Two poems by Janet Rogerson

I have a couple of poems on Jospephine Corcoran’s terrific site And Other Poems. Both poems were previously published by The Rialto, in the magazine and in my pamphlet A Bad Influence Girl. The Rialto were the first magazine to publish a poem of mine and I will always hold a fond place in my heart for them. Josephine’s site has an enormously diverse range of poems. Thanks to both.

Beautiful Dragons

Angela Topping


Today I was delighted to read at Lancaster Lit Fest, as part of the Beautiful Dragons showcase event. Beautiful Dragons is a wonderful collaborative writing project run by the energetic and passionate Rebecca Bilkau. I was invited to take part in the third one, Heavenly Bodies, which is when Beautiful Dragons first came to my attention. The idea came from Rebecca, and another poet I admire, Sarah Hymas, writing about the same subject at the same time. Each successive project has involved more and more poets.

The collaboration is run in a non-competitive way. Each poet chooses the aspect of the theme they are going to work on and simply gets on with their own poem. There were 88 poets involved with writing about the 88 constellations for Heavenly Bodies, A Constellation of Poetry (2014) and  an astonishing 118 for the latest book, My Dear Watson, The Very Elements in…

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Blog Tour

This post is part of Blog Tour, a series of posts by poets and fiction writers, in which they respond to four questions about their writing process. Roy Marshall kindly invited me to participate and here is a link to Roy’s blog, where you can read all about how his fine poems are written. At the end of this post I’ll introduce you to three more writers who are going to do the same and who knows it could go on forever!
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Review: The Impossible dir Juan Antonio Bayona

My review of The Impossible on The Manchester Review:

Click here for review of The Impossible

Disaster movies are one of my favourite genres. I don’t care whether it’s plague, volcano, earthquake, tornado, melting icecaps, meteorites, fires or floods. All that death and destruction is just delightful, I love them. The film that started my fascination with this genre was the 1970s classic The Towering Inferno, Steve McQueen and Paul Newman, two very beautiful men, this is such an awesome film, I was really small when I first watched it and it was terrifying, some ugly scenes, fireballs! All those synthetic materials burned quick. But it left an impression (I think Titanic will leave a similar impression on my kids, they love it, ‘what made it sink?’, the iceberg ffs for the millionth time). Anyway whenever there’s a disaster movie on TV, even if I’ve seen it before, it makes me feel celebratory for some reason, and I crave something with bubbles.

Day 14: A few minutes in my head

Just counting the days at the moment, this is another of Bernstein’s exercises: write a poem in which you try to transcribe as accurately as you can your thoughts while you are writing. Don’t edit anything out. I’m not feeling so creative this weekend so thought this would at least be a quick solution. It’s too much though to do this, it’s worse than confessional writing, my sad little mind. Continue reading

Daytime Drinking, Alec Baldwin and Charismatic Acting

Daytime Drinking, Alec Baldwin and Charismatic Acting

When Alec Baldwin impersonated Robert DeNiro on the Actors Studio it made me wish that he was in every film, playing every part and all TV too. Because Alec’s got charisma: in the good stuff like Miami Blues but also in the dodgy stuff he does now, 30 Rock was pretty good though and he was beyond charismatic in that. I thought he was cool in The Getaway though the critics trashed it, probably because no one can follow McQueen. When I was little and my brother was a teenager he took me into town to buy a record, he held my hand, introduced me to his friends, Paul Newman and Steve McQueen. Some say McQueen was wooden, couldn’t act, I don’t agree because under-acting isn’t bad acting. Harrison Ford can’t act (in my opinion), he’s got one expression, strangely though the guy who plays Don Draper in Mad Men says Harrison Ford is his favourite actor, but when Jon Hamm (that’s his name) was on Actors Studio he was weirdly uncharismatic, not a patch on Don. My absolute favourite bit of that show was when Don and Betty are on a picnic in this lovely scenic spot and Don stands up throws a can of soda (soda!) off into the distance, then lifts up the picnic blanket and just dumps all the rubbish on the floor, classic TV, my other favourite thing about that show is the initiative from the fan community: don’t forget to drink when they do, though I haven’t tried that yet. Paul Newman doesn’t even have to be in a film to be awesome, I love the bit in Romeo is Bleeding when Juliet Lewis is talking about Paul Newman and she says ‘he was the prettiest thing that ever lived’ and it doesn’t show it but you know she’s going to die soon, that to me will always be a Paul Newman film.