Digital Writer’s Diaries: Mid September notes from our digital writer in residence, Sue Wallace-Shaddad
I have had a bit of a break from my usual routine over the last few weeks, spending time with family in Belgium. I still managed however to send in some entries to online magazines. I also received some rejections, par for the course! I mark those poems as ‘unsuccessful’ rather than ‘rejections’. They will go back into the mix.
I finished writing a short review of Mary Mulholland’s ‘What the sheep taught me’ for Sphinx Review\ Happenstance Press. The pamphlet has recently been published by Live Canon. Do join the Sphinx Review mailing list if you want to read this and other reviews of new pamphlets (you get a round up every month or so).
Environmental writing (in the sense of politically angled) is not my strongest suit though I often write about nature. I had a go at writing two environmental poems for the Poetry Society’s Stanza competition however, having bent the ear of my husband who is deeply involved in climate change issues. I have not yet read him the poems!
I have been reading ‘Modern Poetries 1: Cornish Modern Poetries’, an anthology of poems which is being launched by Aaron Kent, Broken Sleep Books on 17th September. I am particularly pleased that my fellow Poetry School/Newcastle University alumna Anne Symons (of Truro) has a poem featured alongside many well-known poets based in Cornwall. Unusually, the anthology includes poems in Kernewek without accompanying translation so as to promote the Cornish language. Just reading the words with their different sounds takes me another land and coast.
I am now busy promoting a poetry reading I am running on 22nd September in a local French-bistro-style café, The Green Room Café. I and my invited guest, Nicola Warwick, will read our poems about Suffolk. Nicola has a new collection out with Maytree Press, ‘Naming the Land.’ I am very lucky that the café owner is keen to encourage local writers and artists by generously making her space and staff available. The first event I ran earlier in the summer on a French theme went very well.
I have had the pleasure of poet Elizabeth Cook’s company recently. She was the speaker at the annual tea party for Suffolk Poetry Society members which is held in the beautiful house and grounds of a family involved in setting up the Society (now celebrating its 70th anniversary). Elizabeth spoke on the theme of ‘Divining: poetry, prayer and memory’ which was very relevant for the week that the nation was mourning Queen Elizabeth II. She mentioned the powerful role silence can play, for example at the end of a reading.
At the very end of the month, I will be down in London for a workshop with Glyn Maxwell who is tutor for the Poetry School MA programme together with Tamar Yoseloff. I have signed up for three workshops with him before Christmas. Other attendees are also alumni from the Poetry School so it will be great to catch up with a number of friends.
The weather has finally cooled, not before time. I have had a rather interrupted routine this month but am just about managing to keep tabs on everything!