With warmest wishes for the winter solstice and for peace, joy and creative nourishment in 2013.


Well big occasion this week: I handed my book over to the proof reader. It feels like the right time to be doing this. At some point I have to put the final full stop, even knowing that there is more to say. I have done the best job I could given where I am at, and that is the most any writer can say, I would imagine.

So what to do next? Of course, once the book is here, there will be the promotion of it. And I have a very long list of creative projects I want to get on with. And yet, at the moment, I am content to do very little. Perhaps I am in that "fertile void" part of my creative process (see Evans, K. "Pathways through Writing Blocks in the Academic Environment" Sense Publications, forthcoming) when I can hopefully feel my achievement and rest. Both of which are essential for any writer. Or maybe it is my natural inclination for this time of year to hibernate somewhat!
On the 9th of December 1964, the innovative and inspiring poet and writer, Edith Sitwell, died. Then all was over, "bar the shouting and the worms" as she said in her autobiography. She was 77 years old. Amazingly earlier that same year she had been to Australia creating a huge stir. She was still a force to be reckoned with. However, in more recent times her brilliance has all but lost its lustre.

I do believe now is the time for her renaissance and for her to take her rightful place in the canon of literature. Richard's Greene fabulously complete biography, "Edith Sitwell, Avant Garde Poet, English Genius" was a good start. But Edith Sitwell - fascinating woman, great writer and generous editor - should be trumpeted more. For those of you who are good at maths, you will have realised that 2014 is fifty years since her death, perhaps we can all make this the Edith Sitwell year, just as we have had the celebrations around Dickens in 2012. I do hope especially that Scarborough, North Yorkshire, the town of her birth, and where I now live, will take the lead.

Meanwhile, here is my modest tribute:

After Edith

Once we moved through hazes,
warm and golden,
Dagobert and I;
caught in a tapestry of silken threaded creatures -
birds with custard tails,
unicorns and lions with torn faces
parrots with stuffing for a soul,
dead but riveted
to our progress in rose gardens by the sea.

And silly girls laughed
to have their hats picked by the wind
and rescued by men twice their age.
Colonel Fantock and Peregrine
are gone now,
Replaced by over-done trippers
dreaming of Spain,
and I am the lost ghost
I always imagined myself to be.