Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Podcast: Jonathan Edwards

Winner of the 2014 Costa Poetry Award Jonathan Edwards joins me in conversation and reads from his collection My Family and Other Superheroes. He also sets two writing prompts:

1) A sonnet with a twist – See the poem below for inspiration.
2) Observe people, places and animals. Use your pen as a camera and write a poem from your observations. This technique produced many of the poems in Jonathan's collection which you can buy here.

Share your poems in the comments below or email


You know the sort: they borrow each other’s t-shirts,
wear each other’s sweat under their armpits.
In the pub, you swear you hear one’s voice and turn
to find the other chatting up your girl,
or else you catch one, curling up his lip,
as if he’s trying on his brother’s smile,
or you go to the bar and they both show up.
One has a knackered Transit, the other jump leads.
They’ve one gym membership and their own bodies,
tell the punch lines to each other’s jokes
and if you’re fool enough to bother one,
you’ll find yourself outside with both of them.
You know the sort: the elder has a child
who’s got her mother’s mouth, her uncle’s eyes.

Jonathan Edwards

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Podcast: Mab Jones

On this edition I am joined by Mab Jones who shares some of her poems and talks about her recent visit to Japan to learn the Japanese art of rakugo – story telling. She would also like to hear your poems on the theme of Japan. They could be about anything related to Japan or poems in a Japanese form about anything at all. Haiku are easy to go for or try one of these. You could even write in Japanese.
Post your poems in the comments or email
You can also hear the poem I wrote in response to Will Ford's prompt on the last podcast.

Here's another of Mab's poems you can buy her book Poor Queen here.

“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” – Lewis Carroll

Let curiosity be your guide.
Let the dark that dwells inside
Dare here. Let go of fear
As babies do their mother’s hand.
And at your feet: a doorway, now.
A smiling mouth. Step in. Slide down. 
Let yourself be swallowed whole.
Inside, all your life, you’ve yearned:
Eat me. Drink me. Let possibility
Open wide, consume the you
You thought you knew. Sink deeper.
Fall. Let go of all and, like that ancient
Apple, land. Rise up, then. Stand.
Your naked flesh on newborn feet -
Tentative. Teetering. Testing
Soft soles on an old world’s teeth.
Your eyes, unpeeled. Your heart, a seed.
Prepared for an adventure, here,

That’s furiouser and furiouser.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Poem: Sandstorm by Fran Smith

Fran Smith has written the following poem in response to Julie Prichard's prompt — a grain of sand. Fran is a regular at poetry events in Newport and Cardiff and it's great to have this wonderful contribution. I hope the prompts on these podcasts inspire many more original poems from listeners. You can hear my response to Julie's prompt on the most recent podcast with Will Ford who also has a prompt for you to try.

Sand Storm

Insignificant like grains of sand, molecules of
Shells crushed; a life living once, but now
Ground down to ground catching glimmers of
Sun rays mirroring unity with laser light
Significant for a moment, shining as a star in
Limelight; light moves on, and on and on into
Desert wilderness; deserted in ordered chaos
Blowing up storms of drought causing flesh to
Burn wretched and shrivel to flakes of dust to
Dust to dust: Lost in myriads of desert sand,
Deserted again.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Podcast: Will Ford

Cardiff writer Will Ford talks about his writing, performances and publications and offers advice to other writers. He also offers a writing prompt "There’s something flickering in the corner of my eye and I don’t know whether I should look at it..."
Do share your poems in the comments below or at
Photo by: Yvette Robertshaw Photography

Here's an extract of Will's long poem The Coward which he discusses during the podcast.

The candle on the wooden table
Casts a shadow that moves in the breeze
That steals in between the planks of this hut
In my head I sink down to my knees
Clasping my hands in a desperate prayer
The blood in my veins starts to freeze
In my head I see myself
Thrashing around on the floor
A stray bullet rips at my left side
My guts open up like a door
My insides all outside
Not even the pride
Of dying a hero in war
But what's so heroic about being dead?
Every man one day must die
But not every man will use his last breath
As the fuel to ask himself why
A coward will lie forever condemned
Not just till the day that he dies

To die in battle is to die with honour
So they told us in basic training
Even if just one step is taken
And you slip in the mud that is raining
When the shell impact turns you into meat
There'll be no time for complaining
When shellfire turns you into a hero
And your remains are collected and binned
You'll be remembered for your sacrifice
And the cheerful way that you grinned
But I asked myself in my coward's crater
Where will your medal be pinned?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Show: 25.06.08

The Orb - Little Fluffy Clouds
Scroobius Pip - 1000 Words
Mozzy Green - Billy’s Ghost 
Toma - This is not a revolution
Dominic Mulvey - Brotherly Love
Nick Mulvey - I Didn’t Have Time
Tiger Force - Beat This!
Melt-Banana - The Call Of The Vague
The Man From Uranus - Barney’s Dream
Robert Gonzalez - Shoos
Boom Bip and Dose One - Slight
David Francis - Rain
Moth Conspiracy - Number Five
Charles Billard - Transition Shift Final
The Trench Parrots - Irrepressible Urges Of Spring
Norville Parchment - Freedom Breakes
Aidan Smith - Living On Allotments
Clare Connolly - Call You Home
Joanna Newsom - Bridges and Balloons
Dion McGregor - The Wet Parade
The Morning People - The Hardest Word
Niall Spooner-Harvey - Intolerant
Felix Kubin - Fernwarme Wien
Soyuzmultfilm - Chunga Changa
Ivor Cutler - Lemonade
Drew Moon - Transitional Days

Monday, May 18, 2015

Podcast: Julie Pritchard

In the first in a series of podcasts on writers and artists based in South Wales I talk to prolific writer, walker and event organiser Julie Pritchard who shares some of her poetry and challenges listeners to write a poem about a grain of sand. Submit you poems in the comments below or email

Little room big hate

Entering with no welcome
through a narrow minded passage
past ornamental stares of elitism,
misogynist painting’s look down.
Sycophant statue sits in the corner
ghostly Shadows on the wall not on the floor
disguised, whisperings behind closed doors.
Retiring to the top table, where opinions
are dished out from ego centric plates
sly sideboard glances gloat at others mistakes.
Bare shelves left bitter and unpublished
grey ashen cheerless fire
lacking flames of inspiration.
Cushions and curtains remain the same
fresh air loiters around sealed shut windows
they do not like change,
In a small room with big hate.

 By Julie Pritchard

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Show: 28.05.08 with The Pixiphones, Magic Phil, Hollie McNish and Nick Stibbs

This show from 2008 is a real classic with a live session from The Pixiphones an early band of Tom Adams – now a familiar name on the Cambridge music scene and beyond. There are also contributions from several local poets including an early radio broadcast from Hollie McNish.

Drew Moon - Luke's Home
Manu Chao - Merry Blues
Aidan Smith - The Regret Rap
The Trenchparrots - Footprints
Porticillius Gate - Percyval Vanguard’s android wife
Clare Connolly - Your Hat
Melt-Banana - Spider Snipe
Magic Phil - Jack and The Genestalk
Hollie McNish - Fruit and Vegetables
Sigur Ros - Hoppipolla
Bjork - Alfur Ut Ur Hol
Radiohead - Life in Glasshouses 
Nick Stibbs on Walt Whitman
Lambchop - The Distance from Her to There
David Francis - Those Summer Chairs
The Morning People - They Did Something
The Rude Mechanicals - Frying the Neighbours
Tricky - Black Steel
Ivor Cutler - Bird Swing
Cream Cheese of Son - Lo to Hi