What you read in 2017

Dear Friends

Here are the blog posts which you read most often in 2017, according to my WordPress stats:


Lifesaving Poems: This year’s top ten

Mary Oliver, The Journey

Pablo Neruda, The Dead Woman (La Muerta)

U A Fanthorpe, The Atlas

Simon Armitage, To His Lost Lover

Derek Mahon, Everything is Going to be All Right

Ted Hughes, Wind

Seamus Heaney, Night Drive

Naomi Shihab Nye, The Art of Disappearing

Brendan Kennelly, May the Silence Break

Rose Cook, A Poem for Someone Who is Juggling Her Life


Lifesaving Poems: some of my personal favourites (which you also like)

Ann Gray, mercifully ordain that we may become aged together

Ted Kooser, A Rainy Morning

Denise Levertov, The Secret

Marin Sorescu, With Only One Life

Jo Shapcott, Era

Edwin Morgan, One Cigarette

Naomi Jaffa, Some of the Usual

Thomas Lux, An Horatian Notion

Sharon Olds, Looking at Them Asleep

John Ashbery, Down by the Station Early in the Morning


The posts you read most this year were: 

On cancer as a ‘fight’ -in which I dared to criticise Barack Obama’s war metaphor of cancer, and got trolled for my trouble

Not a ‘thin’ year for poetry -a roundup of my favourite poetry from 2017

Back to school -my riff on the end of the holidays, impostor syndrome, and seagulls

No One You Know -a new anthology with Unbound -crowdfunding my new poetry anthology with Sue Dymoke (thank you to everyone who has pledged their support so far!)

On not being Anthony Wilson -I haven’t always been who I am. (Which of us really is who we are?)

Poet-detective -a meditation on Wallander, Frasier, and Alzheimer’s disease

What really matters? -a Teachers as Writers blog post: what do you want to teach when you teach writing?

The next swim -on rediscovering a new habit from my teenage years

Writing in the cracks -where do I get my writing done? Here.

Cured -on being told I was ‘effectively cured’ from lymphoma, eleven years after the fact


…and my very favourite piece that I wrote in 2017 (even though you shouldn’t have favourites -thank you to the 157 people who read it)

Smith -on my school friend Phil Smith: cricketer, anarchist, teacher


Thank you to all my readers. I do not take your support for granted. Looking forward to seeing you in 2018, with more posts, including news of new books and projects



You can find details of how to pledge support for No One You Know here


Photo: from Elizabeth Frink, Transformation, Hauser & Wirth


  1. Dare I say this might be the best gift any of us receive this year? I’m delighted to have unwrapped this one, Anthony, and I send grateful thanks to you for sending it. The Rose Cook poem went straight to my heart, but so many other gems were also included. I chuckled about the trolls after your good post about “war on cancer.” I had a similar experience after I dared to post that I didn’t have great confidence in Hillary Clinton (even though I’m a Democrat). I lost friends over that one. Still we soldier on, those of us who dare to speak up, and we are a company I’m proud to be part of. I wish you and yours the very best for the holidays. And again, thanks.
    Molly in San Diego

    Liked by 1 person

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