I wrote a poem hailing old-fashioned Englishman & Brexit eminence gris Jacob Rees-Mogg. Thought I’d put it up for you on National Poetry Day. What an unusual fellow! JACOB REES-MOGG His knightly politeness is known round the counties Through dewy green pastures of infinite bounties More courteousness than a passel of mounties Who is he? … Read more

Today is the first day since the start of the month that I haven’t had to perform at least one show. Over the last 23 days I’ve done more than 40 shows – 22 performances of my solo show, Be Kind To Yourself, 11 performances of my show with MC Mixy and Mark Grist, Grave … Read more

So for those of you who missed it (probably deliberately), on Friday I did my yearly 100 Poems In A Day challenge. You can read the poems I wrote here. I actually think this is the pantsest crop of poems I’ve written in all five years. Which is fine. I mean, the bar was set … Read more


I’m not posting a Poem O’ The Week this week, and I don’t even care. Why? Because this Friday, I will attempt to write 100 Poems In A Day. Yep, my annual run for the ton is happening a week early this year, on account of my having gigs all next week. Click on the … Read more

Hallo friend. I been at a stag do all weekend, off in the Hope Valley. I haven’t been in that part of the country since a creative writing holiday about 10 years ago and it’s beautiful, particularly in this part of autumn, when the dying leaves are a crazy range of colours, from yellow through … Read more

Some strange, sucker-barnacled club slams into the deck while all around the starboard lee, more rise, white cobras in a mist lit by distress flares. The purser smokes his pipe and watches, impassive as a clay idol. Arms slop over the gunwale and shirtless deckhands slap them back with shuffleboard tangs and boathooks; grooved suckers … Read more

On Friday November 22nd of this year, I will attempt to write 100 poems in a day – starting at 9am, and finishing before midnight. As you probably know, I have past form on this: 100 Poems In A Day 2009 101 Poems In A Day 2010 101 Poems In A Day 2011 100 Poems … Read more

Since the Poets’ Graves tour, a lot of the poems I’ve been working on have been about death. This one is no exception. Like all my Wednesday poems, it’s a work in progress. 3 Ideas For Modern Funerals 1. The crematorium is made up like a courtroom The coffin propped in the dock A judge … Read more

I grew up in a little coastal West Country town you’ve probably heard of, called Portishead. To be fair, as a child, I was quite happy there. It was only when I moved away then came back that I became aware of how crazily right-wing the place is. Our local MP is the Conservative Dr … Read more

The last grave we visited on our tour of poets’ graves didn’t belong to a poet at all. After paying our respects to William McGonagall in Edinburgh, we went and took our pictures at the monument to Greyfriars Bobby, the dog who supposedly stood vigil at his master’s grave for over a decade. The story … Read more

I’m still on tour with Mark Grist and MC Mixy, touring poets’ graves. We’ve visited Sylvia Plath, Philip Larkin, Lord Byron and William Shakespeare. We’ve gigged in a school, an office, a cinema and two castles. We’ve met a staffie, a pug, a whippet-collie cross, an Irish wolfhound, a white labrador and an angry newfoundland. … Read more

Hey everyone! Cross-posting this from the Poets’ Graves blog. On Monday we trekked out onto Dartmoor to hunt for Ted Hughes’ memorial stone. Its exact location was kept secret for several years, partly – so the story goes – for fear that Sylvia Plath supporters might deface it, and partly – again, so I’ve read … Read more

Everything Hangs In The Balance The gilt-edged sombrero, the walnut-nosed little gentleman running his pea and shells game on a paisley rug beside the steps to the opera, the bitch stoat mounting a rabbit and needling at its throat crease, the rabbit beneath, squealing, its hot, lean flanks and the hedgerow a fading murk against … Read more

In case you don’t know, Mark Grist, MC Mixy and I are setting off on a pilgrimage round the graves of some the UK’s most famous poets. We’re going to be learning about the lives and work of the wordsmiths who came before us, and writing new pieces inspired by them, our experiences on the … Read more

Tonight is our monthly literary cabaret night, Homework. Each month we produce and perform new material around a set theme: like homework, geddit? This month’s theme is ‘Monologues’. I thought this would be much easier, you guys. We’re getting in some actors to deliver some of the pieces, and the rest we’re performing ourselves. I … Read more

You must know by now that I am embarking on a pilgrimage round poets’ graves in October, right? With Mark Grist and MC Mixy? And that we’re going to learn about the lives and work of the poets we visit, and write new poems, and ponder death and eternity and the meaning of it all? … Read more

Unless you have some species of rich and meaningful life occupying your waking hours, you can’t have failed to notice that, next month, from Sunday 6th October til (probably) Friday 18th, I am embarking on a pilgrimage around the final resting places of our nation’s most celebrated poets. I’ll be joining Mark Grist and MC … Read more

About a month ago I visited Chester to do some poetry projects with Chester Performs. On the Saturday, I sat in the Roman amphitheatre in the middle of Chester, chatting to members of the public about their earliest memories. I wrote each memory on a big A2 sheet of paper, and we hung them up … Read more

As you may have seen, on Friday I announced a tour/pilgrimage that I’ll be undertaking (weak pun intended) in October with Mark Grist and MC Mixy. The idea is to visit as many famous poets’ graves as we can, across the UK. We start in Bristol, on Sunday October 6th, and we end sometime after … Read more

Part of me can’t believe I’m announcing this. It’s probably the most foolhardy project I’ve embarked on. By writing this down, I’m committing to it. I have no idea if it will triumph, or dissolve into an embarrassing fiasco. To be honest, it could do both. The thing is, friends – I need your help. … Read more

The last of the pubs we visited on our poetry pub crawl around Chester was the Marlbororough Arms. My research material said: ‘Though it is relatively new to the list of pubs within Chester, that does not mean it is not haunted’, which is technically true. Its age is not the reason it’s not haunted. … Read more

Hello friends. Today I flew over to Denmark for a mini-tour with the smashing poet Harry Baker. We’re hitting up Copenhagen today, Aarhus tomorrow, and Aalborg on Sunday. It’s going to be straight pimping. I hope it goes without saying that, if you’re around in one of those cities, please come and say hi! Last … Read more

Earlier this month I led a poetry pub crawl round ostensibly haunted pubs in Chester. I wrote a poem for each pub we visited. The Cross Keys is one of its oldest pubs set within the old Roman Walls of the City. All the pubs we visited attempted to drum up trade with bullshitty supernatural … Read more

Last Friday I led a poetry pub crawl around a series of ostensibly haunted pubs in Chester, weaving local history with ghost stories and beer. As a teetotal atheist who has been to Chester twice in his life, I was the perfect choice. I wrote a poem for each pub we visited. Over the next … Read more