February was National Haiku Writing Month, setting a challenge to write a haiku every day. I took part and posted the resulting poems on Facebook. The 28 poems have now been collected into a short book, available from Carreg Ffylfan Press for £4.
I'll be reading poems from my new collection over the next few months at various events in Wales:
2/5/14 Cellar bards, Cardigan (with Samantha Wynn-Rhydderch)
3/5/14 Laugharne Festival Poems and Pints
2/6/14 Red Heron reading, Welsh landscapes, Dylan Thomas International Summer School
Thanks to Sue Moules for tagging me with some questions about my writing.
What am I working on?
Too many things! I am currently promoting my latest poetry collection, The Thought of Fresh Rain. I am really pleased with the poems in it and as an object. I am also trying to find opportunities to read poetry in public- this is something I have only been doing for a couple of years and I want to improve. I've written a few poems that will be going in my next collection. And I keep thinking about a short novel about lost love which I want to write.
How does my work differ from others in the genre?
A lot of poetry is about creating stories using techniques to add drama and interest to the sound of the words. I don't really do this - to me, poetry is a kind of speaking thoughts out loud, and I like to try to capture that single moment of insight, using a few simple words.
Why do I write?
I'm not driven to write, but on the other hand, it's not hard. I find that I can move quickly from having a thought, recognising that it is interesting, and then putting it on paper. I suppose my mission is to show that even a quiet and gentle life can produce work which speaks to others.
Writing prose, I do find tough. I like outlining but hate the filling in.
How does my writing process work?
I'm open to ideas at any time. I find driving and walking to be activities with the right combination of new things to see and lack of distractions to set me thinking, and every now and then I encounter something that strikes me as interesting or profound. I write quickly into a notebook, not worrying about the words, just trying to get the thought down; often I have no clear idea of how the poem will develop or end. Then once it's finished, I set to work on editing it down to the pure essence, chopping out unnecessary words and lines, and trying to make the phrases sing. Rewriting is quite brutal - a 10-line poem I wrote in January is now down to a haiku.
My new project is funded by the ESF and offers BA and masters level distance/blended courses for employees of businesses in the Convergence Area of Wales. I am based in the Trinity Saint David's campus in Carmarthen.
I was Senior Project Officer for the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David long-term project to explore the site and landscape of the Cistercian abbey of Strata Florida. My role included working with the local community and businesses to raise awareness of the site and to encourage its use in economic development through heritage tourism. The project created heritage trails with interpretation panels and leaflet, a DVD, and a dedicated website.