• Happy National Poetry Day!

    For those of you who are keen on poetry, you probably know that today is National Poetry Day! For me, this marks the start of the Exeter Poetry Festival, which I've played a key role in organising this year.

    Tonight we have a reading with Hilary Menos, Christopher Southgate, and Julie-ann Rowell over at the Devon and Exeter Institution on Cathedral Green. It's an absolutely stunning venue; an old library, all oak panels and delicious smelling books.

    But this isn't an advertisement, rather I thought I'd post a poem on this year's theme of Stars. This is something I wrote a while ago. I'm not sure how good it is, but it's National Poetry Day, so I thought I'd share it anyway.

    Discovering Sleeplessness

    I remember the first time
    I could not sleep;
    I lay with gaping eyes, trembling.

    Looking to the night for answers,
    I saw each star,
    impossible light, overflowing.

    I remember the first time
    I felt myself pierced, hanging;
    a bright paralysis,

    My glare visible to you, yours to me,
    faintly, on a clear night,
    or masked in cloud, silenced.

    I remember the first time
    the eleven year old me
    discovered my place in space,

    Burning in gas and ice,
    a glow falling short,
    landing light-years too late.

    I remember the first time
    I could not reach,
    I lay with gaping eyes, trembling.

    And my top poetry recommendation for National Poetry Day is Daniel Sluman's Absence has a weight of its own. He's stupidly talented for a 25 year old, and the collection will move you. Oh, and I interviewed him here.

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