A Long Time in Poetics
What a week it has been! The retreat, the review and almost the revealing of the new book. And, to boot, the sun was blazing all day yesterday.
I returned home on Sunday from the retreat tired and not exhausted but enriched. It felt like a significant weekend in ways that are hard to articulate but, as with my time at Greenbelt the year before last, it quietly reinforced the sense that this work of poetry is, for me, also a spiritual act of service. It also seems to be unlocking deeper engagement with, and contribution to, the life of the Northumbria Community through my literary knowledge and talents in exciting ways (of which more in due course). For that, I’m profoundly grateful.
Then, of course, there was the wonderful review in The List. Here’s a photo — I’m still pinching myself. The print version is slightly cut down from the web one, but I could hardly have asked for a better boost. The received wisdom is that it’s harder to get coverage for a second collection than a first, but this review means that coverage of The North End of the Possible is already ahead of that for The Ambulance Box: print reviews of the latter didn’t emerge until a couple of months after publication and none were in a magazine with such a broad readership.
The review could also not have been better timed, because The North End of the Possible arrived in the distributor’s warehouse on Thursday and, therefore, is now available to buy! I haven’t yet seen a copy myself, but it won’t be too long before I hold one in my hands. If the review made me grin from ear to ear, the arrival of the shiny new book will have me grinning from ear to ear and back again.
And, to boot, the sun is shining again today …