A Writer’s Decade

Recently, I bought a dozen doughnuts from the baker and was given 13 instead of 12. A baker’s dozen. Apparently, bakers in the Middle Ages were afraid of being beaten for ‘cheating’ their customers out of bread. Strict punishments would be handed down to any bakers who were found skimping. So, to avoid these penalties,…

How Poetry Burns

This blog post could be called so many things: how time burns, how love burns, how loss burns. I have stepped away from this blog for 18 months to attend to various fires in my own life – some destructive and some restorative. I will be returning, slowly, to say more about these experiences over…

Begin as you mean to go on

It’s the third week of 2018 and I am finally starting to feel human again after an extremely busy period and a long-standing chest infection. Despite the occasional cough, I am now getting back to a healthy routine of early nights, early rises, poem writing, editing, reading and more. Soon I’ll be teaching again –…

To San Jose with Thanks & Poetry

I am sitting in bright sunshine under a blue clock tower in Prague but all I can think about is San Jose: the thick humidity cloaking its streets, the shelves and shelves of poetry written in a language I cannot yet reach, and the school I visited on the outskirts of the city—the Institute of…

Thank You Poetry Lovers!

Three months ago I launched my debut poetry collection, More than you were. Since then, somehow, I have signed and sold 100 copies. I still can’t believe it but I’ve checked my math again and again – it has happened. More have been added to carts on Amazon or sold to bookshops, but I know…

First Stop: Costa Rica

For weeks, I have been asking myself how to write about my book tour. Or, more specifically, the first stop on my book tour: Costa Rica. It has been two months since watching the mountains fade from my tiny-plane-window-view and, still, I am questioning. How can I articulate the magic that happened there? How can…

Launched

My favorite definition of the verb ‘launch’ is “to send or shoot (something, such as a rocket) into the air or water or into outer space”. When anyone talks of launches, I think of NASA countdowns, young children building homemade rockets, my New Year’s Eve friends setting off fireworks. Two weeks ago, I had my own…

Lessons

After my father died, my childhood memories came flooding forward with a force I wasn’t expecting. I remembered his swooped back hair, his over washed jeans, his too loud laugh. I remembered watching the same films with him over and over again, lazing on the couch during hot summer days, threading worms onto our fishing lines. At his…

GUEST POST: The point of the first question

During my teaching exchange in Finland, I met so many bright, passionate and talented people. But there were two women in particular whose stories and creativity really spoke to me. I have asked both of them to write guest posts for my blog about themselves, their fathers, their writing and more. Please enjoy the first…

Warmth & Writing at the University of Jyväskylä

During Cardiff University’s reading week in February, I could be found on the University of Jyväskylä’s snowy campus in Finland. Both institutions are members of the European Association of Creative Writing Programmes (EACWP) and formed a link in 2015 with the first teaching exchange between Dr. Shelagh Weeks and Terhi Forssén. I was delighted that my visit…