It’s National Poetry Day

… and I’m featured in a BBC Radio 4 programme called ‘Blood, Sweat, Tears & Poetry’ today at 11.30am. I’m talking to presenter Patience Agbabi about my residency at Bishopsgate Institute. Then tonight I’m heading off to the Whitechapel Gallery for Plum – an excellent fiction / live lit night. I am giving a talkContinue reading “It’s National Poetry Day”

Blood, Sweat, Tears and Poetry

Today I spent a couple of hours at the Bishopsgate Institute being interviewed for BBC Radio 3 by Patience Agbabi and her producer Simon Evans. It’s for a programme called ‘Blood, Sweat, Tears and Poetry’, broadcast for National Poetry Day on 9th October at 11.30am. This year’s theme is ‘Work’ so they’ve been interviewing poetsContinue reading “Blood, Sweat, Tears and Poetry”

Litvinoff at Guardian

Very interesting article at Guardian Online about legendary East End Jewish writer Emanuel Litvinoff. Below is a clip of me reading a poem, Improve Yourself, at Bishopsgate Institute. The poem is based on an extract of prose from Litvinoff’s Journeys Through A Small Planet (1972; recently republished as a Penguin Classic).

New Bishopsgate poems online

A selection of poems written during my residency at Bishopsgate Institute are currently on display in the building. They are also online here, with explanatory notes. The poems are: The Archive Wake Up Lazarus The Coder Queer things in Egypt The Blackpool Mile Mr Bradlaugh’s Fishing Tackle Bishopsgate, in elevation Bishopsgate, from Bishops Square MrContinue reading “New Bishopsgate poems online”

Tall Buildings

Last night I attended a talk at Bishopsgate Institute entitled ‘A Brief History of Building Tall in London’, given by Susie Barson of English Heritage (I missed the second half, which was given by Rosemarie MacQueen). Barson’s talk was an engaging, if necessarily brief, overview of building tall from medieval to modern London. She spoke well on the Tower,Continue reading “Tall Buildings”

Featured in the East London Advertiser

Fame at last! The East London Advertiser have published today a full-page article about my residency at the Bishopsgate Institute. The article, by Victoria Huntley, includes two poems, ‘The Archive’ and ‘Queer Things in Egypt’. Here’s the clipping (also online at the Advertiser’s website). Snappy title, eh?    

Digging around in Bishopsgate

I spent this afternoon digging around in the Bishopsgate Institute‘s archive, which is housed in the basement of the building. Much of the material is stored in heavy-duty grey boxes with labels like ‘London Collection 3/5’ and ‘ICA Minutes 192-208’. You’ve just gotta start somewhere, so I pulled out one of the London Collection boxes. Inside, lots of whatContinue reading “Digging around in Bishopsgate”

Poetry on demand

Easier said than done, this commissioned writing lark. I’m used to letting language lead the way in a spontaneous, organic fashion; the ‘poetry on demand’ approach is trickier and demands a lot of patience, although it is, to a degree, time-limited. I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to come up with in my residencyContinue reading “Poetry on demand”

Megalithic Software, and other curious tales

The Bishopsgate Institute’s library is the more surprising the further you delve. I spent a good few hours there yesterday, reading and writing. Well, scribbling is probably a more accurate word. The library spans two large rooms – gorgeous, proper bookcases and lots of wood everywhere. A frosted glass partition separates a staff area in the second room.Continue reading “Megalithic Software, and other curious tales”