Poetry blogs have taken on special significance in 2020. As mentioned in my previous post on Rogue Strands, time might well have speeded up this year in many respects, but many people have also had that very same time weighing on their hands as a consequence of isolation, both in mental and physical terms.
In other words, poetry blogs have provided their readers with longer reads than social media posts, all alongside more substantial content. They offer us the chance to remember we’re not alone in the midst of this pandemic, together with the reassurance that there are other people whose experiences mirror ours.
This year’s list of The Best U.K. Poetry Blogs 2020 comes, as usual, with the caveat of being incomplete and subjective, but it also includes several newcomers, some of whom have been blogging for years but have only appeared on my limited radar this time around. Let’s start with them…
- Julie Mellor’s blog, chatty, intimate, yet wide-reaching and with an excellent eye for poetry.
- Ama Bolton’s barleybooks, creativity personified.
- Hilary Menos’ blog, intermittent posts but with thought-provoking content.
- Charlotte Gann's blog, a chronicle of her personal journey that implicitly reaches out to all of us.
- Elizabeth Rimmer’s Burned Thumb blog, packed with generosity, news, poems and a personal touch.
And now for the old-timers (sic)….
- Mat Riches’ Wear The Fox Hat, an idiosyncratic, insightful poetry blog...
- Matthew Paul’s blog, packed with wise and wry observations on poetry.
- Richie McCaffery’s The Lyrical Aye, a personal, sometimes ironic, sometimes acerbic view of the poetry world.
- Chris Edgoose’ Wood Bee Poet, in-depth poetry criticism.
- Sue Ibrahim’s My Natural World, what it says on the tin: a personal view of nature and life.
- Liz Lefroy’s I buy a new washer, so good it’s been turned into a book!
- Tim Love’s litrefs, a scientific yet hugely human view of poetry.
- Martyn Crucefix’s blog, critical rigour and thought-provoking views of contemporary poetry.
- Charles Boyle’s Sonofabook, still different, still dedicated to the genre.
- Abegail Morley’s Poetry Shed, original work from guest poets, plus reviews and news.
- Josephine Corcoran’s blog, a personal poetry journal that reaches out and touches on opportunities, events and news in the poetry world.
- John Foggin’s cobweb, honesty, human warmth and a love of poetry.
- Robin Houghton’s blog, generous, personal and warm. Just the ticket for a tough year like this.
- Clarissa Aykroyd’sThe Stone and the Star, different, curious, always exploring poetry, just like the person who writes it.
- Anthony Wilson’s blog, understandably riven with personal grief this year, but also heaving with life.
- Emma Lee’s blog, a tireless promotor of poetry whose blog shines a light of countless aspects of the genre that deserve more attention.
- Sheenagh Pugh’s Good God! There’s writing on both sides of that paper! Reviews and views with an excellent critical eye.
- Matt Merritt’s Polyolbion, wise words on the poetry world and beyond.
- Caroline Gill’s blog, a personal poetry diary.
- Helena Nelson’s HappenStance Press blog, nuff said.
- Angela Topping’s blog, excellent written poetry blog, all in the context of the world around us.
- Roy Marshall’s blog, news and original poetry.
And that’s the end of the 2020 list, with a quick mention that I’d love to welcome the return next year of the likes of excellent bloggers such as Clare Best, Giles Turnbull, Katy Evans-Bush, John Field, Paul Stephenson and Maria Taylor.
Oh, and one annual reminder; as mentioned in previous years, I do know that grim feeling of reading through a list, coming to the end and realising you’re not there, so I can only apologise if I’ve missed you out. As one individual reader, I can’t keep up with everyone, and I’d be very grateful for any additional blogs that readers might like to add in the comments that follow this post…