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Peter J Donnelly

Updated: Sat, 15 Apr 2023 01:57 pm



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Peter J Donnelly lives in York where he works as a hospital secretary. He has a degree in English Literature and a MA in Creative Writing from the University of Wales Lampeter. He has been published in various magazines and anthologies including Dreich, Southlight, One Hand Clapping, High Window, Black Nore Review, Ink Sweat and Tears and Obsessed with Pipework. He was a joint runner up in the Buzzwords open poetry competition in 2020 and won second prize in the Ripon Poetry Festival competition in 2021. His chapbook The Second of August has recently been published by Alien Buddha Press.


The Second of August I’d never heard of Finzi till my grandad took me to a concert in what I now know was St Wilfrid’s Church. We got lost on the way back as well as wet. He knocked on a random door at 11 pm to ask the way. It turned out to be the home of a doctor whose daughter he’d taught – he knew everyone in Harrogate. It’s strange how I remembered it last night going to bed, then today discovered it was exactly nineteen years ago; that Finzi once lived in the town, studied at Christ Church where Grandpa’s headstone lies. Had I not had an interview that day for a job I didn’t get, I wouldn’t have stayed with Grandpa for what turned out to be the last time. When I switched the radio on yesterday and the clarinet concerto in C minor was playing, it would have meant nothing to me. I don't know what I'd have bought my mother for her sixtieth birthday, but it wouldn't have been that CD.

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