Rioting workshops

When I used to do poetry workshops in prisons before and after 2010 there were definitely less riots and general violence in prisons.

Some people might say this is because the government have cut the number of prison officers. Others may point to the fact experienced officers have been replaced with young and inexperienced officers, who are unable to deal as effectively with such circumstances. Some may say that the above reasons has meant that prisoners are being locked up for upto 23 hours a day leading to justified resentment. Others may say we send too many people to prison in the first place.

I on the other hand am saying the increase in prison violence is down to my lack of poetry workshops. So confident of my abilities that during the next prison riots I want the governor to ring me and I will guarantee to calm the situation within 2 hours with a mix of word association games and a few clever rhymes. I await the call.


Listen to my comedy prongcast. Cheers.

An exiled poet

jrlpoemHola. Hope you are well.

As I’m sure you’re all aware John Ryland’s library (M’cr) were running a poetry competition at the end of January.  For 10 days they tweeted one image a day loosely associated with love and the public could tweet how the picture made them feel, whether that be serious, profound or silly.

My plan was to create a response to all the pics, or if not all, the majority but like most of my plans it didn’t work out like that. My life got in the way, meaning I only managed to submit 1 line of poetry.

So I was somewhat surprised when I received a txt saying my line had been accepted to be part of the collective piece.

For those desperate to know, the line in question is below and was a response to the above pic,

                                            In the heart of the dark, seek the flecks of the light.

The completed poem is currently up at John Ryland’s library. It should have been taken down but it looks like it will be up for the next couple of weeks (a bit before the end of March), so if you’re in and around Manchester city centre pop in (150 Deansgate) and have a look at it.

You can be my eyes as unfortunately I won’t be back in Manchester before it’s taken down. I suppose that’s the perils of being an exiled poet (I’m only in London).

Til next time, be nice to each other.


Should you have time, listen to my prongcasts


Don’t buy my book at £8

Hola. Hope you are well.

In what could be described as a continuation of the previous blog post, I’m back talking books.

About a year ago (I say a year but who knows when it was) I mentioned that the book I co-wrote, How To Dump Your Girlfriend was selling on Amazon for 1p.

Then recently I was tweaking my website and needed a link to my book and was horrified to see Amazon selling it for over £8. This caused me some concern as it only cost £5:99 when it first came out. At that point I was going to do a blog telling people not to buy the book at £8 as I knew it wouldn’t live up to this price. Due to life and a 5 day a week part-time job, getting in the way I never got round to doing that blog post, until now. In the meantime however, my book has dropped to under £4  which means we can all rest a little easier.

In other book news, I recently contributed a poem for the Ebook The Rebel Versus Society and this is only £1:49. That’s virtually giving it away.

And finally…. A couple of weeks ago I found out to my surprise that more than 50 people have subscribed to this blog. Thanks if that is you. Although as to not exclude people, thanks to all those people who read this blog but haven’t subscribed. In fact thanks to anyone who has clicked on this blog by mistake. You’re all welcome.

Til next time, be nice to each other.


If you have any spare time, check out my Prongcasts

My Black History Month 2014

Hola. Hope you are well.

There was a time in the past, that I attempted to make a living from being creative (I got nowhere near). Back then Black History Month (Oct) was always a good earner, it also allowed me to reflect on the contributions black people have made to society but mainly it was a good earner.

These days I don’t make any money from creativity (not necessarily my choice) but this didn’t stop me contributing to this year’s Black History Month.

I created 6 posters, 3 writers and 3 musicians, to be displayed around the school I work in. These were basic posters, incorporating a picture and a few facts I’d found during my research (wikipedia). I decided to focus on Black British artists. I could for example have picked Michael Jackson but I thought a few people may already have written about his life and career. Instead my subjects were Jackie Kay, Zadie Smith, Benjamin Zephaniah, Laura Mvula, Jamal Edwards and Dizzee Rascal.

I’ve had some positive feedback from the pupils and my friend and colleague said “As long as they’re down by November”.

Please Note. They’re still up (and my friend was just joking)

Til next time, stay safe!