I haven’t actually explained properly what these Poem of the North posts are about, have I?
Hopefully, if anyone has read the last few posts you will have been alerted to poemofthenorth.co.uk – a fascinating, beautifully designed, and rather moving project that I was fortunate to have my entry selected for. As the project was launched in June, I found myself commenting on the Northern Poetry Library’s Instagram feed, with brief, more or less ‘poetic’, comments on the poems. As the first Canto emerged, with a new poem every three days, I found myself thinking more deeply both about the poems themselves, and my responses to them. After the first seven poems, I collated my responses into an Instagram post that was picked up by one of the project’s curators and included in their newsletter, The Black Dot.
From then on, I have posted each of my responses on Instagram individually, sometimes producing a piece that is a direct response to the poem, and perhaps requiring a reading of the prompt-poem to make sense. On other occasions, I have used reflection on the new poem as inspiration for producing a piece that can perhaps stand more securely as a work in its own right. Sometimes I have written something very quickly after a new poem has been published, at other times two or three have been published before I have got round to writing something, finding an appropriate image to accompany it, and posting it on my Insta feed. The occasional encouraging comment from members of the Poem of the North team, other poets who have contributed to the project, and some interested onlookers has encouraged ne to keep going with this personal poetic ‘shadowing’ of the project. It’s helping me to keep up a discipline of producing something poetic on a regular basis now that I’ve completed the poetry modules that are available on the Swansea University MA I am undertaking.
I also intend (and if I say it here there’s just an outside chance I’ll stick with it) to make a bit more now of this blog, which has become a total mess of auto-postings from Instagram that I’ve turned on and off sporadically, together with stuff shoehorned in from other blogs that I’ve started and given up on at various times. I suppose that if I want to start taking myself at all seriously as a writer, I probably ought to be a little more disciplined about, well, getting some writing done, and trying to encourage people to read it.
(Is that a threat, or a promise?