August was swallowed up by urgency and travel. I returned to Brittany the first half of August when my dad was rushed into hospital. It's been one of those heavy-on-funerals years so I didn't want to take any chances. This happily resolved itself with a quintuple bypass on 11th and he is already back to cycling on an (electric) bicycle.
As well as death, 2016 has been so far for me the year of catching every passing bug. January was a write-off as were various other weeks since. I think my immune system is keen to get aboard the Pokemon trend. I've been rather hard at myself as a result, not getting as many things done as I'd like whilst getting overwhelmed by others.
But as Dr Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park says, 'Life will not be contained'.
The second half of August I returned to South Africa, for part 2 of my Arts Council Travel Grant. I had a wonderful time in Cape Town, Grahamstown, and the McGregor Poetry Festival, giving workshops and readings, but also imbibing as much poetry as I could. I could have easily done with double of the time there to speak to more people, digest more books, and travel to further places. As with any projects, it's frustratingly limited, but I am glad to have had the opportunity to expand my reading horizons further than European and north American traditions. You can read some reviews and interviews here, more to come soon.
I've returned to the UK invigorated, but also running to stand still. I will be teaching for a second time my online course Deep Diving for the Poetry School. I also have some exciting readings coming up. Next week I'll be reading alongside Jo Bell, David Morley, Luke Kennard, Sarah Howe, and Jonathan Edwards at the inaugural Kenilworth Arts Festival. What a line up!
On 29th September I'll be reading at an event masterminded by Jill Abram, called 'Stablemates' At Waterstones Picadilly. As you can guess, each event from that series showcases a different press. So for this one, I'll be reading with fellow Penned in the Margins authors Ross Sutherland and Charlotte Newman.
That's enough information for now, bring on the Autumn!