latest from wordsout
March 21 2020 Completed and added The coming of Age, a vaguely Augustan poem I'd started some time ago, to the Incarnate collection. It sits well between the Words from the cross sequence and the set of Eulogies.
March 13 2020 Added another missing occasional piece: Command performance, my eulogy for Enid Neblett from 2017.
January 31 2020 Poetry meets art. Over the past three years in September our church has hosted an art exhibition as part of "BEAT", the Borough of Ealing Art Trail, and each year I have co-ordinated a "poetry meets art" thing where a few Cafe Church poets (Joe Kelly, Charles Jobson, Steve Page, Linda Bery and I) have written poems in response to paintings. Each poem is displayed alongside the artwork, and on the opening Friday we've held a launch event at which the writers read the poem in situ and the artists respond. It's been a delightful meeting of creative minds. I have now added the eleven BEAT pieces I have written to the Incarnate collection under the banner of Words of Art, and I'm doing the same with the others' work.
January 2020 Loftspace nostalgia. Sorting through some boxes from the loft we came across the manuscripts of three lost and esoteric occasional pieces: an eighth "Professor poem", The professor meets his match celebrating Colin and Mary's 40th wedding anniversary in 1994; The counselled husband calypso, written on my old manual typewriter to sing to Tessa's study group when collecting her after a counselling course at St John's Nottingham in 1988 (ironically we found this in the month that St John's has closed down); and the even older Not The Basic Method, a parody of Andrew Cornes' theology courses from All Souls Church in the early 1980s. Tessa and I got to know one another through doing those courses together, so they had a huge impact on our lives, though perhaps not in the way intended.
January 2020 Seasonal stats. Christmas is by far the busiest time of the year for the wordsout site: 75% of visits are in the three months up to Epiphany (January 6th), mainly people looking for readings for carol services and concerts and other seasonal events. Some stats for the geeks among my readers. There are about 13,000 visitors in that period, on average each one visiting the site 1.35 times, staying for just under 5 minutes and looking at 7 pages per session. 82% are from the UK, 7.5% the US, about 1% each from Canada, Australia and Ireland and a smattering from a hundred other countries. Two thirds get to the site via Google or another search engine, 27% by using a specific URL or a bookmark, and 7% via social media or other internet links. Unlike most sites where the majority of traffic is now mobile, 60% of users are on computers (a lot of these being, it seems, ministers and others at their desks looking for useful material), only 25% mobile and 15% tablet, although mobile use is growing and I hope that having made the site more mobile-friendly in this last month will help. The figures and patterns are remarkably consistent year on year (although 2019 was up a few percent on 2018): Monday and Tuesday are the busiest days - that's presumably when most event planning is done. The most popular seasonal poems for several years have been Joseph and the Shepherds, Gabriel's Revelation and What kind of Messiah?, although this year the Brexit parody The (good)will of the people was the runaway winner - not something I expect to be repeated in 2020!
December 2019 Time for a refresh. The site is undergoing a major reformatting, in the main to make it more mobile-friendly.
December 2019 Added The gallery to the ongoing Incarnate collection. This poem was written more than 30 years ago and I didn't include it in Breaking the Chains, but reviewing it in the course of working on the site I realised that it fitted well with the themes of Incarnate and that it still represented my views, which is not so true of some of the other early poems.
November 2019 This year's new Christmas thing. Added The (good)will of the people, a Brexit-influenced rewrite of Luke's angels and shepherds story. It was written for St John's carol service in 2018 in the expectation that it would be entirely irrelevant by this year. I rewrote parts of it in the context the December 12th UK General Election.