·I have to start this with some wonderful recent news. Helena Nelson of HappenStance Press would like to publish a chapbook selection of my poetry in 2010 or 2011! If you already know about HappenStance, you’ll be aware of just how much of a gigantic compliment this is. If you don’t already know about this chapbook publishing enterprise, then it is time you did! That Nice Mr/Ms Google will help you out there. So, now back to the other tedious biographical nonsense: I am an Australian aged 64. · I have lived most of my life since 1972 in England, with interludes in Italy and back in the Land of my Birth. · I have been a teacher (Secondary, of English, English as a Foreign Language History, Geography, General Studies, Drama, Religious Studies, Politics, Sociology and Italian) for the whole of my professional life, in Australia, England and Italy. However, owing to the attentions of Viral Encephalitis in 2007, I have retired from the Chalk Face, which has allowed me to devote myself more fully to the "Craft of Poetry". · I presently live in the sunny West Riding, which is possibly my spiritual home, given that my surname seems probably to have descended from the Lords of the Manor of Keighley - though, I have to add in the interests of completeness - not the title or any wealth thus accruing... I have recently begun again to pester editors in earnest, having had a number of poems published in what seems to have been a former life. Publication Record Between 1990 and 1996 I had 36 poems published in the following magazines: Scratch; Pennine Ink; Inkshed; The Frogmore Papers; Poetry Nottingham; Acumen; iota; Orbis; Staple; Envoi; Iron; The Rialto; The North. I won: Third Prize of £75 in the Formal Section of the Orbis competition of February 1992, with a sonnet. Another Third Prize in the Southport Competition of June 1992, netting a princely £15. Then there was a Highly Commended (£5 voucher) in the West Sussex Writers’ Club 1992 National Poetry Competition. A bit of a high point was the Second prize in the Tees Valley WRITER Summer Competition in December 1992. For what it is worth, I was told that ‘We Take a Short Drive…’ was ‘worth a prize’ in the 1992-3 Staple Open Poetry Competition, and it was published in Staple 26, earning a further £5. In April 1993, a ‘Commended’ for ‘Walling’ earned publication in the anthology of the Ripley Poetry Association competition. A ‘Highly Commended’ in the August 1993 South West Poetry Competition earned a further £10 for ‘Crystal’. More recently, poems have been accepted by 'Dream Catcher', 'Acumen', 'Poetry Nottingham' [now 'Assent'], 'Sarasvati' and 'Candelabrum' - the 'Sarasvati' acceptance of six poems, now becomes four, with the other two to be held over to appear in a later edition of 'The Dawn Treader' - another Indigo Dreams Press publication. Which is good. Oh... and 'Queen Pin' is to be Poem of the Month here on the Ever Excellent Write Out Loud... Which is VERY nice... And I discovered last night at the Albert in Huddersfield [still the National Capital of Poetry] that I missed an appearance in an Albert Poets Anthology in the early nineties out of my Publication Record. Omission corrected - sorry about that folks... And, though it may not be of much relevance on a Poetry website, I have had a story accepted by 'Scribble' magazine, though I have also learned that I didn't exactly win the Biggest Little Short Story Competition in the World which was run by the Eastern Writers' Group in Melbourne. Hey ho - the Balance of the Universe is restored. And - having just started to look more seriously at opportunities to read and perform, with an interesting appearance at Manchester Central Library as part of the Valuing Older People Festival, I am definitely on the lookout for any gigs at all. The Speakers' Corner meetings in the Yorkshire Terrier pub in York appeal immensely, as did the recent WOL Readaround at the Hole in the Wall in Hebden Bridge... a whole new world...?
QUEEN PIN As metal moves on metal was how she remembered them, her parents – a brass hinge on a brass pin – the oils of zest and sex must once have made them quiet and so harmonious in their movements, but appetite dulls with feeding, oils thicken, clog with dust, finally dry completely up: then his restless swinging round her fixed point of home produced the screeching background to her childhood, adolescence and later drove her search for more plastic friends, companions, lovers – against her will, though, she found she soon wore them out, upright, unyielding, bright and brassy as she was – in her own parched maturity she stood proud and tall, all shining invitation, fixity waiting to be hung onto. SILLY GAMES This is what I know best of all – how to second-guess and stuff, how to muck about behind the ball, single, double, triple bluff – I can hold my own with anyone, in any game – I’ve worked it out the basic rule is ‘don’t get sucked in’ – you know, it really is a simple art – don’t over-rate the ‘state of play’ – as your last game you’re are only as good, you know – the best way really, to enjoy yourself is mainly to ignore the stupid consequences – it only clouds the issue if you get all het up about defences – just have some fun, and better yet… of course you know that this is just big talk – you’re better still at silly games – take your kisses… no! Don’t! Just give me more, Girl!
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