said, ‘I finished Chatterton… really wonderful, and I enjoyed learning about this tragic lad. The poem by “The Mother” about broke my heart… only Polly could get me to read a collection of themed poems. And I’m so glad I did!’
Reviews are welcome in the comments or ‘Leave a Reply’ box below.
District Governor Jan Harris held an outstanding conference in Bournemouth last weekend. I co-hosted the ‘Oscars’ evening, an occasion where Jan acknowledged district members who have worked with her throughout the Rotary year.
We had a fabulous evening, and as you can see, I was surrounded by handsome men – Oscar and Oliver 😉
A beautiful poem from a beautiful woman, my dear friend, Catherine – and what a talent! What say you, fellow bloggers?
LADY OF THE LANDSCAPE: TRANSIENT MOTIONS
(All Things Must Pass)
People scratch you. Attempt to break your willow skin.
You will not scar. You’ve come too far.
You wake what is within.
The words amaze at all these days, he pulls
your petticoat. Like a child’s eyes packed
full of lies, your ‘best friend’ come to gloat.
Keep the ascent my mountain mother,
words caught from seabeds in your
You house the collective psyche of
all that might and might not be.
You form the ancient avenues of rivers
rolling through. You are the violet voice
of jay today and tomorrow’s pigeon coo.
You run the day that lies ahead with
celestial composure, the nimble nimbus
in parallel working to enclose you.
As if from nowhere, dappled star shine
spreads itself on winter’s woodland floor.
Complexity compels you, transient
patterns you adore.
Catherine Norris © 2013