Denise Riley is a poet who lives in London. She has a lovely soothing voice and recited some poems. The first one was called ‘Partner’. It’s about this new word people use to describe the person they are in a relationship with whether they’re married or just together officially.

It was one of those poems that made my mind wander and remember all those times I was referred to as a girlfriend, partner, wife and now friend.

The professional creative writers have been encouraging us to let our minds wander to get the creative juices flowing.

The letting the mind wander stuff has really started to kick in. There’s been much reflection on my past life. There’s been a lot of putting old memories to bed and allowing myself to wave goodbye to people and things I no longer need or want.

Do you ever stop and think “I’m meant to be here”. This was one of these moments. But it feels selfish. Like I shouldn’t be sitting here listening to poems. I should be at home with a washboard breaking my back scrubbing clothes because that’s what women do when they’re immoral deviants.  Dramatic much?

Poetry is all a bit pretentious isn’t it? Everyone has really clear calm voices and I don’t really know how to deal with it. I’m just not used to being in the company of so many posh people. It would make me feel more at home if this serenity was interrupted by a barking dog, a car alarm, a siren and my millbaggy neighbour shouting for Kaaa-Low-Whey whoever she is. That’s certainly not the same pronunciation from my GCSE French oral exam.

That turned into a strange ramble. But that’s what creative writing is about. Letting your mind go off course. And if it takes a poem to do it – then it’s working.



There are several ways to support The John Hewitt Society

Virgin Money Giving

Text TJHS30 to 70070 with the amount you wish to donate

Shop online