Wednesday, 23 November 2016


Richard Craven is pleased to announce a new poetry competition. The Dunthorne Prize will be awarded for the best, i.e. worst, poem modelled on Joe Dunthorne's "Poem in which I practice happiness". The judges (Richard Craven) will be on the look-out for banality, talent's absence, and cultural deracination. Meretricious rhyme, inadvertently jarring meter, crude sententiousness, and infantile allusions to association football are all acceptable.

1st Prize: a cheque for £100
2nd prize: the opportunity to sit naked with your head in a bucket in a corner of the living room of the judges (Richard Craven) for a period not exceeding 12 hours.

1. Poems not exceeding 50 lines are to be sent in the body of an email to
2. Name & address for despatch of cheque in case of winning, i.e. losing, poem in the body of the email underneath the entry.
3. Deadline: 1 April 2017.
4. The decision of the judges (Richard Craven) is final.
5. The judges (Richard Craven) reserve the right to publicise, or suppress, the results of the competition, as they see fit.
6. The judges (Richard Craven) reserve the right to publish a selection of entries as an admonitory anthology, without further recompense to those whose entries are featured.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

New page for pisspoor poetry, inspired by "Poem in which I practice happiness", by Joe Dunthorne in the New Statesman

Just now, I was scanning the New Statesman, and came upon what has to be the most facile, disgusting piece of doggerel ever accorded the dignity of publication. Ladies & gentleman, I give you the excrescence known as "Poem in which I practice happiness". It was conceived by one Joe Dunthorne who is, somehow, the garnerererer of a panoply of awards for his, er, writing. Don't ask me, that's what Wikipedia says. And he's got a British Council listing, according to which he is a Faber New Poet. That's Faber, remember them? T.S.Eliot must be turning in his fucking grave.

Anyway, here is his ickle poemy woemy. Those of a delicate disposition are advised to look away now:-

"I love pigeons
even when their claws are stumps
and they walk as though in heels.
I love guinea pigs
for the idea they are in some way
a pig. Their heartbeats make their bodies
vibrate. I like to pretend
to answer them. Whom may I say is speaking?
I love football. More people love football
than love social justice
but that doesn't mean football
isn't brilliant. Whenever I head the ball
I feel a poem evaporate.
I hate the bit of the poem
where you're obliged
to hate something.
I love the piano.
I love true crime.
I love the sun
when it arrives
like a tray
of drinks."

And the New Statesman published this. E.J.Thribb, eat your heart out. I despair.

Actually, I don't despair. What I have decided to do is start a new page on this blog, for pisspoor poetry which somehow manages to get published.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Sonnet 75

Behold Sonnet 75, which I wrote this afternoon, and had the effrontery to submit to Trip Advisor as a review of Leigh Delamere Service Station, an establishment adorning the M4 near Chippenham.

Sonnet 75
Leigh Delamere, you should have written verse:
a minor, whimsical, Pre-Raphaelite,
or modernist perhaps, but not too terse,
although stooping betimes into the trite.
Now come we in our cars to chew your stodge,
buy petrol - ludicrously over-priced -
take part in orgies in your Travelodge,
and moan about your toilets not being nice.
Leigh Delamere, I’ve been your Porlock too.
I’ve visited your stately pleasure dome
skidmarked your nylon sheets and blocked your loos,
stolen your towels and buggered off back home.
For these foul desecrations, let this be,

Soft Cartel published my short story

My thanks to Soft Cartel, who have seen fit to publish my short story Contracts for the Design of Certain Vulgar Necessities . It's a ve...