'The dry rustle of hands shoved into coat pockets is an act of protection, hugs are replaced by nervous nods, and to step out into the crisp sunshine more than once is to break the law. Social media is a flickering buzz of news articles, virus-related memes, and screenshots of Zoom meetings, a glass of stockpiled Chablis tilted wryly towards the camera. The line graph of confirmed cases skews alarmingly upwards. 'We are living in strange and unexpectedly challenging times. In between breaking news updates and frightening Covid-19 statistics, there is a sudden influx of articles trying to get us...
So many lovely comments have been flooding in for Christina Thatcher's second poetry collection 'How to Carry Fire' over the weekend. Look at this blazing spread in the Western Mail Weekend supplement on Saturday by Jenny White. ‘The resulting work cements Thatcher’s position as a distinctive, powerful and unerring authentic new poetic voice - a stall she first set out with More Than You Were, her 2017 debut collection which explored the legacy of her father’s addiction and death. 'While many of her poems deal with gritty topics, they are also strikingly beautiful in the purity of the love they convey. There...
Back in 2012, I was asked to design and run a blog-writing course for a community organisation in South Wales. Although I was no expert, I said yes! and started reading blogs every day to prepare. I loved the versatility of this form and feeling connected to people through their posts. It wasn’t long before I decided to start my own blog, Collecting Words, where I shared my experiences as an American writer living in Wales. I posted about the ups and downs of freelance projects, celebrated successes and included lots of poems and photos.
Since then, my little blog has changed enormously—existing now as a part of my professional website. I still read blogs on everything from true crime and British history to funeral directing and PhD life. However, the blogs I return to most are about books. I love finding out what people are reading and seeing the transformative power of literature in action. Perhaps this is why I am so excited to take part in my first blog tour for one of my own books
At the Free Verse Poetry Book Fair in London today? Pop along and say hello to our dear poet Kate Noakes who is selling Parthian books all day and then reading at The Poetry Café this evening! She's a star! The Fair and the daytime readings are from 10.30am - 4.30pm at Conway Hall. Daytime workshops and evening readings are at The Poetry Café - the evening readings are 6.30 - 8.30pm.
by Sydney Whiteside
The second day of the 2020 Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival opened on Saturday morning with the New Poetry Showcase, a spectacle of new poetry from authors with recently published or forthcoming collections. Featuring five writers, both debut poets and those on their second or third collection, the showcase was a brilliant start to a dazzling Saturday of poetry in Cardiff’s Temple of Peace.
Cardiff poet Roberto Pastore was the first to read, sharing poems from his new collection Hey Bert, out now with Parthian. Pastore’s poems burst with energy and humour, highlighting the beauty in the everyday and reminding us of our ‘all too humanness’. Among the poems read was ‘Heart Poem’, a beautiful look into memory and the often impossible expectations we place on ourselves.
Kittie Belltree, who was born in south London and now lives in Wales, followed with readings from her debut collection Sliced Tongue and Pearl Cufflinks, also out now with Parthian. Her poems explore domestic trauma, history, and mother-daughter relationships with paralyzing detail and wit. Belltree closed her reading with ‘Magician’s Daughter’, a beautifully haunting piece about sexual abuse that makes whimsical diction dangerous and twists words into unexpected and wonderful combinations.