Episode 42: Alan Parry – Life’s Poetic Moments

Merseyside poet, playwright and poetry editor Alan Parry joins us to read from his new collection Echoes from Rare Swan Press. He talks about how we can explore our lives and find stories and poems from our experiences and memories. He also talks about his many other projects including the growth of his poetry and arts collective The Broken Spine.

Alan’s writing exercise

My day job is a Lecturer in English, I work with students who struggle to tell their own stories and one of my favourite promts is to encourage free writing in response to a favourite photograph of their youth. What can you tell me is going on in that image? Who took it? Who is there? Where is it? I ask them to make zero attempt to be poetic, or factual, just get the story out and on paper. Time yourself I say, give yourself fifteen minutes to get down what you can, then spend as long as you need tidying it up. I can help my students edit their work and I’m prepared to read your work and offer advice on Twitter to anybody who has a go at responding to this prompt. Tell me your story! Dan Kitson once said that we spend our lives being told that the world does not revolve around us, but from our individual perspectives it kind of does. We see everything from our own eyes. I think that this is so true and can be harnessed effectively.

Please send your poems here for feedback from Alan and to feature on future episodes.

Alan Parry is a poet, playwright and poetry editor from Merseyside, England. He is an English Literature graduate and English teacher. Alan enjoys gritty realism, open ends, miniature schnauzers and 60s girl groups. He has previously had work published by Dream Noir, Streetcake Magazine, Black Bough Poetry, Porridge, Ghost City Press, Anti-Heroin Chic, and others. He cites Alan Bennett, Jack Kerouac, and James Joyce as inspiration. His debut collection, Neon Ghosts, is available from The Broken Spine website. In 2021, Alan
formed the collective The Southport Poets with Paul Robert Mullen, Mary Earnshaw, and David Walshe and their debut, Belisima, was released by Dreich in autumn 2021.

Last month’s NaPoWriMo series provided a wealth of prompts with some fantastic responses. We finish this episode with a poem from Will Ingrams who not only contributed a prompt but submitted a poem every day. He shares his Ode to a Flying Fish from Daisy Thurston Gent’s prompt.

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Send us your NaPoWriMo poems

That’s it for NaPoWriMo 2022. Thank you to the 30 poets who have offered such a variety of poems and prompts over the month which I know have inspired many fantastic poems already. Thanks also to everyone who has shared poems during the month. It has been a pleasure to read them.

NaPoWriMo may have finished but in a way this is just the beginning. You’ll hopefully have lots of ideas and first drafts that you can develop over the coming months. I would love to feature them on the podcast so please send text and recordings of up to three poems from NaPoWriMo before May 31. If you don’t want to record you can send the text and I’ll do my best to read it. Please send submissions here.

If you haven’t heard all the podcasts you can still catch up with the playlist below, and make sure you subscribe to catch all future podcasts.

NaPoWriMo 2022

It’s coming up to April which is NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) when poets attempt to write a new poem every day. I’m looking for 30 poets to share a writing prompt for a series of daily blogs and podcasts to keep participants inspired and motivated.

To be considered please send a writing prompt and poem based on the prompt to poetrynonstop [at] gmail.com by March 1st. Put NaPoWriMo as the subject.

The prompt shouldn’t be too complicated. Participants are writing a poem a day. It should be topic or exercise that can be used to spark ideas in a fairly short writing session. It could be a simple as ‘write a poem about your favourite food’ if you have a good poem about that.

If selected you will be asked to produce a short recording sharing your prompt and poem for a podcast to go out in April. Your poem and prompt will also be published on the blog along with a short intro. Submissions are open to all and poems can be published or unpublished.

I look forward to sharing your ideas and helping new poems grow in NaPoWriMo 2022.

Supermarket Sweep – Roger Waldron

Here’s a poem by Roger Waldron written in response to John Osborne’s writing exercise. We welcome submissions of poems written in response to any of the writing prompts or exercises on Poetry Non-Stop. You can submit poems here.

