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Nether Springs and North Ends


This week, I’m busy preparing for a poetry retreat I’m leading at Nether Springs, the mother house of the Northumbria Community, this weekend coming (12 to 14 April). I’m excited about this because it’s the first extended opportunity I’ve had to put together poetry and spirituality. My previous visits to Nether Springs — always as a participant in a retreat, rather than as leader of one — have been powerful moments for me, so my hope and prayer that this one is similarly significant for the retreatants. I believe there are still places, if anyone wants to make a last-minute booking!

I don’t pretend to any profound degree of spiritual wisdom. We will be reflecting communally, in a lectio divina sort of fashion, on poems by a diverse group of writers from Donne and Herbert right up to one from Michael Symmons Roberts’ wonderful new collection Drysalter, which was published only last week. The wisdom we draw on will be collective as we all bring our thoughts and experiences to bear on what these poets have to say and seek to hear the whisper of God’s voice among us. (Oooh, I think I’ve just written some of my opening remarks for the weekend!)

I’m also excited about the launch of my own new collection, The North End of the Possible, which is imminent. Rob A Mackenzie and I will be launching our new books together at the Scottish Poetry Library again on Saturday 4 May at 1 pm. Details are on this webpage, where you can also register for the event, which is free. I’m sure I’ll be reminding you again!

A little before that, on Monday 29 April at 7 pm, I’ll be reading at the wonderful independent Newcastle library, the Lit & Phil. It’s just me this time, and I’m thoroughly looking forward to visiting that amazing building and catching up with some Newcastle friends. That reading is also free. There is a Facebook event for it too.

Information about these events is also currently on the Diary page of this website if you want a handy place to look it up again.

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