Bees and bursaries

Tiny hiatus this week – my course with Wendy Pratt has finished, and I’ve a small break before my next course with Poetry School starts. I’m so grateful to be able to do these – funds aren’t abundant, and poetry is definitely a luxury, but both Wendy and the Poetry School offer discounted courses that mean I can take part in something even though getting out is tricky. I’m good at self-study, but there’s nothing quite as fab as getting feedback from other people and being able to read what other people are producing. I can’t recommend Approaching your writing with a beginner’s mind enough – it’s been a great start to my writing year.

I had applied for a bursary to do my dream course at Arvon, sadly I didn’t get it (there was one bursary and many applicants), but I’m still glad I applied. The hum of disappointment is never far away it seems – just minutes before I got the news, I’d come out of a meeting where three poems have been accepted for something fab and exciting that’s happening later this year. It’s hard to keep up with the sudden changes of emotion to be honest.  I’ve set myself up for another barrage of bad news by sending out a new set of submissions today too, which means I’ll spend the next few days refreshing my inbox, before getting a rejection in about six months’ time.

All the business stuff is done for a week or two though. I’ve snuck a day from writing about cleaning and car grilles to grab some time for going through my notes from Approaching your writing with a beginner’s mind, and frantically trying to finish The Ode Less Travelled. I’m looking closely at form at the moment, and I love the puzzle and challenge of matching structure with meaning.  In the interests of efficiency, and even fun, I might experiment by trying to structure some of fledgling poems. Anyone for a villanelle about a pyjama party?

I’m finishing my week by going to a real live workshop. It’s free, it’s just for a couple of hours, and it’s in  the local library which somehow feels less intimidating – I don’t feel like there will be loads of “proper” poets there. My first ever workshop. I’m scared, but so excited. I’ll report back next week.

In the meantime, here’s a poem that’s far too silly to submit anywhere, but it makes me giggle.

Bee Poem

First bee rings the bell of my window,

two notes to say he’s arrived.

I shout about rain,

he says that’s a pain,

shows me his furry behind

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