Second edition of Some things Matter

Here’s the cover of the second edition of my sonnets, two years after it first appeared. It has three extra sonnets in it which were commissioned in 2013, two of which were read on Radio 3 in October of this year. It’s be available to order now…

STM2 wrap cover

Wishing the Hyde Park Picture House a Happy Birthday


On Friday evening fellow-poet Matthew Hedley Stoppard and I waited nervously on the front row of the venerable Hyde Park Picture House as behind us a capacity audience gathered to celebrate the cinema’s hundredth birthday as part of the Leeds International Film Festival. Matthew and I were there to read a couple of poems from our next collection, Cinema Stories, out in August 2015.

Wendy Cook started off proceedings by speaking about the part the cinema has played, and still plays, for the community of film-goers in Leeds, the goodwill and hard work of volunteers, the board and the Friends of Hyde Park which have ensured the survival of this historic venue. Councillor Lucinda Yeadon reminded us of Leeds importance in terms of the development of the moving image, and the role the Hyde Park Picture House still has.

And then it was us both in the spotlight. I talked about our forthcoming book which will tackle some of the stories and histories of the sixty plus cinemas in which Leeds once contained, and how the Hyde Park had felt like home to me since my student days, before reading ‘Counter Culture’ [this month’s Poem of the Month] set in that very auditorium.

Matthew asked for stories and responses to our writing project so that we could get wide representation of opinions and experiences. He suggested that folk tweet to cinema_stories which would be great; you could also email me at
[email protected].uk .

Our mini-performance ended with Matthew reading his fabulously awkward first date poem ‘Gigolo in the Carriageworks’
(after Miehen Tyo, Leeds International Film Festival, 2007).

So a very big thank you for having us, to the Hyde Park Picture House and the lovely audience….