New poem

‘A bird i catch || to eat’

Second prize in the Mslexia Poetry Contest,

Read it in the print version of

Mslexia, no.93.


‘Language flies around the page … and

finally lands as a small bird.’

— Judge Pascale Petit

On Instagram

Caught up with dear friend Kum Suning at Holland V in Singapore. This wonderful person was the editor of my memoir Loss Adjustment, published by @ethosbooks. I owe @suningk so much, professionally and personally. #lossadjustment #editors #heroine #memoir ...

There's a lovely review of my poetry collection, Sign Language for the Death of Reason, at Landfall online. by Paris-based Shana Chandra. Landfall Journal is NZ's long-established main lit mag. This is after terrific reviews in Singapore, by Jasmine Goh in @QLRS and by @livandthemoon OliviaTuck in the UK's @tears.inthefence. My thanks to these diligent reviewers, and their commissioning editors. The book is available at @thebookhive in Norwich; @kinokuniya_singapore ; and from @unitybookswgtn, @universitybookshopotago and @timarubooksellers - and also @Christchurch and wellington libraries, and @nlbsingapore NLB. #poetry @malpixo @suetangney @gail_ingram_poet @andreahollandpoet @smith_and_peony @uealdc
The link to full piece (exicted to be in same company as Nina Mingya Powles):

This Hari Raya Puasa, please read this amazing poetry in The Kalahari Review by my friend Salma Yusuf, with whom I did an MA in Creative Writing. Sal, who is from Kenya, is a truly gifted and brave poet and I pinch myself that she was in my cohort. Go to the article and click. Warning: this might be life-changing. Here on Insta, she is @expressing_through_salummy. #poetry @kreview @livandthemoon @malpixo here is a taste; 'Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Pettiest of Them All?
In Bahani the year is 2000, a mourning like no other. All the roads headed to Masjid Mandhry were closed. Abla Karima looked through the window, her face held onto layers of gossip. Look, the honeypots are stolen. The honeypots placed horizontally overlooking the sea where the beauty and the beast’s story begun. I remember asking myself, how come no one complains about the saltiness of the ocean? and the one time, the water tasted like sugar — women hoped that now too, there was something more to hold onto — the honeypots. Maybe the sweetness of the ocean was as a result of the osmosis between the honey and the seawater. In Bahani that year, honeypots were stolen and the women kissed the crevices of their tomorrow and prayed that men ceased to exist especially those chanting but not all men. Women left in the custody of brothers who could not be brothers, women left with their honeypots stolen, women left shaking — their right legs touched the sea and their left legs touched the earth surface. The grandest thieves were the ones the women did not see coming. They came for them with the bitterness and brutality stored for winter. Now, the girls store their honeypots in the graves they have dug in their houses — danger is safety with a safety pin — this is how they know — this is how they know.'

Got a poem in this. Pleased as my work breaks haiku convention in terms of subject matter.
I'm not normally into this form but it is helping me with getting things tighter, more focused. I've since explored tanka & this was recently performed in the UK at the National Writers Centre.
My haiku in this new anthology basically sums up my memoir, Loss Adjustment. #haiku #poetry #LossAdjustment #haikudownunder My thanks to Michael Dylan Welch of the Haiku Association of America for believing in my work at the HAIKU DOWN UNDER - Poetry From The Edge conference late last year.

Anthology: first print lot sold out. Second printing available next week.
To order : go to the website above:

I encountered Linda Lines (pictured), who passed away this month, only last year at a poetry retreat in Portugal. She was one of the most intriguing people I have met, being an outrageous flirt even in her 70s, even after three husbands, totally confident in the upper echelons of UK society - her dear friend was TV chef Prue Leith, and the Duke of Edinburgh laughed at one of her jokes - a writer, and yet with a tough business brain and who had run her own firm in the City. On the retreat, at first she was rather haughty towards the other, declasse colonial Linda, but we found a common ground in a love of words, and she was sweet and kind.
The poet, impresario, and @guardian and thedailytelegraphofficial obituarist Peter Pegnall wrote to me these lines about Linda:
"I should like to say that I found her a fascinating, generous, infuriating, irrepressible person, with a zest for life in all its sensual splendor. To see her pole up at a very seedy hotel in Cromer in a Jaguar Convertible was a joy; to tussle with her over her work but also to realise that some of it sank in; to resist her inclination to make a manservant of me; to be surprised by her courtesy and gratitude will not pass from my mind. And I do not wish to be presumptuous, but there was – is- a deep melancholy beneath the imperial façade.'
RIP Linda Lines @naomifoylepoet @sueburge4 @andreahollandpoet @dawnhopkins #peterpegnall #memoir #acasasdospoetas #poetrycommunity Photo:

I've got a review of New Singapore Poetries in the latest @mekongreview An honour to write a few words about this exciting poetry anthology published by @gaudyboysu and to do a close reading of the offerings.
It's my first commissioned piece since gaining an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing (Poetry) from the University of East Anglia in November. I'll be beating the drum about the new writing coming out of Singapore when I return to the UK for my PhD.
Congrats to all involved including @jeekohpoet @marylyn.orificial,Hamid Roslan, @mokzining Ally Chua, @Lune Loh. #poetry #SingLit @kixes @Kenny Chan @sophiepoetry @uealdc @malpixo #poetry #poetrycommunity

