Date for your diary: Tuesday 3rd October 2023, from 8pm. Open mic, headline sets from Shaun Belcher and Tony Challis; plus special appearances from some mystery guests. So head to the Overlook Hotel, er, I mean The Organ Grinder, Nottingham and join in the fun. Anyone missing out will be “corrected”.
A selection of published and self-published volumes 1992-2022…30 years! I will be reading poems from these various collections tonight at The Organ Grinder with Neil Fulwood.
Here my CV 🙂
A NEW YEAR GREETING
Addenda: What I am not.
Shaun Belcher is the author of one out of print slim volume that disappeared into the virtual ether before it was printed via lightning strikes/amazon so qualifies as a work of fiction.
He did not edit any anthology of obscure, unacknowledged legislators nor did he win any prizes, nor should we be specific did he enter any competitions.
He has held no official tenures as a creative writer at any top end nor third rate provincial university and has never reviewed other poets he dislikes for the simple reason of building a profile to get published.
He has never been recommended by friends in the poetry world as he has none and has studiously avoided anything to do with poets or poetry for over two decades.
He is member of no group who look after his publishing and reading interests when his work over time slides into fabulous irrelevancy or simply becomes so bad it an embarrassment.
He has no agenda nor minority axe to grind and has never played on his working class beginnings for pity or favour.
He regards his lifelong devotion to obscurity and keeping some semblance of sanity in a world over-run with poets like a corpse covered in flies that he should not add to other’s suffering by maintaining a steady output of academic poetry which simply done to fulfil research departmental targets.
His earnings from poetry over 40 years accrues to £70 he once got paid for being given a slot at Ledbury Festival by a friend and a commission again via a friend for £500 which works out to roughly £14.25 per annum which a living wage in the poetry world these days.
He is however still a poet if being a poet is none of the above.
He is still alive at time of writing and doesn’t expect things to change radically.
It all depends on a red wheelbarrow apparently and he does not have one.
Happy New Year.
After twenty years chez Nottingham I finally been invited to share my thoughts at a reading.
So if you wish to listen to a couple of bolshy poets tearing down the walls of heartache now’s your chance…
Neil Fulwood been around a bit has some books and generally a good egg….
He will be promoting his new Smokestack Press publication and generally taking the piss out of the Tories which in current climes no bad thing.
I will be ranting as usual……at everything.
I will be reading from this book available until August 2nd as a free pdf download below.
The Horseshoe Press
is my self-publishing of poetry website.
The latest ‘Mini Pamphlet’ is ‘Burning Books’ published to coincide with Theresa May’s attempt to drive this country even further to the right….
Eight poems about politics, books and poetry to be given away free at the Jermy and Westerman reading on Wednesday 26th of April.
The Ltd. Ed. of 25 was given away at the reading so that’s it no more. In the tradition of pamphleteers of the 18th century..subversive and gone…..
Reading with one of my favourite poets at my favourite bookshop Jermy and Westerman on Mansfield Road as part of Nottingham Poetry Festival in April.
Filmed for poetry slot on Oxford 6 one of the first local TV channels in the country. Filmed direct off TV hence quality. Summer 1999? I am stood on location i.e. in the Bear Pit it still there 🙂
I am a lot younger (40) thinner and beardier…
The poem is available in Farm Hand’s Radio above:
THE BEAR PIT
Council grass-cutter smooth
the sliced hay and clover ferments in warm bundles
in the crest and dip of this depression
a hundred yards short of the churchyard entrance.
The old building has fallen to dust
living only as a memory of a shadow at dusk.
Here the cocks once beat a flurry of blood and feather
and the shackled bears were unchained.
Later those bears danced, shifting in their chains
as the first generator spluttered into life under the chestnuts.
Then it was teeth and claws, a rowdy entertainment of
blood soaked pelts and simple wagers.
The clay beneath this hollow has drunk
up its four hundred years of dripping blood.
It has fed into the roots of every blade of grass
that now lies as smooth as fur
a cloak of lost bets, shattered bones and fears.
RIBA have finally put up the poem…so you can read it now I provided a ‘referenced’ version and a ‘clean’ none annotated version they went with referenced…strangely but there you go ‘Catching Light’….I have also provided a recording of myself reading (no footnotes;-) which will be uploaded later I presume.
I have just re-read the post below which was written the week before my mother’s funeral. She had Carcinoid Cancer which was diagnosed in 2005 the year after my father died of Pancreatic Cancer which he was diagnosed with in 2002. My sister and I therefore have been dealing with cancer and its personal affects for over ten years. My mother was brave to the end but in both instances the physical deterioration and pain is almost too much to bear. It was with a sad heart and a sense of relief that my family finally said goodbye to her in June.
In the post below I am pretty clear about the reasons why I had slowly slipped away from poetry. Looking back now, having crawled away from the wreckage of the last ten years it a wonder I wrote anything let alone managed to publish the Last Farmer book. The promotion tour for that was heavily influenced by my mother’s sudden deterioration so I couldn’t say my heart was really in it although I enjoyed reading with other Salt poets.
I cannot say where I will go in the future with writing. I am concentrating on my M.A. by registered project and building up a ‘Graphic Research’ profile which involves a lot of academic research, reading and writing. However the enforced lay-off due to illness has meant that I at least get to look at my poetry shelves now:-).
It may be that the poetry does come back as the shock of the last ten years wears off. I think now that the circumstances of my parent’s death was hugely significant in making me turn away from the family and place-related subject matter that once fueled my muse so to speak.
Whatever happens I would like to thank Â Salt for letting the Last Farmer out for a while but I cannot say I would ever work with them again. Hopefully it wasn’t really a poetic last gasp after all….
- Salt Modern Voices: Oxford. Shaun Belcher, Â Mark Burnhope, Emily Hasler and Claire Trevien read at the Albion Beatnik Bookshop on 24 October 2011.
- Salt Modern Voices: London. A two-part event on 14 and 28 November 2011 at The Compass:
- 14thÂ November: Shaun Belcher, Adrian Slatcher, Lee Smith,Â and JT Welsch
- 28thÂ November:Â Mark Burnhope, Emily Hasler, and Claire Trevien
- Salt Modern Voices: Manchester. Shaun Belcher, Angela Topping, Claire TrÃ©vien, and JT Welsch read at The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester on 30 November 2011 from 18h30.