An eclection of insights into the nature of writing and being a writer. 

The magpie writer

The magpie writer

Guilty as charged - I had a sense of recognition when I read this.  Sometimes it feels less as if I have ideas for writing than that ideas accost me as I stroll about, catching my eye as a bright button might catch the magpie's eye.  I pick them up off the street,...

Poems for my family 012 – Thomas

Poems for my family 012 – Thomas

Listening time: under 4 minutes.  A poet describes the driving force of his art, not one of fame, trophies and applause, but rather the 'common wages' of the secrets, loves and griefs of ordinary people, who may not even know or care about the poems being written for...

Journal of joy

Journal of joy

A delightful definition of journals, by one of history's most assiduous journal writers.  A quote to share at the start of a new year, when our resolutions are new-minted and still lustrous.   A journal, a book that shall contain a record of all your joy, your...

An inviting writing table

An inviting writing table

As you know I have a penchant for places which foster the timeless absorption of concentrated reading or writing, or just looking out the window, thinking, or allowing your eye to roam across shelf-stretches of book spines to see if your inner-tuitive librarian...

All good publishers have a department of exceptions.

Gabriel Zaid – So Many Books

The aim of aimlessness

This made me think - surrendering to aimlessness to write poetry (and other things?  A good letter?  A story?).  Perhaps...

A great paradox

Heaney tackles the paradox of poetry and other arts, the fact that at one level 'no lyric ever stopped a...

Time and poets

This summary of where Mandelstam places the poet versus the ‘man of letters’ on the time spectrum intrigues me.  Yes,...


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