Monthly Archives: June 2012

Poetry for the Olympic Torch – The Event

On the 19th June the Olympic torch made its way through the streets of York.

A few writers in the area were asked by the City of York Council to tweet poetry in order to make a poem, or collection of poems, to appear in the York800 anthology (published by Stairwell Books).

I found myself a nice little spot on Coney Street, opposite the Spurriergate Centre, where I had free WiFi access and was able to soak up the atmosphere and tweet my thoughts and observations of the event.

It started off fairly quiet. I was nearly an hour early! I grabbed a coffee and a sneaky bit of carrot cake and joined the few others who had started to line the street. There were lots of people expecting the torch to be making an appearance fairly soon, but of course it wasn’t scheduled to pass us until 6.08pm.

The masses soon began to gather and the police seemed to have a more obvious role at this point. A few people hurrying home from work didn’t seem to understand they couldn’t cycle down the road or cross over with gay abandon. Shouts and manhandling occurred on at least three occasions. Ooooo the excitement!

When the coaches and the cars passed (no free bottle of coke for me sadly!) people cheered and started to lean forward in anticipation. I was surrounded by urgency and arms. Elbows digged into my ribs and hands holding cameras hovered over my shoulder at regular intervals.

Then there was another lull. Children shuffled and literally ran circles round their mums. Dads fiddled with lenses and video recorders. Old folk waved their flags to entice the runner round the corner for a desperate glimpse of the gold.

The police signaled this was it. It was coming.

A huge coach rounded the corner and just as I was setting up the camera on my phone the runner flashed past, way too close to the coach to catch a proper looksie.

I literally blinked and missed it!!

Still, the view from the back served, and I am glad I got chance to be there.

I am not overly bothered about the Olympics really, even though I have taken up running, it’s all a lot of nonsense if you ask me. I was hugely disappointed to find out that the torch isn’t even the same all the way through. That the runner gets to keep each torch they hold…and flog it on ebay if they so wish!

Shame. I kinda liked the idea that it was the same torch…the same flame burning. It seemed romantic and symbolic somehow.

It was something I can say I saw, something I was a part of. Trying to come up with some poetry was fun too.

You will be able to catch my words, and the words of others, in the York800 anthology*.

*More details will be available once the publication is finished.


Poetry For The Olympic Torch

Poets from York (myself included) will be tweeting poetry from the torch route through York on Tuesday.

Here is a write up in the York Press about the event and you can check out the tweets under #YorkTorch. I am sure I will be writing up my experiences after the event so watch this space.

Recent Commendation

I am pleased to discover that my poem Cot (read here: ) has been highly commended in the York Writers Poetry Competition, judged by the brilliant poet James Nash.

Happy days!

Call For Submissions

Pastiche Magazine are looking for poetry and prose submissions for their 1st print edition to be released shortly. Any writers out there who wish to submit should read the following:


Pastiche is currently accepting submissions from writers, artists and musicians.

Poetry – very few restrictions, but we have a limit on the amount of  Iambic tetrameter and/or rhyming couplets we will accept. Audio files must be under 10 minutes.

Prose – under 5000 words. For submissions over 2000 words please send a sample page.

Art – can be any form (photography, traditional, performance)



Documents – .doc / .docx / .pdf – For all ‘traditional’ pieces please use 1.5 spacing.

Art (including photographs) – .jpg


Email all submissions to Do not include your written work in the body of the email – refer to the acceptable formats above.


Once submitted, work may not subsequently be published elsewhere (including self-publishing, e.g. on a blog) for a period of one month (creative) and 2 months (other). Please do not submit your work if it is already published elsewhere. Rejected work may be resubmitted after a period of 1 month. The same piece of work may not be submitted more than 3 times, however an individual is welcome to submit as many different pieces of work as they like.


So what are you waiting for…get emailing!!!



TakeOver Spoken Word Night – York

I recently had the pleasure of attending this awesome night of poetry, prose and music and was given the task of reviewing the event for Pastiche Magazine.

You can read my review here: