The Emma Press Anthology of Aunts

A poem of mine features in this celebratory anthology from The Emma Press, launched this week. The anthology has poems covering all kinds of aunts, both real and fictional, from historical to crazy to heavy metal-loving. Beautifully designed and edited, it’s full of high-quality work and it’s a real pleasure to be in such good company.

My poem covers a few bases; it’s a eulogy, a marker, and an exploration of memory all wrapped up in the classic Sims games. It looks at the things we leave behind that aren’t always physical. Here’s a look at the cover:

18342090_10155333566484596_1272977528660786088_n

The anthology is available direct from The Emma Press website.

Advertisements

Falling Out of the Sky – My First Poem for Children!

IMG_0410

This wonderful book arrived in the post yesterday! Falling Out of the Sky is the first anthology of children’s poetry from publisher The Emma Press, and sees twenty poets re-working classic myths and legends. The poem I contributed is called The Cauldron of Knowledge, based on the Welsh legend of the enchantress Ceridwen. In the legend, Ceridwen brews a potion imbued with the gift of wisdom and poetic inspiration, intended for her son. However, Gwion Bach – the young boy she places in charge of stirring the potion – inadvertently ingests some of the potion and gains the wisdom and knowledge it carries. What follows is a fantastical chase sequence as Ceridwen pursues the boy, each of them transforming into different animals as they go.

My poem is essentially a back-and-forth between the two central characters, with Gwion Bach goading Ceridwen the witch as he flees from her. In the original, Ceridwen eventually swallows Gwion and ends up giving birth to the poet Taliesin. I changed the ending a bit for my version, so that Gwion is successful in his escape by transforming into a tiny flower and hiding from a dragon-formed Ceridwen. I altered a few of the animals they change into from the original story, too.

IMG_0409     

Every poem in the book has been lovingly illustrated by Emma Wright, the editor, herself. The cover art is bold and vibrant. It would make a really lovely bedtime reading book for children around 7 – 9. Huge thanks to the editors for choosing to include my work; I’m very, very pleased with the end result!

Poem In Which

I’ve been away from this blog for a long time and not managed to update it in nearly a year! In that time I’ve not written a lot of poetry but nonetheless managed to have a few bits published, one of which appeared in issue 7 of Poems In Which.

There are a few more exciting things on the way, including my first poem for children and the looming of Bird Book III from the lovely Sidekick Books folks. I’m also thinking about sprucing up this blog, making it more visually appealing, with some illustrations or something. I may even re-locate to a new website, but we’ll have to see.

For now this is really just a little update to say I’m still alive and active and writing, but focusing more on prose writing than poetry these days…

Coin Opera II: Fulminare’s Revenge is out!

Very chuffed to have some work appearing in this anthology of poetry inspired by computer games, covering everything from Pacman and Zelda to Altered Beast, Resident Evil and Bioshock. In an inspired move, each set of poems is arranged into a Sonice The Hedgehog style “stage”, with an end-of-level boss poem to top it off. It’s difficult to describe just how lovely the book looks in reality, so hopefully this picture will suffice:

coin2

As you can (just about) see, the book comes in two different versions – a black and a white, much like Pokemon! But the cover art is only the start – everything inside is exquisitely produced, from the pixellated contributors right down to the arcade-style rendered typography. Editor Jon Stone’s introduction about the relationship between poetry and computer games always makes very interesting, illuminating reading.

As well as my own poem about Shadow of the Colossus, I collaborated with poet John Clegg on a few poems inspired by Final Fantasy-style RPGs, in which a party of characters (though not always human) is amassed. Very excited to have my work appearing in a book for the first time!

Coin Opera II can be purchased here.