I had a blast attending Proverse Publishing‘s Autumn Reception at the Helena May last Thursday, mixing and mingling with the winners and finalists of the 2021 Proverse Poetry Prize! Congrats to all and to Proverse for organizing such a fun event! I’m also excited to be interviewing a couple of them for my next series of Mental Ideas, which will broadcast in 2022. S2 explores the relationship between mental health and imagination in a psychedelic way! First up is the incredible Vishal Nanda, who blew me away with his lively speech and inspired poetry book Please Stand Back From The Platform Door. Vishal is a fellow ‘bipolar bear’ (as he signed his book to me), but I’m certain that’s the least interesting thing about him. He is donating ticket sales from his upcoming book launch on Dec 8 to mental health charity Mind. Don’t miss it!!!

After reading my first poem for the first time at the HKU Libraries Reading Club and miraculously resisting the impulse to sing it, more potential peril looms this week when I’ll be sneaking into the studio and recording War of Voices for Dr. Ahmed Elbeshlawy‘s Voice Your Passion poetry channel! The poem will be up Oct 18!

The poem was published by Proverse Publishing and Chinese University Press April 22, 2021 after winning a place in the 2020 Proverse Poetry Prize anthology, Mingled Voices 5.

https://cup.cuhk.edu.hk/MingledVoices5

I will be reading an extract from my (very long) debut poem War of Voices for HKU Libraries at an event organized by Proverse Publishing this Thursday (July 15) from 6-8pm!

The poem was published by Proverse and Chinese University Press April 22, 2021 after winning a place in the 2020 Proverse Poetry Prize anthology, Mingled Voices 5. A film of the event will be available on the ProverseHKU websites.

I have to admit I’m a little nervous about this. Not because I’m a nervous public speaker. Just because War of Voices is the first thing I’ve written where I don’t hear my own author’s voice AT ALL! Whose voice do I hear? Unfortunately, it’s Aled Jones’ voice, circa 1980s, when he sang the Christmas hit, Walking In The Air.

Why is this bad? Why do you think!!! Because I sound nothing like an 8 year old choir boy with an angelic voice. I sound, at best, like a cat that’s being strangled slowly to death by a python. So I guess my greatest fear is of breaking into song midway through the reading.

Your prayers that this will NOT happen on Thursday are very much appreciated at this difficult time.

https://www.hku.hk/press/news_detail_22997.html

I imagine Young Aled’s expression will be pretty similar to that on the faces of the audience at this event…

Woohoo! My first attempt at penning a poem was published April 22, 2021 by Proverse Publishing and Chinese University Press and my copy arrived today! Mingled Voices 5 is an anthology of poems on the theme of ‘Hunger’ by poets around the world that won or were shortlisted for the 2020 International Proverse Poetry Prize

All the featured poets are incredible and I can only put my own inclusion down to a fortuitous accident or a moment of drug or alcohol relapse on the part of the editors. 🤣 Mingled Voices 5 is available in paperback and as an ebook. It’s free to subscribers of Kindle Unlimited!

The 2021 Proverse Poetry Prize is now open for entries! This year’s theme is ‘Shielding’ open to interpretation any way the poet chooses. Submissions close June 30, 2021!

Also open for submissions by Hong Kong based poets is RTHK‘s annual poetry competition. This year’s theme is ‘White’ open to misinterpretation any way the reader chooses! Entries close July 12!

One little hit of dopamine I experienced last year was winning a place in the 2020 Proverse Poetry Prize Anthology for my first bash at writing a poem! War of Voices is my little rant on social media, populism and propaganda. The anthology, called Mingled Voices 5, will be published by Proverse and Chinese University Press as an ebook and in paperback THIS WEEK (April 22), but is already available for preorder on Amazon!

I’m also writing a humorous short story for the Hong Kong Writer’s Circle‘s 2021 anthology. This year’s theme is After The Storm. I seem to have been mentioned in the same sentence asstormquite a bit recently, which is either profoundly disturbing or deliciously serendipitous. If I don’t blow myself out, the anthology will be launched at the HK Lit Fest and published in Nov!

https://cup.cuhk.edu.hk/MingledVoices5

In a daze to learn my first (and only) poem, War of Voices, has won a place in the 2020 Proverse Poetry Prize and will be published in Proverse Publishing‘s 2021 anthology next April! Which place (last place?) will be announced at a reception in Hong Kong Nov 19!

My late grandfather, a poet, who also dabbled in banking, would be proud! I’d love to say he was an inspiration but since his legacy is all in Welsh (and it’s a sin to translate Welsh poetry into English) it’s impossible for me to tell if he’s been much of an influence or not.

Thank you, Proverse! You have made a wannabe poet with more issues than Vogue very happy.