Friday, 10 October 2008
The End of my Laureateship
From left to right: Matt Nunn, Jane Holland (me!), Jane Commane, at the Warwick Castle launch of Matt and Jane's new Nine Arches Press, whose first publication is my Laureateship poetry pamphlet, "On Warwick"
So, about a week ago, I very cheerfully handed over the Warwick Poet Laureateship to Cathy Whittaker, who will hold that post from 2008-09, and am now free as a bird. She says, ironically. In fact, I have so many irons in the fire right now, I'm in serious danger of burning my little pinkies.
I'm now studying at Warwick part-time (part-time has actually worked out as four days a week though, so it's more like full than part-time), sending out my teen fantasy novel in the hope of finding a buyer, continuing to work on new poems, editing issue two of Horizon Review, and possibly adapting my long poem "On Warwick Castle" for the stage.
In other words, life is challenging at the moment (especially when it comes to finding somewhere to park at Warwick University!) and far more pressured than before. Hence the absence of blogging in recent weeks.
Indeed, I've had to turn down several offers of work this month alone because I simply don't have time to squeeze in any more commitments. But no doubt as the year moves on I'll grow accustomed to this more rapid pace of life and feel able to take on new projects. For which, watch this space!
During my Laureateship, I wrote my long poem, "On Warwick Castle", and published that last week in pamphlet form along with other Warwick-related poems in a pamphlet from Nine Arches Press, plus wrote several locally commissioned pieces, as well as six riddle poems for Tescos and sixteen poems to accompany Anand Chhabra's photographs in the Warwick Words Poetry & Photography Exhibition. I also visited a few schools in the region as Poet Laureate, and performed at a number of social events, including a rather delicious fish and chip fund-raising supper at the medieval Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick.
Meanwhile, although I shall miss being so closely involved with poetry in the Warwickshire region, I'm excited to be turning back to my own personal writing projects, and wish the new Laureate, Cathy Whittaker, all the very best in her year ahead!