Category Poetry

Wolf Call

In recent weeks there’ve been few points of light to lift a work-strewn, chore-heavy, deadline-driven, and often bleak midwinter landscape. Angela Carter’s classic gothic tale, The Company of Wolves, rich with evocative prose from the shape-shifting heart of a forest teeming with lycanthropes, captures the mood of the season perfectly. We read it this week […]

Rhyme Scheme Investigation

The short story and poem analysed at today’s Tricycle Readers group were both by writers about whom there is little information although their writing is included in anthologies of important works. As the conversation circulated, new lines of inquiry kept presenting themselves. It was like being in a literary incident room with a team of […]

Only Connects

Too often we overlook how important word placement is in the simplest of sentences. There are words that imply the same thing, but are differently nuanced. I am in a hurry, is slightly less frenetic than I am in a rush. Writers will agonise over word placement. Graham Greene wrote only 500 words a day […]

Causley for Thought

Last week, posting Derek Walcott’s The Schooner Flight on our blog, I linked to an audio of him reading aloud. Hearing a poet’s voice – the tone, the pace, the intonation, the inflection – can enrich appreciation of their work.  At other times it’s disastrous. Each year the Today Programme on Radio 4 invites finalists for […]

Rhythm Sticks

Yesterday at our first Tricycle Readers meeting, we touched on the importance of punctuation. Punctuation supports and highlights meaning. The jacket of Lyn Truss’s book on English grammar shows a hand holding a smoking gun. It is titled, Eats, Shoots and Leaves. If you remove the comma – Eats Shoots and Leaves – we’re discussing the […]

Mew and Cry

Like a lot of people, I struggle to retain poetry. While writers like Simon Armitage are retelling epic poems, those that we most commonly encounter recall a single scene or a feeling, a thought or sensation, and there isn’t a full narrative that we can take away and discuss over dinner with friends in the […]

Flying by the pants

Today I’ve been designing our Tricycle Readers flyer and think it looks rather good. I’m not sending it out quite yet, however, as there’s bound to be a typo somewhere, or a sentence that can be shortened or improved. The nature of writing is that you keep going back and finding things wrong. It’s why […]

Shopping for a Publisher

I had a message over the holiday from a Facebook friend wanting a steer on getting poetry published. Alas, I was only able to offer the most basic advice, which is to shop around before you submit. Many brilliant first novels were rejected dozens of times before someone saw their potential. The work of JK […]

Water water everywhere

Water water everywhere nor any drop to drink…  It’s been a bit like the Rime of the Ancient Mariner in our house this week – outside is puddled and muddy and inside the water’s switched off. The Ancient Mariner is a hoary old sailor whose ship is cursed after he shoots dead an albatross. His […]