Best of: March

March was a more usual reading month for me, although I didn’t read as diversely as usual – lots of novels. The more I read, the harder it is to pick the three top books, but I like that. It makes me think more about what I’ve read, and forces me to articulate what it…

Best of: February

I didn’t read as much as usual in February, but what I did read was mostly excellent so it didn’t matter that I didn’t have many on the list to choose from! I’m about halfway through several books at the moment, so I feel like I already have a good start on March. Best in…

Best of: January

There are ‘Best Of’ posts and articles all over the place at the moment, and I always find myself wondering what reviewers’ criteria are. Most likely to re-read? To recommend to a friend? Most moved by? Most excellent writing? I now forgive them all for not specifying, because when I decided that I’d try a…

2018 Reading Wrap-Up

It’s that time of year again. I’ve actually been meaning to write this post for days, but I’ve been waiting for the sun to come out so that the photo would be a bit better – hah! Good thing I’ve got a new phone now that’s better in low light. In 2018 I read 138…

Two Poems on the Beach at Sunset

Welcome to another #TwoPoems! I’ve always been interested in the way poems on the same topic can be closely related or wildly different. Today’s post takes us to the beach at sunset. I’m never far away from a piece of writing with water in it, especially if it involves a coastline, and Elizabeth Bishop’s ‘The…

Two Poems about Birds of Prey

Hello! It’s been a while since I posted, as I never really intended this to be a blog for general chat, but a way to keep a record of projects. I’ve wanted for a while now to start a close-reading series, and I hope this will be the first post of many. I’ve always been…

2017 Reading Wrap-Up

Several times in the past I’ve tried to keep track of my reading, and then stopped after a week or two. I really wanted a record, not so much to know how much I’d read, but to have some kind of memory aide for when people asked ‘what did you think of …?’. But I…

Beginning, stopping, going again

This week I began writing my long poem/thing (I really don’t know what it’s going to look like). I’ve been ‘working on it’ for weeks, in the sense that I have had ideas and phrases going round in my head, but on Wednesday, after a lot of laundry and other procrastination, I sat down and…

Right in the Middle

When I first started writing, I thought I was going to write a novel. I began (as we often do) on January 1st, having selected a couple of useful books for Neil to wrap for me for Christmas. I hoped to finish a first draft by the end of the year, and it seemed sensible…

Head Back in the Game

Last time, I talked about how I was setting out to find my poetry head again and I’m glad to report that it’s working. I took a complete break from everything for a week – unplanned but definitely needed. We have been to Estonia for a long weekend for a friend’s wedding and the books and…