Happy New Year! I wish everyone a creative and safe 2015 and that your resolutions are full of, well, resolve. Mine on here are all poetry-based and the first is to write more posts on here. My blog statistics for 2014 tell me that I wrote one post all year! One post. I couldn’t quite believe it but in my head I was always going to revive ‘Heckle’, always going to but, you know, I think I’m somewhat daunted by all those amazing poetry blogs out there, wondering what on earth I would have to say all though there’s always so much-too much -chatter going on in my head.
So I’ll say it again, Resolution Number 1 is to write more posts on here . ‘Heckle ‘began as a NapoWriMo experiment-a poem a day for April. Each poem was posted with an accompanying image. Sometimes the poem was written in response to the image, at other times,the poem came first. In any case, it was an ekphrastic project-poetry written in response to ‘art’-in the broadest sense.
Which brings me to Resolution Number 2, to complete my PhD. I’ve said this publicly on Facebook and I do think stating it aloud helps. I am in my 6th and final year of a Creative Writing PhD at De Montfort University where I work. Now many of you will know, this is some undertaking, especially on a part-time basis with the contending pressures of LIFE. In it I propose-and, hopefully, show, that processes and practices from the science of holography can lead to new understandings of ‘space’ in poetry, notably my new ekphrastic poetry and I also explore how the figure of the ‘flaneuse’ can be used as a model in doing this. I’ll say more about it all as the days unravel.
It is only relatively recently that I have been sending out poems to publications and competitions again after a substantial lull. As you might expect, there have been acceptances, rejections, and some poems disappearing into black holes. But Resolution Number 3 is to keep on doing it.
Resolution 4 is a renewal of an ongoing one and something which is second nature-to buy and reads loads of poetry. I am avid and prolific and don’t really know where to start in mentioning collections and individual poems I have loved over the past year or so, new, old, rediscovered,and read anew. That happens doesn’t it? Sometimes a poem you have read before, perhaps in a superficial way, suddenly lights up with your new attention.
Resolution 5 – to continue being an active-actually, if possible, even more active, member of a poetry community, foremost of which is as one of the volunteer organisers of Word! at The Y Theatre in Leicester, the longest running spoken world, open-mic night in the East Midlands which takes place on the first Tuesday of every month. More on Word! too as the days go on, and, hopefully, other events in Leicester like Pingg..k and Shindig. I haven’t been able to get out to these as I would have liked. I must try to change that.
I thing five resolutions is enough. I can roll a lot into each one. 2014 was a good year poetically, creatively-its places, London, Leicester, Sheffield, Bristol, Aldeburgh, to name the main ones. I can only begin 2015 with resolve to keep the flame burning, and to wish the same for you.
I did a Tarot spread last night -this is the card that denotes the future. Fingers crossed.
And to conclude, some lines from John Ashbery’s long ekphrastic poem, ‘Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror’, from the collection of the same name.
” … All we know
Is that we are a little early, that
Today has that special, lapidary
Todayness that the sunlight reproduces
Faithfully in casting twig-shadows on blithe
Sidewalks. No previous day would have been like this.
I used to think they were all alike.
That the present always looked the same to everybody
But this confusion drains away as one
Is always cresting into one’s present….”
Indeed. Happy New Year’s Day. Happy New Year.