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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Exciting news - MA dissertation complete, and poetry books forthcoming!

Hello people, and welcome to the first blog post of the new school term. I have been somewhat lax in updating this blog, the main reason being simple laziness. However, there are two rather more salubrious reasons for my lack of blogging: (a) I have been working on two children's poetry collections, for which I have rather excitingly been offered a contract by Bloomsbury (of Harry Potter fame), and (b) I have been completing my MA dissertation.

Since 2014 I have been combining my day job (visiting schools) with studying on the new Writer/Teacher MA at Goldsmiths. I have been doing modules across the English and Education departments, and have turned my attention, amongst other things, to short story writing, an academic study of the state of contemporary American children's poetry, and a qualitative analysis of the impact of poets' roles in schools. My dissertation was supervised by Stephen Knight, and is a collection of poems intended for an adult audience, along with a critical commentary. I am pleased to say I handed it in today. Unlike my children's poetry, I've no idea whether much (or any) of it comes up to a publishable standard. Here is a poem from the collection. Enjoy!


I never knew him. He died
of lung cancer before I was born.
He was an alcoholic too.
He passed all the exams
at medical school, but not
in the correct order, so he never
qualified as a doctor.
His wife never knew this.
He used to get up early
every morning, put on a suit,
say goodbye, and wander the streets
before going home at night.
Meanwhile his wife would sit inside,
unstitching the labels
on his Marks and Spencer jumpers
and sewing Harrods ones
in their place. She’d listen
for his key in the big oak door,
and when he returned,
without a word, they’d put
on a record and dance a dance,

the same one every night.  

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