Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Things are hotting up

At last the novel is going to print! I'm not sure I thought this day would ever come. There will be a limited  pre-publication number, for reviewers in the main.

These are the fliers which will go to journals -the Edward Thomas Fellowship and Friends of the Dymock Poets: (with cover picture too)


Did anyone ever begin to be a poet at thirty-six in the shade?’ Edward Thomas asks.

Following the outbreak of the First World War he does begin to write poetry after a lifetime of prose and his self-doubt and melancholy start to lift, helped by his close friendship with the American poet, Robert Frost.

This poignant novel tells the story of the last years of the poet’s life. Told from the point of view of both Edward and his loyal wife Helen, it shows him wrestling with words along with marriage, children, the perpetual lack of money, and eventually with his conscience.

Inspired by Edward and Helen’s writings, the novel is set against the beautifully evoked landscapes of Gloucestershire and Hampshire that offer the couple only partial peace.

A Conscious Englishman by Margaret Keeping will be published by StreetBooks on Thursday 7th February 2013

ISBN 978-0-9564242-3-5 £9.99
For pre-publication discount (£2 off cover price + free UK delivery), please contact Frank Egerton (email: info@streetbooks.co.uk, mobile: 07967 246482) quoting CODE NEWS271112

Creative Writing Courses.

I think fewer people are sceptical about these courses than used to be the case; even if they are there are more than enough enthusiasts to make up for the doubters.

Little Clarendon Street

Ten of my group - 2006 -2008 Creative Writing  Diploma at  the University of Oxford - met last night for a meal at Al - Andalus, Little Clarendon Street.

We all agreed that  the course had been a life-transforming experience and that we  go on gaining from it. Five of  us there and one other  have gone on to take Masters since and most are on the way to being published.

 Someone is now in a motorhome around Europe, another, a lawyer, has given up law to write drama. Another has been twice short-listed for the Bridport Poetry prize - and hadn't even let on , Neville! Liz Gifford 's novel  is to be published in September and another accepted. Brian moved nearer London and is taking a great Masters on 'Writing the City'.

So if you can, and are hesitating, our recommendation would be  - go for it!


Like Health and The Glory it dramatises  -  'the gap between aspiration and or desire and its realisation; between the speaker's capacity and high possibilities symbolised by early morning or early spring or both.' (Longley)

Unless it was that day I never knew
Ambition. After a night of frost, before
The March sun brightened and the South-west blew,
Jackdaws began to shout and float and soar
Already, and one was racing straight and high
Alone, shouting like a black warrior
Challenges and menaces to the wide sky.
With loud long laughter then a woodpecker
Ridiculed the sadness of the owl's last cry.
And through the valley where all the folk astir
Made only plumes of pearly smoke to tower
Over dark trees and white meadows happier
Than was Elysium in that happy hour,
A train that roared along raised after it
And carried with it a motionless white bower
Of purest cloud, from end to end close-knit,
So fair it touched the roar with silence. Time
Was powerless while that lasted. I could sit
And think I had made the loveliness of prime,
Breathed its life into it and were its lord,
And no mind lived save this 'twixt clouds and rime.
Omnipotent was I, nor even deplored
That I did nothing. But the end fell like a bell:
The bower was scattered; far off the train roared.
But if this was ambition I cannot tell.
What 'twas ambition for I know not well.


  1. I am sure your book will be a success, especially with the publisher you have!
    Kate Street!!!