I'm in the midst of a majorly busy few weeks of preparation for both my next Arctic trip and the launch of my new poetry collection, while also battling to keep on top of all the mentoring, tutoring, editing and workshopping that I'm currently involved in. I seem to be even more inundated with emails than usual - but one that's recently brought me real pleasure, rather than just the demand for an immediate response, came from the deputy editor of the National Trust Magazine.
I was very chuffed to learn that a new poem, Flock, that I'd entered for the National Trust's 'Landlines' poetry competition, on the theme of the outdoors, has been shortlisted/highly commended - one of 12 out of some 1700 entries, I think. I haven't entered many poetry competitions at all lately (only one other this year, I think), so the news was especially unexpected. Flock is quite linguistically playful, too, and I wasn't at all convinced it was competition material.
The full results of the competition, including the winning poems (as chosen by adjudicators Jo Bell and Ian McMillan) can be seen here.