Westhafen #Poetry

On the last day of our latest visit to Berlin we changed trains at U-bahn Westhafen and discovered this visual feast. Artists Françoise Schein and Barbara Reiter re-designed the station in 2000, using the 1948 text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,  juxtaposed with quotes from Heinrich Heine in German and French. For more  information on the artwork and the project click here.

One more reason to love Berlin.

 

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Forward March

I nearly fell off my chair when I read the email from those wonderful people at Structo Magazine, who had written to say they were nominating my poem, Lunch in Ars en Re, for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. I am so glad I ate lunch in Ars en Re that day… it was a very fine lunch too- in fact here is a picture of it…

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A Fool for Bristol

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The picture above is a photo of a photo in Bristol’s wonderful M Shed, which I visited recently for the first time with my son, when we were staying with friends for the weekend.

I lived in Bristol from 1997 to 2005. I moved back to London nine years ago today. I loved living in Bristol – my love was for the city as much as it was for my ex, my friends and life there. I was hopelessly head-over-heels for Brizzol…

I did not expect to see this photo, lump-in-throat time, as I stood for a moment on my own, everyone else busy looking at the Bristol Dinosaur or playing on the old omnibus. The shop in the picture is my old corner shop, Solanki’s at the end of Gwilliam Street, where I used to live, in Windmill Hill. The kind of shop where you would pop in for a paper early on a Sunday morning, and queue up to pay behind someone who was buying 20 fags and a two litre bottle of White Lightning. Solanki’s, a legendary shop in its locality- and now making its mark in the museum.

In all the years I have been feverishly writing long pieces of psychogeographical memoir, poems and stories, I have only very briefly touched upon my time in Bristol, which was mostly very happy. I came away from this visit knowing that in the next couple of years I am going to finally do the writing I started to plan over ten years ago, when I was still living there. It won’t be this year but might be next. Yer’ tis…

Moving on…

I enjoyed the Small Stone exercise but have been so busy with other writing and poetry-related activities that it has fallen away to the roadside as I have jogged on, trying to keep up with myself for the last month.

I’m about far enough away from the experience of my last year at university to have the beginnings of some perspective on it. A vague way of saying that I think I have come through the worst of the MFA-dissertation-and-teaching-qualification madness I succumbed to.

The dust is settling after a total of five years of full time higher education and it feels good. For a long time afterwards I was rushing everywhere, panicking about not getting things done on time, until one day, quite recently, I realised I can set my own agenda now. There is, at last, more time for other things apart from writing assignments.

I feel happier than I have done in years.

Apart from that though I have been feverishly filling up that time with writing projects….of course… More about those and other stuff soon.

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The Imaginarium, Millenium Square, Brizzol