Saturday, October 8, 2016

Podcast: A poet's life in Borth with Rychard Carrington

This podcast comes from Borth, home of poet Rychard Carrington. Rychard explains why he decided to leave Cambridge, his home for 30 years, and live in a village on the coast of west Wales. Rychard explains how this small community has become a haven for many artists, nestled between mountains and the sea in a remote and beautiful part of the country.

"There's all sorts of artists but it isn't like there's an elite or underground. The artists are very much a part of the mainstream of the village culture."

Rychard shares some of his poems and sets a prompt to write a poem about another poet. There are also poems on Dave Daggers' prompt from the last show to write about an inflatable Elvis Presley.

Scroll down to read a poem by Rychard

Albion My Way

Of all one hundred and ninety-six countries in the world
You were allocated to me
So when the team called England scores a goal
I'm supposed to shout 'whoopee'

I ate your chips until eventually
I came to hate the word 'quintessentially'
Tomato ketchup, HP sauce
Custard for the second course
Pork scratchings for the morris dance
William the Conqueror go back to France
When Queen Victoria finally dies
I'll admit I prefer French fries

Convert your feet into Shakespeare's meter
Sherlock Holmes, Geoffrey Boycott, Blue Peter
Kenneth Williams, Sting, Boadicea
Arthur Scargill, Charles I, Edward Lear
English breakfast, there's bones in your kipper
Union Jack, Jack Tar, Jack The Ripper

We live in hope but few true glories
Half of us vote for the fucking Tories
There's great scenery in England
And in other countries too
There are good people in England
And in other countries too
All the depression and mediocrity and crime
I've witnessed have been in England, each time

What I have taken I now give back to you
And no damn foreigner is going to spoil it
Plant a flag in my patriotic deposit
English shit in an English toilet

God save the Queen and the English Band
Captain Birdseye and the ship he sails
Enough merry stiff upper lip England
I don't believe your old wives' tales
Adieu boo sucks to you dear England
I am going to live in Wales

Rychard Carrington

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Podcast: Dave Daggers mixes music and poetry

Poet, photographer, musician and host of RARA open mic night Dave Daggers introduces some of his poems set to music and sets a prompt to write about an inflatable Maralyn Monroe or Elvis Presley. You can also hear my response to Bridget Leggy Tanner's 'fit' prompt from the last episode.

Dave is playing on 11th August in Cardiff and you can hear more of his music and poetry here.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Podcast: Bridget Leggy Tanner on writing a poem a day for NaPoWriMo

Bridget Leggy Tanner talks about writing a poem a day for National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) with the help of my book: Poetry Non-stop. Bridget's commitment and willingness to try writing about anything generated an impressive collection of poems about everything from rabbits to slot machines. She shares some of her poems and after a month of taking prompts from me, she challenges me to write a 'fit' poem. The prompt is open to all as always and I encourage you to submit your poems as comments below or by email. You can also hear my response to Clive Oseman's 'Family' prompt from the last podcast.

Here's another of Bridget's poems written from the prompt super hero or heroine. I'd like to see what Marvel would make of this creation!

Wheelie woman in her wheelchair
Appears before you from anywhere
Understands and empathises
She does really care
If you cross her, beware of her stare
She immobilises ‘baddies’ with a glare
Circles them in her wheelchair
Which has secret powers
So you had better beware!
Of the Steely Wheelie Woman
In her wheelchair

For more tips on writing new poems every day read this article or buy the book:

Monday, April 18, 2016

Show: 17.09.08 With David Francis and John Guy

Here's another show from the archive featuring a terrific Cambridge poet, John Guy, and a poet and musician from further afield. David Francis from New York dropped in during a UK tour to chat and play a few tunes.

The Beastie Boys - Sabotage
Melt-Banana - Cat Brain Land
Gorillaz - Fire Coming Out Of The Monkey's Head
The Psychotic Reaction - Hand-Me-Downs (made me the man I am)
Moth Conspiracy - Turbo Funk
Alex Brooke - Prapatang Grooves
Dan Deacon - Piggled
David Francis - The Penultimate Actual
Keith Dersley - Pulp
Tom Adams and Dan Jeffries - Iceland
Justin Grounds - Bird Wings
Hamell on Trial - John Lennon
Deerhoof - Green Cosmos
22-Pistepirkko - Don’t Play Cello
Alice Wroe - Sunny Inside
Lydia Mendoza - Palida Luna
Ivor Cutler - One at a Time
Dog Latin - The Way to The Way Back Home
Melted Rubber Humans - Coming Down to Ground

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Podcast: Clive Oseman on performing poetry

Clive Oseman tells us how he went from writing haiku to performing poems that cover a full array of styles and emotions. He shares his work and challenges listeners to write a family poem. There are also poems on fear, as set by Renn Hubbuck-Melly on the last edition.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Poem: NUMBERS by Clive Oseman

New podcast coming up featuring well-travelled Swindon-based poet Clive Oseman. Here's one of his poems as a taster.