The photo of a tweet here is a great start to 2023 - Ellora Sutton is the most exciting poet I have read in the last 12 months, so my tenuous and undeserved mention is pleasing. But a terrible year for geopolitics, yeah, which my poetic practice has yet to reflect. Must it do so? I am still processing my own micro/macro deaths and lives, the world has to enter through that lens, that is the reality.
In terms of that fraught word 'outcomes': So, runner-up in a national UK poetry contest, the Mslexia, @mslexia for 'A bird i catch || to eat,' informed by a dear Filipina friend. Good to share the £500 prize money with her. My poem ‘Chickadee’ in a dream publication, @bathmagg. Longlisted fiction and poetry in the @thedillydounreview contest, @retreatwest, the Letter Review. An MA with Distinction in Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of East Anglia @uealdc and now I am about to start a creative-critical PhD there part-time, supervised by the incredible @sophiepoetry . A pamphlet/chapbook, 'a voiding / A VOIDING', coming out with Muscaliet Press UK this year.
Conversations with wonderful poets including @bebravemycaptain and @expressing_through_salummy.
Then on NYE, a chance encounter in my remote base of Kakanui with Kerry Donovan Brown, an extraordinary young writer, whose book Lamplighter @wellington_uni is a must-read. To talk craftwork with them in the house of late friend Dave Neilson, as the sun set over the river valley - and on 2022 - seemed fitting.
Thanks also to Loss Adjustment publisher @ethosbooks for opportunities to engage on mental health issues across a wide social spectrum, from wonderful readers of the book, to corporates including Paramount Films and Nomura financial services.
Reviews coming out in 23 in the Uk & NZ of Sign Language for the Death of Reason.

Of course, I still feel a failure. #lossadjustment

Double delight in the inbox: I've been longlisted for the Retreat West flash fiction contest in the UK; and was also highly commended in the Letter Review Poetry Contest in Oz.

The contests aren't that well-known but the cash prizes are good and so they get flooded with entries.
I am super-pleased about the longlisting as I struggle with flash fiction.
My longlisted flash piece was first workshopped online as a poem titled Beach pick-up with a writers group I belong to in Singapore. You know who you are, and thanks! I sat on the helpful feedback for a long time, then two months ago it hit me this was a feeling in the moment linear narrative and would be better in the form of ff.
The piece now goes forward to the shortlisting which will be decided in January. However, the subject matter is risky - gender, race, cultural stereotyping, and sex - so I am not holding out much hope. #poetry #flashfiction #hybridwriting @bebravemycaptain @expressing_through_salummy @malpixo @eneidaescribe @alaa.khaldun @kashmatt9 @sarahhudadiaries

Dave Nielson,social justice advocate, neo-marxism lecturer, and all round decent person had the most interesting mind of anyone I have read met. This is a good tribute (below, in link, from the University of Waikato, New Zealand) to a remarkable person whom I was lucky enough to know through his visits with family to my base in Kakanui.
He died suddenly the week I got back to NZ.
Christmas won't be the same without his generous nature, deep conversations about the state of humanity, and lethal top-spin serve on the tennis court.
Condolences to @melissahackell , his children, and friends who miss him dearly. @malpixo @smith_and_peony #socialjusticewarrior #unionmovement #socialism @universityofwaikatotauranga

Orifical email came today: passed a Masters in Creative Writing (Poetry) with Distinction at the University of East Anglia (UEA).
Thanks to friends poets readers husband novelists teachers professors casual acquaintances spoken-word-slot-givers publishers journal editors journal-interns the newspaper & drink-buying strangers who supported me. Love you all. #poetry #Signlanguageforthedeathofreason #LossAdjustment #norwich @sophiepoetry @uealdc @vivkemp @bebravemycaptain @thebookhive @ethosbooks @nzsocietyofauthors @thesocietyofauthors @thepoetrysociety @patrickwiddess @eneidaescribe

Happy birthday to dear friend Shirley. Us with Hannah and Thelma one summer. #horses #poetry #prosepoems ...

I made the longlist of The Dillydoun Review fiction contest in the US! And I am more of a poet and nonfiction writer. !!?
My story, Whales in Brooklyn, was written in January this year and was first workshopped at the UK's National Centre for Writing with Ian Nettleton.
After that, I was awarded a StartWrite mentorship with the New Zealand Society of Authors, and received the guidance of the incomparable Michelle Elvy (judge of numerous contests including Bath Fiction in 2016; and who has a Singapore connection, teaching at La Salle).
A thank you also to Singapore short story writer @bubblevicious who gave a short story workshop through #singlit two years ago and who put me on this road. @thedillydounreview @nzsocietyofauthors @writerscentre @malpixo @devotionworkshop @uealdc #fiction #fictioncommunity

Visiting your university where you did your first Creative Writing MA five years ago and seeing a book of yours on the bookshop shelf as you have a thank-you coffee with your tutor #dreamscometrue
Sign Language for the Death of Reason in all its pink and blue. A strange feeling of, me and my daughter Victoria did that?! At the aptly named @vicbooks . @victoriauniversitywellington , and its International Institute of Modern Letters. #poetry And also my #memoir #LossAdjustment published in NZ by @awapress

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins
Error: Access Token is not valid or has expired. Feed will not update.

On Facebook

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This