Home Stage: Meet the Poet (Phil Vernon & Peter A): 23 June 2021

This is just a screen grab. The YouTube link is at the end of the fourth paragraph of the blogpost

Well, well, well – that was quite something last night, and I am a little lost for words today!

To be paired with a poet possessing the experience, inventiveness and skill which Phil Vernon has in abundance, in a poetry presentation format which enables viewers to see the text of the poem as the poet reads. To be hosted so skilfully, enthusiastically and insightfully by Florrie Crass on the very professional Home Stage platform.

That was a dream for any writer, and I feel truly blessed that last night happened.

As I expressed at the start I am somewhat lost for words at the moment but we all had a fair bit to read and say during the livestream. So, if that interests you, please click on the YouTube link and savour some of last night’s flavour. If you want to view the video recording of the livestream the YouTube link for it is here https://youtu.be/hFESWt62dag

Finally, if you wish to order a copy of Art of Insomnia it can be obtained from Hedgehog Poetry Press, Amazon or from my Art of Insomnia page here https://peterawriter.com/art-of-insomnia/ (the only way to get a signed copy if that is what you require); and if you wish to purchase Phil’s Poetry After Auschwitz it’s available on Amazon.

His blog post following on from last night’s show can be found here https://philvernon.net/2021/06/24/poetry-reading-with-peter-a/

Drop in with Nigel Kent – Poet


Following a break from blogging I shall return to posting fairly regular blogs this month. In the meantime, I take this opportunity to Reblog from my Drop-in with Nigel Kent published this morning. Next Saturday his review of ‘Art of Insomnia’ will appear on the Nigel Kent – Poet website

Drop in by Peter A

Today I have great pleasure in inviting Peter A to talk about a poem from his moving Art of Insomnia (Hedgehog Press, 2021)

My debut chapbook Art of Insomnia is personal in a way that is not very typical of my poetry to date. That said, in much of my previous and ongoing work I have tried to deliver an emotional punch where it is justified by the subject matter or theme of the poem.

Art of Insomnia comprises 22 poems written in the nine month period following the unexpected death of my wife; in it I attempt to express the impact of incomprehensible loss and signal the potential for a bearable way forward. The chapbook is divided into four sections and the poem I have selected is the second poem of the third section. Following the second section, which describes a temporary escape from familiar surroundings and people, this section [RETURN TO WHAT REMAINS] is about coming back to the inescapable reality of loss.

In the poem selected here, I mainly use a fairly conventional, uncomplicated, almost-conversational form of address direct to the reader, with many of the same words repeated in each of the nine-line stanzas.

The words which are unique to each stanza set out two issues which may arise when well-intentioned people try to offer comfort and praise at a time when the recently-bereaved person is at the stages of grief where he feels only guilt and powerlessness. These lines of the stanzas arrive in a form which is more poetic or dramatic in style leading the reader to pathos at the end of each stanza.

The title comes from the word ‘better’ at the end of the first line of the poem, and the word ‘fail’ at the end of its last line. Any resemblance to Samuel Beckett’s ‘Fail Better’ is fortuitous but also somewhat fortunate.

Thank you, Peter A. Next week read my review of this exceptionally powerful collection.