Goodbye to being a poet

For reasons I cannot go into here, I am finishing 2019 in a tired frame of mind. (I am not just talking about the election result and its implications for Brexit.) While I have been thrilled to publish and promote two new books, I end the year somewhat in deficit in terms of the deep personal space that I know I need in order to get any (new) writing done.

I have found myself wondering recently whether I will ever write anything again.

Having taken some advice from some long-lasting writer friends, I have therefore decided not to devote any energy to this blog for the first four or so months of next year.

I have already prepped two or three posts for early January (another look at some poems of the New York School) -but after that I shall be disappearing for a blogging holiday.

Thank you to everyone who has commented here, liked a post, bought a book. I am deeply indebted to you for your support.

I wish you all a very happy Christmas, and a fulfilling and peaceful 2020. I’ll see you sometime in April or May.



  1. Wishing you well, Anthony. May you find what you need and benefit from the space and time. We look forward to reading what you bring when you return…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wishing you all the best, Anthony! May this time be fertile and nourishing for you.

    I teach people how to kick tobacco and transform their newly smoke-free lives. I’m looking ahead to a big upswing and a very steep learning curve. Gearing up for that. Joanna NicciTina Free

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Pam
      I hope you are doing well and are safe.
      I was wondering if I could ask you a favour? (You can say no!) For a while now I have been wanting to put together a series of guest blog posts on James Schuyler and wondered if you might like to contribute a piece? There isn’t a deadline or a word-length or a particular topic that I’d like to see you cover. It’s pretty open really. Would you be interested? I also noticed yesterday that 2023 is the centenary of his birth. It has made me think that this might act as a springboard for a book on him to celebrate that anniversary. What do you think? With very best wishes as ever, Anthony


  3. Thank you Ant,
    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts and shall, of course, miss them…..but ‘you time’ is far more important. May the break you take bring you peace and renewed inspiration in abundance. Have the merriest of Christmas times and a very happy New Year to you and Tatty and all you hold dear.
    Much love dear friend,


  4. Ah, these posts will be missed and you will be missed! Fare well, and take care, and take all our good wishes with you. Thank you for all your generosity. Look forward to seeing you the other side of this hiatus.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good for you Anthony, for making a change. I often think my lack of living and life experience, my reluctance to find and embrace new people, new challenges and to take risks and face fears sets some limits on what I can do as a creative person. I wonder at what age I stopped thinking I could do a handstand up against a wall – I spent half my life upside-down under the age of 10. I wouldn’t be surprised if you end up taking a much longer break – I found it takes a lot longer than you would ever imagine to start living and finding yourself again. I quit teaching at the start of 2009 and I’m still trying to understand how my inner and outer worlds need to work in order to feed and sustain each other. I hope you can find the energy and enthusiasm to generate and embrace the opportunities this break might afford you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks, Anthony. That rest sounds wise. I have trouble in keeping up with you but can do some in the New Year on old posts. Best wishes, Jeremy Harvey Taunton

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you Anthony for all the inspiration you’ve given me since I’ve been following your blog, having participated in a poetry school workshop you ran in Exeter.
    I’ve especially enjoyed the poetry you’ve posted that has introduced me to many new poets.
    I have to say the title of this blog alarmed me initially, but I was reassured that you would still be writing, if not blogging. Phew!
    Take care of yourself and enjoy whatever you decide to do.
    But mostly many many thanks for the time and effort you’ve put into your posts.
    I hope you will see this, mostly if I try to like a post or comment the page doesn’t react.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hello Anthony,
    Thank you for all the poets you have introduced me to that I hadn’t come across before. I appreciate this very much. When I first read your post, the word ‘fallow’ dropped into my head. Then I thought of a fallow field and I suppose this is my way of understanding what you’re saying. Sometimes we need to rest and clear the clamour/glamour of everything to make space for something new. However, I’m going to quote Robert Frost and hope I’ve got it right “Being a poet is a condition not a profession.” I don’t think that you can not be a poet as I feel it is your soul and heart and therefore how you see everything. It’s who you are in the world.
    I wish you Joy, a Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

    Liked by 2 people

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