Why do it?

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

The most read Lifesaving Poems of 2014

Here are the most read Lifesaving Poems of 2014. For the first time I have been able to compare last … More

How to be a writing tutor

Thanks to the vision and generosity of Jean Sprackland, between 1999-2001 I had the privilege of working with the great … More

To failure!

I listened to the most wonderful radio programme about failure the other day. It featured Anne Enright talking with clear-eyed … More

Books that changed me in 2013

I began the year with two books which helped me slow down and breathe: Christian McEwen’s World Enough and Time and … More

Poetry highlights of 2013

Two readings stood out for me in 2013. The first was at an arts centre in the middle of nowhere … More

Gratitude

I’m grateful to you, you see. I wanted to tell you. –Raymond Carver (‘For Tess’) A kind, wise man once … More

Lifesaving Poems: Charles Simic’s ‘My Shoes’

It was the best of times. Jean Sprackland and I were tutoring the dream group at Totleigh Barton for a … More

Lifesaving Poems: Matthew Hollis’s ‘Wintering’

It was the best of times. Jean Sprackland and I were tutoring a poetry course at Totleigh Barton, the Arvon … More

Losing my ambition

Towards the end of my treatment for cancer in 2006 I had one of the most profound conversations of my … More

Lifesaving Poems: Tom Raworth’s ‘8.06 p.m. June 10th 1970’

As I say in my previous blog post, I owe my knowledge of ‘8.06 p.m. June 10th 1970’ to the … More