Archives for the month of: November, 2013


My poetry pal Andrew Sclater featured in this year’s awards with two poems: A Veteran of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) gives the Boys ice-cream and The Scotswoman who Married into the Home Counties. I love these poems so went to support him in the Queen’s Hall, Hexham.

I enjoyed listening to and watching poets of all ages from adolescence to adulthood. I particularly liked Isla Anderson’s performance of Sobriety. She was the only poet to go off page.

I entered the pre-performance drinks and nibbles looking for Andrew. I’d like to say I gate-crashed but in fact was welcomed by organiser John Halliday and his wife Clare. I was told to eat and drink so I did. I also sneaked back in at half-time for more juice.

John has run the awards since 2009. Next year Newcastle Uni’s Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts (NCLA) will oversee the competition

Here’s my favourite Bail Bunting photo: Beware Bull

basil bunting


david almond

Newcastle’s mini book festival, Books on Tyne runs from 28th November to 1st December. The festival is run by Newcastle Libraries in conjunction with the Lit and Phil and events take place at both the L&P and City Library.

Featured authors include David Almond, Michael Chaplin and Ann Cleeves. I will perform with my Pieces from Eight chums on the final day, Sunday 1st December. The ticket price includes tea and cake!!

For more info and to book visit

Pieces Von Eight 001

My new book, Swifts Screech & Circle in the Afternoon Sun has just come out. It’s my second collaboration with artist and printmaker, Anne Proctor. The book features a poem by me plus hand drawn, hand printed and hand embossed images plus pages of scanned original art by Anne. The book celebrates the rediscovery of lost and much-missed creativity on the Costa Blanca.

Swifts Screech can be purchased at our Tynemouth Market Stalls (I’m there most Saturdays and Anne is there every Sunday) or via Anne’s Moonkwayk Studio shop on Etsy


Anne’s work also features in Northern Footprints, Northern Print’s annual exhibition in Ouseburn which celebrates the studio’s talented artists. The exhibition runs from 14th November to the 21st December.

My next poetry reading is in central Newcastle on Sunday December 1st as part of the Books on Tyne Festival. I’m performing alongside poets featuring in Pieces from Eight, the pamphlet published to mark the 40th anniversary of Iron Press. The event takes place from 1.30pm in the City Library’s Bewick Hall and also features female acapella group Henwen. The £3 ticket price includes tea and cake!

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