SCHOOL KILLS POETRY

I can't stand Visiting Hour by Norman MacCaig. Marking school work has killed it for me. Too many nostrils bobbing down too many corridors in too many MacCaiging essays.

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HOW TO WIN A POETRY COMPETITION

I once carried out a lengthy analysis of winning entries in order to pin down the secret.

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WHAT'S WRONG WITH POETRY REVIEWS IS . . .

. . . evidently a LOT. So far as we know, no-one has yet selected "because of the wonderful reviews" as their top reason for purchasing a poetry magazine.

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SPHINX HIGH STRIPE AWARD ANNOUNCED

The much coveted Sphinx High Stripe Award is announced annually. This is the inaugural announcement.

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ONLY FIVE IN SCOTLAND

There are only five subscribers to Ambit in Scotland. Perhaps all five were lurking in the audience at the celebration of the 200th issue at the CCA Writers' Centre in Glasgow last Thursday. But I have a plan to boost their number . . .

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ROYAL MAIL GIVES AWAY FREE STAMPS!

The snow had all sorts of effects here in Scotland (another three inches busy glittering this morning). It closed schools and colleges for several days. It led to "accidents on untreated roads". It led to more "untreated roads". In fact, the road where we live has not yet had a treat.

However, there were some beneficial effects, too. Among these was the free stamps.

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