Places of Poetry – A UK Poetry Society Anthology

I have recently found out about a UK Poetry Society project called ‘Places of Poetry’. The compilation of poems being based on places in the UK. People all over the UK submitted some 7,500 entries for possible inclusion. The project resulted in a book called ‘Places of Poetry’, Mapping the Nation in Verse, edited by Andrew McRae and Paul Farley and published in 2020.

Details on the setup for this project were explained on this Website – … which mentions Simon Armitage, Poet Laureate who submitted his poem ‘Snow’ in relation to Marsden in Yorkshire. It starts: ‘The sky has delivered its blank missive. The moor in coma.’

And Project details are also on the UK Poetry Society Website –

Simon Armitage was born in Marsden and if you want to see a YouTube video of Simon placing a marker on the Map at quarry near Marsden where the Snow poem features … (68) Simon Armitage pinning the Snow Poem 1 – YouTube

The book is available as an eBook – Places of Poetry eBook by Paul Farley, Andrew McRae | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster AU (

Book Release – and the humble worm

I have just released my first poetry book for general distribution. A great moment in the life of Richard … according to a grand-daughter ‘epic’ … a new word that’s being bandied around by the young.

‘My Word in Your Ear’: Selected Poems: 2001 – 2015

A selection of eighty poems covering a wide variety from the the personal, philisophic and spiritual to the more lighter and sometimes firvolous.

Here is one poem …

The Healthy Worm
with apologies to William Blake

O worm, thou art ’earthy!
the visible flower
that shines in the light
of the bright day

has raised from thy bed
of rotten decay
and opened her face
from thy composted waste

This is my poetic response to the well known poem ‘The Sick Rose’ by William Blake. An interesting follow up on the previous post and the sonnet on ‘death and life’ by John Crowe Ransom.  In Blake’s ‘The Sick Rose’ the worm (death, or perhaps sin) is hidden from the beauty of the rose (young life) and the rose knows not of its fate. The worm being analogous to the serpent.

The last two lines … And his dark secret love / Does thy life destroy … so again there is a marriage where ‘death’ is seen as a lover – all beit an insidious lover … not quite the gentleman seen in the ‘Piazza Piece’ sonnet of John Crowe Ransom.

I give the worm credit in the creation of beauty in the rose (visible flower) and so laud the value of the worm that through decomposition new life is generated … part of the unending earth cycle of life and death.