Image by Image by Mark Mather

Poem introduction

There is a place in Norfolk called Wells-Next-the-Sea that has a poetry festival, and I was invited to speak at their poetry festival. When the bloke phoned to invite me I thought he must have some kind of strange verbal tick since he kept saying ‘Wells-Next-the-Sea and I thought it can’t be called that, that would be ungrammatical, it must be Wells-Next-to-the-Sea. When I drove to Wells to do my reading I saw the sign saying ‘Welcome to Wells-Next-the-Sea’ and realized that actually he was quite right and it doesn’t have a ‘to’ in it. Afterwards, when I wanted to write about my experiences in Wells-Next-the-Sea, I thought that for the sake of consistency I would leave out the word ‘to’ wherever it should occur in the poem.

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Over the years I’ve become increasingly interested in the lyrical nature of poetry. I find that the more I’ve taken in...

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