Drawing a Diagram was launched at Blackwell’s bookshop, Sheffield on 6th April.
My great friend and co-editor Noel Williams gave a brief and very kind introduction, and he and another dear friend Kate Rutter also read a few poems just before the interval.
Some of my poems are not the easiest to grasp on first hearing, so I included some visual aids to illustrate some of the poems – here’s me with a dodo reading ‘On the movements of bodies’, the first poem in the collection. I think it was particularly useful for the poem entitled http://biochemical-pathways.com/ !
Look at this marvellous hand-painted silk scarf! My wonderful husband Ian Badcoe had it made to celebrate the launch of the book – it illustrates part of the book cover, one of the exquisite drawings of Radiolarians drawn by the naturalist Ernst Haeckel.
It’s been fun selecting the poems and shuffling them into some sort of order, and then sticking my neck out and asking people if they’d be kind enough to write a short blurb for the cover. I’m deeply gratified that three poets I’m very fond of agreed immediately!
I was delighted to hear that I’ve had a poem accepted for Under the Radar, the magazine of Nine Arches Press. I’m particularly pleased as Matt Merritt is one of the editors and I enjoyed his book ‘The Elephant Tests’. I don’t send out a lot of submissions, partly because I don’t write very quickly (or at least produce poems I’d feel happy to publish) and partly because I like to select the magazines carefully. Is that better than a scatter-gun approach? Depends what you’re aiming for, I suppose. It does mean I end up in the period of the Long Wait quite often. We sometimes get submissions to Antiphon that say ‘I’ve had over 500 poems published in magazines’, and I wonder if the excitement of that 487th publication is as great as the first few, and whether, really, I’d ever write that many poems I feel the world must read. I’m a bit reluctant for Antiphon to become just another notch on someone’s bedpost – but you can never quite tell where a poem may catch an editor’s attention, and be just the thing they were looking for.
Since I was fortunate enough to win Sheffield Hallam University’s UniVerse poetry competition last year, I was invited on to the judging panel for 2015, and I’ve also been invited to read at the presentation ceremony on 23rd April. Tickets are available here if you’re in the vicinity.
I’m in the middle, here. The tall chap at the back is James Giddings, whose poem was chosen as the winner this year. He’s a good poet, interesting and unusual.
I was placed second or third in previous years too, so I’ve got four up on this wall now…
…and part of the prize is a great copy of the canvas to take away. They’re lined up behind my computer, reminding me that sometimes people like poetry.