Archive for September 2020

Film festival, the BBC, Lines of Love, review & competition joy!


I’m delighted to have my first festival screening as a poetry filmmaker! The news that one of my poetryfilms is to be included in the 2020 International Film Festival of Thuringia this October is especially amazing as I had originally been due to talk about and share one of my other poetryfilms this autumn at the Swindon Big Poetry Weekend festival, unfortunately postponed because of Covid-19.

The 2020 International Film Festival of Thuringia will be taking the form of online festival from 22-24 October 2020 and my film Women Not To Be has been selected to be part of the Women in Resistance program. Women in Resistance demonstrates the central role of women’s narratives and feminism in today’s poetry film and video poetry. Besides the online screenings, there will also be a program of live streams during the festival. Women in Resistance will stream on October 23, at 6 pm (CET) and all of the movies will be available for three weeks, from October 22 to November 12, on the festival website within a password-protected area to make sure that all festival guests have sufficient time to watch individual programs and films. The ticket for entering the site costs 10 Euro and can be purchased from September 15 to November 12.


I’m really delighted to share the news that my multimedia hypertext narrative > Room has been reviewed on Sabotage Reviews.

“[…]This plays into one of the most fruitful ambiguities of > Room, the ambiguity of the internal and external. It’s a testament to James’ writing that this slippage between the body of the poem, the body of the speaker and their mental state itself, seems an organic part of the claustrophobic structure of the poem.

Reading > Room, I felt like the goal of the navigational aspect of the reading was escape, and the end engages with that drive through QR codes in a way I thought was fantastic. Discussing it here might feel like a spoiler so I won’t.

Enter > Room here

Harry Buckoke, Sabotage Reviews, full review here


I was chuffed to be invited back onto the Kate Justice evening show on BBC Hereford and Worcester on Tuesday, 8 Sept to share two of my poems and to chat about poetry, creativity in these ongoing Covid-19 times and my new commission for Worcester Art Gallery. The show is available to listen to online on the BBC for 29 days after the original broadcast here and I’m on first at around 3hrs 21 mins in, then again at around 3hrs 45 mins in.


The last six months have been tough, and it feels like the winter ahead is going to be tougher than usual, given the ongoing Covid-19 situation. So I decided to cheer myself up, and hopefully others too, by putting together a little something that is light-hearted and warmth-filled.

Lines of Love is a short online (hypertext) magazine style questionnaire that ends with a love poem recommendation. The project was inspired by a similar questionnaire that I put together a few years ago for my role as a library poet in residence – focussing too on love of books and libraries. I was also asked to play a fun ‘love laureate’ role at a local couple’s wedding using a similar questionnaire with recommended love poem, and also using some of the responses to create a crowd-sourced poem for the happy couple.

The free online version only takes a few minutes and can be found here: Lines of Love. Take a look, feel some love, get a love poem and if you enjoy the experience, please do share with friends too.


Another Storm (flash) shortlisted (and published) in the Tortive Theatre Flash Fiction 101 August competition in Sept 2020;

After (flash) longlisted (and published) in the Reflex Fiction Summer 2020 Reflex flash fiction competition in Sept 2020.


Coming to Terms with Trying to Make Your Name or The Anguish of Author Biographies published on The Blue Nib in Sept 2020.


Autumn and Covid-19 have me approaching full-on hibernation mode now. The great thing about this mood though is that it’s perfect for curling up indoors with a good book.

I’m delighted to have a review of the Maria Taylor’s Dressing for the Afterlife (Nine Arches Press) up on Everybody’s Reviewing here.

Add comment September 27, 2020

Competitions & Commissions

It has been a while since I last blogged…but it means I have lots of exciting news and projects to share.

Firstly, I’m delighted that my poem Waiting/Outlook has won first prize in the 2020 Waltraud Field International Poetry Competition!!!

From the Art Gallery with Love x Commission

My other big news is a successful proposal for From the Art Gallery with Love x project. My commission for Worcester City Art Gallery includes creating A Modern Mosaic of Worcestershire using photographs for the tiles, a hypertext poem and a poetryfilm. All three parts of the project are inspired by the gallery’s painting A Prospect of Worcester from the East (c. 1750 and attributed to John Harris the Younger). The project is very exciting, and I’m really excited to share the results with people. More about my commission can be found here.


I’m absolutely delighted to have my poem The Cat Cafe longlisted in the Write Out Loud Covid-19 competition to raise funds for NHS Charities. It will now be published in an anthology of 100 poems selected from the more than 2,000 entries. This Write Out Loud Beyond the Storm competition anthology can be ordered here. (After covering unit costs and administration costs, Write Out Loud will give also be giving all surplus from anthology sales to the charity.)

Below, you can hear me reading the poem for the Poetry Archive.

Not our neighbours’ place (poem) longlisted in Penfro Poetry Competition 2020 in Aug 2020;

More than ‘Structurally Unsafe’ (poem) published in Words for the Wild New Build issue in Aug 2020;

Marcasite (poem) published in London Grip in Sept 2020;

Orbiting Redditch and While Visiting (poems) in New Towns anthology (Wild Pressed Books) in Sept 2020;

Knot Me, Hedgehog Pinball, Anything but E.C.T, Mâché and “One Wild And Precious Life” (poems) published in The Mountains You Cannot See an anthology of poetry about metal health (Slice of the Moon Books) in Aug 2020;

Clotted Moons (flash) published on Fictive Dream on 12 July 2020;

The Dream Machine (flash) on Every Day Fiction on 17 Aug 2020;

Wrecked (flash) shortlisted in the Tortive Theatre Flash Fiction 101 July competition in Aug 2020;


I was delighted to be the judge for Gloucestershire Writers’ Network poetry competition 2020 with a theme of ‘My World’ and had a delightful start to August immersing myself in the entries. The results have now been announced and can be found on the GWN website here.

My big congratulations to the winning poets and fiction writers, and to everyone who entered in a year where Covid-19 has had a massive effect on us all. I’m very much looking forward now to the winners’ anthology. (And very delighted too to have been asked to contribute a couple of poems myself.) I’m also very much looking forward to hearing the winners and reading some of my own poems for this year’s Cheltenham Literature Festival event on Sunday, October 4 at 5pm. Details of this and tickets here.

I have been slower than usual in keeping up with blog news. (2020 has been that kind of year!) But some weeks back, I was delighted to hear that one of my In the Booklight interviews had been referenced in The Telegraph as part of a piece about Geraldine Clarkson’s wonderful new collection Monica’s Overcoat of Flesh (Nine Arches Press). The Telegraph article is here, and my interview with Geraldine about an earlier poetry pamphlet here.

I was delighted too to see my poetryfilm ‘And his open mouth is an olive grove’ included in Helen Dewbery’s wonderful article about poetryfilm for The Blue Nib. You can find the article (with link to ‘And his open mouth is an olive grove’) here.

The Sunday Tribune online has also run a fantastic article about my Arts Council England funded multimedia hypertext poetry narrative > Room, that you can read here. A podcast interview with me about > Room, poetry and living with diabetes has also just been released by Spoken Label here.

I’m delighted to have a poem The Two-Metre Mantra accepted for a fundraising pandemic anthology project set up by Z.D. Dicks. More details about this and The Crowdfunder page for it can be found here. I’m very pleased too to have been invited to read at the launch of Z.D. Dicks’ latest poetry collection Vexed on Monday, 14 September 2020. More about the collection and launch can be found here.

Add comment September 6, 2020






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