Thursday, 25 March 2010

An exploration of the nature of prose poetry

The online magazine The Offending Adam is currently exploring the nature of prose poetry. Take a look.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Holly Howitt's Dinner Time, second selection

Here's my second selection from Holly Howitt's Dinner Time. I should mention that some pieces are much darker and more surreal than the ones I've selected--the book has an impressive range, but that those pieces tend to be a little longer, and I wanted to stick with what one could see in one small laptop screen.


It's always been the same, I try to explain. Periods and spiders, they're the thoughts I'm bored of. If it's not a furry-legged tarantula, a bird-eating monster, I'm thinking of the heat that makes my insides moan, the dance of my stomach and the heaviness in my knees, then the weightlessness afterwards, like a money spider dancing over my wrists. These are the thoughts that keep me awake, I say. The ones I can't exorcise, the ones that line my dreams and scuttle through my words, wombs and black widows, webs and ballpoint-marked windows.

Is it just me, I ask. Why am I so afraid?

Because you are ridiculous, the woman says, and scurries away on eight legs. My body cramps, expectantly.

Holly Howitt
Dinner Time (Cinnamon Press, 2008)

You can buy the book here.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Holly Howitt's Dinner Time, first selection

I was introduced to Holly Howitt's work at the Academi annual literature conference, this year at Gellifawr near Pontfaen, Wales. I gave a reading on the Saturday, and on the Sunday Holly was on a panel on flash fiction. I bought her collection of microfictions, Dinner Time, and have enjoyed it--it is by turns surreal, lyrical, wry, and disturbing, in unexpected combinations. Holly has given me permission to reprint here two of her pieces, and this is the first selection.


Nick sees me before I see him. I can only now be pleased to see him, and smile, but I know that the few seconds he has on me, catching my sad face, will mean that he has won. He takes my hand, says nothing, and walks me home from the tired and dirty station where even the pigeons forget to coo.

The next morning, I ask Nick what he would do if one day, I woke up, saw him on the pillow next to mine, and asked who he was. He says he wouldn't care, but as I take his hand I can feel his palm sweating. I smile, my larynx flutters.

Later, I try to work on my novel, but I cannot write anything with him looking over my shoulder. I feel that, somehow, he'll affect my words.

I can never win for long.

Holly Howitt
Dinner Time (Cinnamon Press, 2008)

You can buy the book here.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

"Nanofiction" competition at Leaf Books

Leaf Books is defining nanofiction as stories of 100 words or fewer, and they are running a competition for such works with successful entries' publication in an anthology, as well as £150 and a copy of the anthology for the winner. You can read further details here, but do it soon--the deadline's the end of April.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Lovers of prose poetry and haibun

will want to check out the latest selection from the just-published anthology I edited, Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets, on my personal blog.