I’ve been writing monologues this week, something I started working on at Lumb Bank. They’re not free enough yet, too structured and constrained by anxiety about my abilities. I read some Sharon Olds last night and then some Louise Gluck, two very different but equally appealing poets. Olds makes Gluck’s language seem simplified but that doesn’t diminish it. Both use the eliptical ‘I’. When I started writing in my early teens, every I was I – me. I’ve written myself out of that conundrum.

I enjoyed the latest edition of The Dark Horse. I enjoyed Kim Moore’s All the Men I Never Married: No 9 and David Morley’s Sycamore Bark for different reasons. I also loved the essay on Anne Sexton as teacher. I thought it brought her to life in the most vivid way.

I’ve totally revised and re-edited the majority of the poems I have since the Arvon course. There’s still a way to go, but the ‘finished 100’ are now reduced to about a ‘finished 40’. I hope I’m not chopping away good wood. We’ll see.

I had a poem accepted by Acumen last month and was delighted, but when I looked at the copy a lot needed working on. I submitted a very revised version. I hope they accept it in its new form.

I’ve been working hard at my day job. I’ve got a lot of new patients in the psychosis pathway. Some stories are too unbelievable to put into words and, in mental health services, you realise you are living amongst these stories every day in the community. Work’s been a good distraction this week as my daughter’s been in Morocco with my mum (they still are) and I’ve been worrying a fair bit. The rabbits are still happily in love in the back yard and a pair of jackdaws are coming regularly to the bird feeder now.

I’m going to North Yorkshire for the Easter week. I’m hoping to look at my whole selection of poems and organise them into some kind of order if I can. A collection rather than a random selection of writing spanning 15 years. I was sorry The Fenland Reed had to cancel the issue 4 launch in Ely as not enough poets could attend. It took me a while to sort out some leave from work so I couldn’t instantly say I was going either. It looks like a really good edition though and I hope my poems hold up in print.

It’s nice to be included in the emails from the Arvon group. I haven’t a lot to contribute as I’m at work so much of the time and generally discover them later at night. I’m so pleased I went on the course and hope that some of us do keep in touch.

We went to Buttermere again at the weekend and the sun shone! In Cumbria! We walked off the path and into the forest with its bogs and stumps covered with sphagnum moss. The pub gave me an idea for a monologue… a spirited daughter of an innkeeper speaks.

Author: kittydonnellypoet

Kitty Donnelly was born in Oxford in 1979. Her mother was born in Cumbria, of Irish origin, and her father was born in Newry, Northern Ireland. She has lived in London, Cumbria, Swansea and Chichester. She had poems published in Acumen in 2005, as well as being long and short-listed for several poetry competitions. She was also published in The Samaritan's Anthology and by The Forward Press. In 2007, she took a long break from submitting poems after having her daughter. In 2016, she has been Commended in the Southport Writer's Circle Poetry Competition, long-listed for the Canterbury University Poet of the Year 2016 and has had work accepted for publication in The Dawntreader. She currently lives in Cumbria where she works as a psychiatric nurse.

2 thoughts on “Monologues”

  1. Dear Kitty Oh I am so glad the course was valuable to you! It certainly seems so from what you write. Excited too that you are also exploring a new form. I’m writing from the Holiday Inn Express in Bristol – her to do a corporate job today, then back to Suffolk for Easter w/e. Lots of love and have a great time in Yorkshire. Your Dad was always rude about Yorkshire people. Kath xx

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