Supermarket Sweep

I met my love in the supermarket carpark.
She was reversing her vintage Hillman Minx
with such confidence I had to stand and applaud
She locked it and threw me a glance asked if I’d seen
enough or would I like to see her do her weekly shop
and make comment on the cleaning products she’s considering
before she made her final purchase I asked if I could push
her trolley She asked if I’d got a pound She smiled as I adjusted
my pockets held my hand and led me down the bright lights of the toiletry aisle

Roger Waldron

Episode 23: Listeners’ Poetry

This podcast features a selection of poems sent in by listeners. We have heard many talented and accomplished poets in the last year. But Poetry Non-Stop was always intended to inspire everyone to write poetry and give new poets a platform.

This episode features poetry from:

Sarah Davies
Ann Walton / Kelley Allen
Ray Dunlap
Alex Blustin
Patrick Sheil
And music from Moth Conspiracy

It was particularly pleasing to receive poems in response to some of the prompts provided by guests. There are also a few inspired by prompts from the Poetry Non-Stop book which you can buy here.

Poetry Non-Stop is always open to submissions of poems inspired by writing prompts on the podcast. You can submit poems here and you could be featured on the blog or a future podcast.

Call for submissions: Listeners’ edition

Submissions are now open for a listeners’ edition of the podcast. Please submit your poems according to the guidelines below. I’d particularly like to feature poems inspired by the writing exercises on previous podcasts. You can find details of these here.

Please submit an audio recording up to five minutes long, including any introduction to poetrynonstop@gmail.com. Alternatively you can send up to two poems in a Word document and I’ll record them. Please also include a short self-introduction. You can include a website and any social media handles you’d like to share. Also let me know which exercise(s), if any, you were inspired by.

Tips for recording:

You can produce an adequate recording using any laptop, smartphone or tablet device. Try to avoid any background noise and make sure your voice is audible but not distorted. Adjust the distance between you and the microphone if necessary. Beyond that don’t worry too much about quality as long as you can hear the words clearly. If you prefer you can send the poems as text.

Deadline for submissions is May 24th.

Bonus podcasts

I’m currently recording and editing more episodes which will be coming out soon. They will be going out every two weeks to allow people more time to listen to them and respond to the writing prompts. On the weeks in between I might post bonus podcasts. These will be shorter and may include additional material from the main podcasts or readings on poems sent in response to previous prompts. I’d also like to do some podcasts featuring poets talking about an individual poem and the story behind how they wrote it. If you have a poem that has an interesting story or writing process behind it then please email with a copy of the poem and up to 100 words on why it should be featured. The poem can be previously published as long as you have permission to share it on the blog and podcast.

Submissions are still open for poems written in response to prompts from the first series. Details here.

Share your poems

It’s been a great first series of Poetry Non-Stop and I’ve been proud to present a variety of poets discussing a range of topics and sharing some wonderful poems. But the podcast isn’t just a showcase for a few poets it’s an opportunity for everyone to be inspired which is why there is a writing prompt on each episode. Please have a go at these exercises whether you are an accomplished poet looking for inspiration or if you’ve never written a poem in your life. I will be sharing poems submitted on the blog and possibly in a special podcast before presenting more poets in the second series. To submit simply send poems via the submission form, share as a comment or post on social media using #poetrynonstop and tagging @poetrynonstop.
Please submit by June 27th to be featured.

Here is a quick reminder of the exercises with links to each programme:

Jamie Osborn: Borders and intimacy
Sue Burge: Describe a memory in black and white then in colour
Martin Figura: Use metaphor to describe feelings associated with a life event or experience
Jenny Pagdin: Write a gratitude poem (see post for instructions)
Avouleance: Pick a page of a non-fiction book at random and use it to write about a character in a poem
Alex Russell: Find an exploitable market and write a poem to exploit it

For more writing exercises and advice check out the Poetry Non-Stop book.