Tuesday 29 March 2011


But only by one publisher so far. I still have my fingers crossed. (And I'm okay with it. Honest.)

Not long now until Craig and I depart for Japan. We booked before the recent events, of course, but have decided to go anyway as a kind of show of support and solidarity and trust. We're flying into Kansai airport near Osaka (which has been changed from Narita, Tokyo) and this is an airport built on created land in the sea, which may be an experience in itself. As well as Osaka, we're visiting Kyoto, Nara (for my birthday) and (hopefully) Tokyo. I can't even begin to imagine what it's going to be like over there, so mostly, at the moment, I am excited about the flight. I think this is my brain's way of making sense of the trip, but I'm embracing it anyway. Craig doesn't think I'll be able to sleep (I think he's wrong..) and so will be exhausted upon arrival and will need much rest before embarking on adventures (...but he may be right). But at least, by then, I will have experienced the screens.... in the BACKS OF THE SEATS! (perhaps a nap upon arrival will do).

As well as an exciting trip to write about, I have also been inspired today by a friend at a writing project I'm involved in (Well Versed - working with teachers to aid their teaching of creative writing to children) suggesting that I try translating German poetry into English. I'm not sure about this suggestion, as I find it hard enough to fit English poetry-writing into my everday routine at the moment, but maybe there's something in it. Durs Grünbein, who I heard reading at StAnza (where I was also reading this year!), is an amazing German poet that struck a chord with me, but I had never heard of him until I saw him read (and Don Paterson read the English translations). How do you find out about foreign authors not published in the UK? Durs Grünbein is, in translation, and I hadn't even heard of him. What about those who aren't? A puzzle.

I have taken to walking everywhere in Vibram Five Fingers. My feet feel stronger. I feel like it makes me more atuned to what's going on around me, more attentive to the detail of things. Always good for writing, I think, to have that extra sensory thing going on. There is a lot of broken glass around; the other day I ran underneath a flitting bat at dusk; my core needs more strength. I have also signed up for the Great North 10k and the Great North Run, and will be doing both barefoot style. Perhaps this, or more particularly, the physical slog of training for this, will inspire some running poems - I don't think I've written one yet..

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Collection submission

is a terrifying process, and now complete (phase 1, at least). The only part of getting the submission together I really enjoyed (this is separate, in my head at least, to writing the poems) was lining up the stamps reeeaaally neatly. The shuffle of envelopes landing on a pile of envelopes, finally beyond your grasp, is both a relief and a wrench.

Nothing will come of this, I'm sure, but I've crossed my fingers anyway.