As the numbers get bigger
barriers grow higher.
Some are real, ultimately insurmountable
others, illusions amounting to prison walls
confining you to your own time zone,
your mind trapped in better times
when you felt part of it all, finger on the pulse
and all before you.
It's a fallacy of course.
The tracks of memory are long,
will stretch to anywhere life takes you.
The scenery will change,
let it challenge your senses anew.
Visions of the past are mere images
which never return and are rarely true-
yearning for them wastes your later years. 
It's easier for me.
The darkness i have come from holds no sway,
just spurs me to disown the scars and travel far.
My barriers block my past,
the present and future are my manor.
You, you're in reverse,
can't move on from light that burns only in your head,
will never illuminate where you are.
Let go, look around, listen.
Young and fresh does not equate to hopeless mess.
This day is just as sharp, just as bright
as any you have known.
Immerse yourself, be bold,
don't let numbers lock your doors
with impenetrable codes,
because if you do you've not grown up.
you've just grown old.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Poetry Non-stop out now

My new book Poetry Non-stop is now available on Amazon. It's a guide for poets of all levels to writing a poem a day for 30 days coming out ahead of National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) in April.

The book includes:

Techniques for quickly generating ideas for poems on any topic
Forms that can be employed to turn any idea or flash of inspiration into a poem
Daily writing prompts to complete the 30 poems in 30 days challenge
More than 30 original poems written using the prompts and techniques in the book to entertain and inspire
Advice on redrafting and developing poems to a publishable standard
Useful resources for reading, writing and publishing poetry

I've put the price as low as I can for the first few days, so grab it now and get ready for a creative month. I can't wait to see what poems you come up with!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Chris Abrahams - Receiver

Experimental Australian composer and member of The Necks Chris Abrahams returns with an album of typically abstract and otherworldly compositions as intriguing and unpredictable as titles like Clung Eloquent, Trumpets of Bindweed and As Tranquil as an Apple suggest. Receiver offers an unsettling mangled blend of strings and electronics that build up an intricate soundscape with hints of soft melody.

Fluid To The Influence is out on Room40 records on April 8

Monday, March 7, 2016

Podcast: Renn Hubbuck-Melly

Renn Hubbuck-Melly talks about how she grew to love poetry and her hugely successful performance poetry open mic night Juke in Cardiff. We also hear poems on the theme of balance from Fran Smith, Clive Oseman, Will Ford and myself and Renn invites poems on the topic of fear as well as sharing some of her own poetry.


I have a splinter in my finger,
the needle, a slip of metal
prods like a blind prick trying to gain leverage
over the hair of wood.
The whorl distorting,
bark-eye sweet with blood.
Tweezers pinch the sloping rings,
I count them as they expand for excavation.
Thirty one arĂȘtes shape the plumb of my thumb,
red sap curves and bleeds into the tributaries.
The chip comes loose,
small enough to be cargo on an ants back.
Does the tree feel this loss?
I wish to bring home this shard of limb
yet it is dead already,
a clipped nail forced under the lid of skin
flesh would reject
no longer as body
but as the outside we must protect against,
sapwood, heartwood whole, intact.

 By Renn Hubbuck-Melly

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Scissors – No go the lowdown

The Scissors at Mill Road Winter Fair, Cambridge 2015

Cambridge band, The Scissors return with their second album Haunted Mirror, released on German Shepherd Records on March 12th. No go the lowdown is a fine example of the band's distinctive blend of punk, rock, and psychedelia and other odd bits and pieces. Catchy pop with an unpredictable edge.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Podcast: Mark Curtis

Mark Curtis reads some poems and discusses his life-long passion for writing. There are responses to Des Mannay's poetry prompt and Mark invites you to write poems on balance. Share your responses in the comments below or email

Monday, February 1, 2016

Immersion - Always the sea

Guitar driven minimalist techno from Malka Spigel of Minimal Compact and Wire’s Colin Newman who have been collaborating on and off as Immersion for the last 25 years. This track comes off their first release since 1999 Analogue Creatures. You can read my review of the release on Drunken Werewolf.