Wednesday 28 March 2018

Rishi Dastidar on The Knives of Villalejo

Rishi Dastidar has posted some very generous words about The Knives of Villalejo on Twitter, mentioning its "delicate, clear, potent poems on loss, exile, food, wine - the stuff that matters." You can find and follow Rishi on Twitter via this link.

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Podcast with Rory Waterman

If anyone needed any reminder or confirmation that Rory Waterman is one of the most significant poets and editors around on the U.K. scene, his recent podcast for the Scottish Poetry Library should do the trick pretty well. I strongly recommend a leisurely listen or two, as Waterman's a terrific reader of his own work. Moreover, his honesty and insight shine through when discussing wider issues. You can find the podcast by following this link.

Thursday 22 March 2018

My other life

As well as being a poet, I also have another life as the export manager and blender for a Spanish winery called Viñaoliva. Here's a photo of me on our stand at the Prowein fair in Düsseldorf last weekend...

Thursday 15 March 2018

Sheenagh Pugh reviews The Knives of Villalejo

I've long admired Sheenagh Pugh's work as a poet and critic, so I'm very pleased to report that she's posted an excellent, insightful review of The Knives of Villalejo on her blog, where she gets to grips with the nuts and bolts of several poems, and enables me to see my own writing in a new light. You can read Sheenagh's post in full by following this link, but in the meantime here's a brief extract to give you a flavour of her views:

" "Making Paella with David", we have a child growing up and a parent attempting to let him, without interfering out of pardonable anxiety:

...Bell peppers
are staining the blade of his knife.
It's time to let ingredients 
become a dish. He taps my arm.
Together we spark the gas.

That middle sentence, "It's time to let ingredients/become a dish" is so succinct, and so perfect..."

Wednesday 7 March 2018


The emergence of a high-quality, print-based journal is a cause for celebration in these internet-dominated times, so I was delighted to encounter Strix last year, a magazine from Leeds that specialises in poetry and short fiction. Edited by Ian Harker and Andrew Lambeth, it's now reached Issue Three, which also happens to include one of my poems. Again, that's definitely a cause for celebration down here in deepest Extremadura!

You can read more about Strix on their website, and copies of Issue Three will soon be available. I'd love to attend the launch at Hyde Park Book Club in Leeds on 19th March, but work commitments mean I'll be at the Prowein trade fair in Düsseldorf on that day.

Sunday 4 March 2018

StAnza Festival 2018

If there's ever a chance to revive your belief in poetry, to remind you that spoken word and poems on the page can not only co-exist but feed off each other, to bring you back to old favourites and introduce you to exciting new names, it's StAnza.

The 2018 festival runs from 7th to 11th March, filling St Andrews with all things poetical. It's scheduled events, for example, that focus on the subject of "Borderlines", while "Going Dutch" concentrates on poets from the Netherlands and Flanders, all this alongside numerous other readings by poets from all over the world.

However, year after year, the overriding theme of StAnza is its inclusiveness, exploring and celebrating the whole range and spectrum of poetry today. You can find the catalogue of events, screenings and exhibitions at the festival website here.