April 6th - Just learned that my poem 'The Poet's Habitat' has been Highly Commended in the 2020 Prole Laureate Poetry Competition.
April 29th - I'm on something of a roll and have learned that I have come third in the inaugural Acumen International Poetry Competition with my poem, Mr and Mrs Amun in Luxor. There were more than 1100 entries.
Also pleased to learn that I have come joint 4th place in this year's Kent and Sussex poetry competition and that I will have a poem included in the Poetry on the Lake 20th anniversary anthology. Poetry on the Lake has also submitted the poem that came 2nd in their annual competition last year, to the Forward Prize for the best single poem category. Even more exciting is the news that the poetry collection that I wrote with Rosie Jackson, 'Two Girls and a Beehive' is now printed and
Collared Scops Owl in Bandhavgarh N.P.
I spent more than half of January travelling in India. After arriving in Delhi on Jan 17th, I had to fend off a swarm of taxi drivers before arriving at a hotel that failed to live up to its name 'Urban Luxury,' in a very run-down district. From there I flew to Jabalpur and was taxied for five hours to Bandhavgargh National Park, where I stayed in a very pleasant lodge and was ferried to the park each day for five days to go in search of tigers and other exciting creatures. From there I was driven to Khajuraho home of the Kama Sutra and some amazing temples adorned with erotic carvings. Next was a short flight to Varanasi and a long bizarre taxi ride to the hotel right by the banks of the River Ganges. Twenty minutes after arriving I was on a boat being shown all the sites of the ghats and the cremation fires of barbecued relatives. From there it was a two stage flight via Kolkata to Guwahati in Assam. The following day I was collected and taken to the rather lovely Kaziranga Eco Lodge in Kaziranga National Park, home of half of the world's greater one-horned rhinos.. After four splendid days there, I returned via Guwahati to Delhi and onwards to Blighty for a rest and a month of non-stop rain.