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…

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…

GUEST POST: Grieving graphically

Last week I posted my first guest blog by Elisa Auvinen, a Finnish writer and PhD student I met during my teaching exchange in Finland. This week, I would like to share the second guest post, written by the talented and engaging Katja Kontturi. Like me and Elisa, Katja also lost her father. We spoke about this…

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…

Dignity

Not many of us think about our dignity on a daily basis. In fact, I’m not sure I’d truly considered what mine meant before being invited to develop two creative writing sessions on the topic for a project run by Making Minds and Interlink. Before planning these workshops, which were aimed at people dealing with…

Solstice Festival

After freelancing seven days a week from September to May, I look forward to taking back my weekends each summer. For me these days mean lots of tea, new poetry collections, and as much writing as I can manage. Often, I also squeeze in a few walks, documentaries and drinks with friends. They allow me…

Letting Go

My best friend growing up was a painter. She had long wild hair and enjoyed a command over colors that I never had. I always admired her and, once, when she was abroad at an art college in Rome I sat in the extension of her parent’s house and got lost in her canvases –…

Writing Our Lives

Both Anne Lamott and Sharon Olds taught me to write what I know. Before I read their work I did this by composing journal entries and secret stories which I hid in a blue tub under my bed. After I read their work I continued to write what I knew, just more often and publicly,…

Counting Pheasants

Following the success of our Landscape Writing series, Emma Beynon and I are currently booking a beautiful venue in Pembroke for our first weekend writing residential. Held in October, this retreat will give up to six participants a chance to write, read, walk, and explore the countryside with other writers. Full details will be posted shortly!…