What is a lifesaving poem?

Tomorrow I will be taking part at the Wenlock Poetry Festival in an event with Roz Goddard. We will be … More

Why do it?

because of the words and because of the books because of the woman in the anorak at the swimming baths … More

On writing and illness

Reading Arthur W. Frank’s astonishing At the Will of the Body  recently has given me pause to reflect on the relationship … More

Open letter to Arthur Frank (on reading At the Will of the Body)

Dear Arthur Frank I’m writing to say thank you for your extraordinary book At the Will of the Body. It is … More

Standing up to cancer?

I am not completely stupid. I know celebrity culture is here to stay. As my children frequently remind me, ‘It … More

Poetry and illness

Medicine The black hair of my Chinese doctor gleams like combed ink as he leans over his desk, with quick … More

Influences: Jörn Cann’s art

  This is Jörn Cann. He was my ward doctor at the haematology unit where I was treated for non-Hodgkin’s … More

The Year of Drinking Water, seven years on (free download)

Seven years ago I published The Year of Drinking Water, a pamphlet of poems, about my experience of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (Exeter … More