'Prepare to be immersed in the heat and vibrancy of Florida's natural world, full of such sensual detail that to read it is to breathe it in.' -Jo Shapcott [review of Greyhound Night Service]

The Long Write

With all good intentions to keep this blog more regularly now that I’ve finished the PhD, I find myself writing here about the past three weeks instead of writing during the three weeks that have past. C’est la vie, especially during one of the coldest and strangest winters I can recall in a long time. 

Just before the ‘beast’ of snowfall hit the UK at the end of February, I packed my bags with the long-organised-list of only the precise items I would need, and set off on a new adventure: ten weeks in the US and Canada. 

Not a holiday, not just a family visit, this year the stars aligned in a most intriguing way and I ended up being accepted for two key things that I had applied for at the end of 2017: a month-long writing residency at the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences, and a place as speaker at this year’s International Conference on Narrative in Montreal. Only two and a half weeks between the end of the first and the start of the second, so only one transatlantic crossing required to attend both.

On the eve of starting my residency, I am excited about all the things I might accomplish in such a vast amount of time: starting work on my second poetry collection, finishing the book proposal for my post-thesis research manuscript, writing the paper for my panel at Narrative, and of course hiking around the mountains of northern Georgia where I will be staying on 600 acres of land with rivers, forest, and meadow.

With all this in mind, I left home ready for what lay ahead, the unknown and the probably known. So it was with a sense of amazement and joy that I also found myself with an offer to publish a poetry pamphlet only recently completed. Now, three weeks later, I already have the mock up draft of the book, sent to me in the US via post from Exeter by the amazing Andy Brown of Maquette Press. The speed and concept of getting my pamphlet so quickly ready for print is mind boggling, and I’m so pleased with the copy that’s ready to go. 

Here is a taster blurb for the pamphlet: http://andybrown5.wixsite.com/maquette/2017-new-titles

More on the writing residency coming up soon…