New Year letter


Dear Ant

Looking forward to 2015 it’s tempting to think it will never reach the heights of 2014.

Big mistake. Huge. And you know it.

Everything you did, or, more accurately, received, was a gift, you know that, surely?

Look at what really happened in 2014, those moments when you went to that silence space beyond words and society, where poems begin to make themselves known, and you will see that you will need to protect them fiercely in 2015, which already looks busy.

A word about this: unless you do protect this place, I mean actively, you will soon find yourself running dry and operating out of unconscious devotion to feedback rather than the joy of creation.

Look again. That moment in the campervan in Cornwall reading Ilhan Berk. That timeless sense of excitement and discovery, beyond words, beyond everything.

You don’t need to be in Cornwall to find it (as if you needed reminding). The opportunity for finding it is right here, now, under your hands. In your breath.

Or that time in the bookshop when you bumped into a John Ashbery poem, didn’t recognize it, and rushed home to find it on Amazon only to find it had been there on your shelf all along?

It’s a decision of the will I am talking about. Plus the confidence to believe that you both have and contain enough resources for the moment in which you find yourself, at any given moment, not just those special ones in the spotlight (whatever that is), or semi-public view (such as it ever is on planet-poetry).

Do not misunderstand me, those more public moments are lovely, joyful, even. I do know that you love them. But don’t mistake them for the real job at hand, which you know very well is to disappear completely inside the call of the call to create. For which you need silence. And trust. And the back of an envelope.

It’s very simple, you see. Attend to that this year and you will be fine. Reading because you want to, not for public display. Not for what it looks like. And writing that way, too. As you said once, as if you were not afraid.

As if you were not afraid.


As ever with all my love and prayers

Anthony x


  1. As always, straight to the heart of what truly matters – a great idea to write to oneself like this and a wonderful post for New Year’s Day. I think I might just write myself a letter now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear AnthonyThank you for all your posts in 2014 and for this beautiful one to begin 2015. I have shared the link on FB but don’t seem to be able to add a comment on your blog though I have liked it of course (under stroking the air). Many blessings to you and yoursEileen

    For information about my poetry collections Stroking The Air andThe Space Between Rain please visit my website

    To purchase a copy ofThe Space Between Rain and read an extract from the book please visit

    Date: Thu, 1 Jan 2015 12:15:59 +0000 To:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for saying so. I hope the commenting thing will not stop you commenting again in the future. Hopefully it will sort itself out in due course.
      As ever with thanks


  3. Thank you for this Ant. ‘As if you were not afraid’ needs to be my mantra for 2015. In fact, I have had the words ‘Do not be afraid’ written on a little card and placed on my nativity shelf at home over Christmas. Your post has reminded me that I need to pay real attention to this – in all aspects of my life! Time for another coffee chat?? X

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Anthony…as always your words go straight to the heart – the heart of the matter and to my heart. Thank you. I send love and blessings and the words Naomi Shihab Nye inscribed in one of my books of her poetry, “Travel well.”


  5. Love this Anthony.
    Great insights: ‘operating out of unconscious devotion to feedback rather than the joy of creation’, ‘the real job at hand … is to disappear completely inside the call of the call to create’, write ‘as if you were not afraid.’ Thank you so much for your wisdom, your words and for caring enough to share them with us. I will carry them with me this year. Warmest, Rionach

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A wonderful post, Anthony. I discovered your blog in 2014 and am so glad I did. I hope 2015 is a creative one for you,
    Happy New Year!


  7. Thank you for your insightful New Year post. Your self-knowingness will help you keep that vital balance between the public you and the need for a quiet, creative space you.


  8. I’ve always liked the letters that you write to yourself. This one is especially lovely and right on. What you write about public readings and writing will resonate with every writer. They certainly speak to me. I wish you a beautiful, healthy, and creative year.


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