I was a writer in residence at the Bethnal Green nature reserve. The land has been re-cultivated into a herbal meadow renowned for various healing properties and it was fascinating to research the botanical and medical intersections. There are several poems in the book which were written as metrical charms using the properties of the plants as a kind of incantation and exploration of faith.
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I work as a tabloid news reporter. A key part of the job is condensing quite complex stories or issues... you have to feel the weight of each word and consider its place, and cut back. Some tabloid intros almost have a sprung rhythm.
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Mostly it is instinctive but I always run the poems again and again like a spool of tape, hearing their music and trying to ensure there aren’t words that jolt unless that is part of the poem’s design.
Read the whole interview with poet Sarah James
one evening we found a swift, grounded on the earth. I’d always thought they were black, sharp things, and I remember being surprised by its brindled plumage, slit mouth, and dark eyes
Read the whole interview with The Poetry Society.