Friday, 21 December 2018

The true meaning of Christmas (Seasonal new poem)

Haunted in the half sunken darkness
Some Christmases you don’t know
What to say to each other
Apart from simply walking to your family.

Smiling at couples walking around
Frozen ponds with their dogs
And children making snowmen
Out of the white mysteries on the floor

Moments tied up in images
Outside other people’s houses
With lights on their windows
Like lifted eyes facing the light

Crossing squares in squinted emotion
In full accord with the earth
Snorting at flurries as they come down
With a flick on each other’s noses

And a smile that says more than words
All the way to when your sister
Opens her front door
With a glass of wine in her hand.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Podcast Catch Up..

Have been a bit busy recently Podcasting and not been blogging them here..

Here is what I have been Podcasting over the past few months:

Spoken Label:

(Mel Woodend – November 2018)

(Kristina M Serrano – November 2018)

(Freengreenwanderer aka Roehn – November 2018)

(Helen Kay – October 2018)

(Rosa Wright – October 2018)
(Brian John Mitchell – October 2018)
(The Nearly Dead Poets Association – October 2018)
(Gordon Zola – October 2018)
(Andy N and Amanda Steel – Bolton Diggers Festival July 2018)
(The Nearly Dead Poets Association, Bolton Diggers Festival, August 2018)
(Ken D Williams – Alive and kicking)
(Simon Widdop – Bolton Diggers Festival, July 2018)

(Zoë Sîobhan Howarth-Lowe –September 2018)

(Jason A Meuschke –September 2018)

(Paul Jenkins – September 2018)

(Michael John Hulley – August 2018)

(Melissa Walters - My Carousel Curse EP)

(Kealan Coady – Spoken Label – July 2018)

(Julia Davenport – Spoken Label – July 2018)

Reading in Bed

(October 2018)

(September 2018)

(August 2018)

Comics Unity

(Episode 1. 5 - Pilot 2 - November 2018)

(Episode 2 - November 2018)

Sunday, 4 November 2018

DIH and friends 2018 Submission call

Back again for its 17th anniversary(Barring a few gaps off course), DIH and friends at Christmas are now after experimental, ambient, songs (on any topic), poetry and music tracks on the theme of Christmas.

Back now in it’s 17th year, as can be seen on, DIH and friends have since 2002 been producing an annual series of anti Christmas songs for people who really don’t like Christmas or have a very alternative viewpoint of the season in question.

The history of the project from Digital Vomit state ‘The origin behind the infamous series of DIH with friends at Christmas began back in 2002 when for a one off joke as a side project from his more official work in DIH, Andy N one year decided with the help of one or two friends decided to do in his words ‘ A Christmas album for those people who don’t really like Christmas’ where in the space of half an hour (as was the original plan) – Andy and a few friends would murder, cripple and take the piss out of as many songs as they could.

However, as is the nature of the beast with this sort of thing things snowballed and by the time the second album came along, It had become officially a DIH project where they would between the three of them alongside with an ever-increasing cast play around with the myth of the Christmas, which will often be funny and sad sometimes within the same breath.

The music contained within this series of albums are varied and can vary from spoken word (sometimes with musical backing or experimental backing), acoustic singer songwriter stuff to music that could appeal to fans of Aphex Twin, hardcore, breakbeats, dub step, fans of the spoken word, re-imagining of carols and classic songs, faithful versions of Christmas carols and songs and generally people who like their music to challenge and make them think.

For reasons too long winded and boring to go into here, DIH took a break from the Christmas albums in 2012 before starting up again in 2015.

Following on from their 2015 comeback, we are now expecting submissions for our 2018 album, our fourth album since starting up again with anything and everything encouraged from experimental, drones, ambient, Christmas Carols, Poems, songs.. whatever takes your guardian really..

Anything is welcome by email to either myself (Andy N)

Me and Keith can also be contacted viva Facebook for further questions 

The complete archive can be sampled here -
and the album will be released on Hicc Records

Closing date is 12th December 2018. 

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Watershed as a writer (2008).. (Part 3 of my Non Fiction adventures as a writer)

Following from my previous two guest blogs at firstly Katy aka The Rebel Poetess ( and Amanda Steel’s excellent blog as a follow up ( 2008 was a watershed year for me certainly after I left the first major writing workshop I was in and ended up forming eventually a different writing workshop / discussion with two other former members of same group.

I am slowly working on my autobiography / auto non fiction or auto fiction (according to Amanda) ("Losing the thread)” that will cover the incident in more details but the difference in changing groups was remarkable at that time in my writing career. That same previous writing group I don’t know when it formed, but it likely formed somewhere at the end of 2004 maybe earlier and I came aware of it after joining a short term writing group at a certain local University (where I studied previously from 1998 to 2001).

After that course folded, one of the people who were there who for the sake of this blog I’ll call Cathy (not her real name) got a few of us to go down to her group which she ran at a local community centre. Almost right from the start, it was apparent that the group was very loosely ran with the advertised start time rarely starting at the advertised time of 7pm sometimes 7.10pm and then later on over time and sometimes over-running past 9pm which over time narked the people who ran the centre.

I’ll talk about the collapse of that group at a later post like I said, as it’s a separate story that will need explaining in major detail of simply how you don’t run a writing group. The group I set up with two ex colleagues from the ashes of it when it collapsed is worth understanding got me going with my writing and I ended up writing over the first three months of entering this new group three times the amount of work I had wrote in the last 18 months of my previous group and entered the live circuit in excitement because of it.

The thing I learnt from this change was one major thing. Happiness. Yeah, happiness in the sense when it became apparent to the three of us that the group we were in simply was holding us back from what we all wanted to it, and in my case enabled to literally got for it and resulted in my first poetry book ‘Return to Kemptown' following at the start of 2010.

It's certainly possible if I had stayed in that group, ‘Return to Kemptown’ wouldn’t have happened and any of my books that came next after that. That first group we were all in went stale because of bad running very quickly (see above). I’ve been going to other groups since, including one which I’ve been going to fairly regularly since the end of 2010 but that group has been evolving constantly into different territories with some of our work appearing in art exhibitions and across art trails all over the North West of England.

Writing I am a firm believer is a process that is constantly developing and needs to be nurtured as such. Of course, the bulk of it is written alone but going to good groups I think is an important process of learning what your writing strengths lays and can only help you develop and develop as a writer. Going to good groups I learnt encourages you to try out different approaches and write things that perhaps otherwise you wouldn’t have attempted to try.

A bad group. Well, I’ll let you work the effect for yourself…

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Travelling photographs from Late Summer / Early Autumn

A few people like me who travel to work would have encountered the problems up and down Regent Road and the covering ring roads recently. This has resulted in me leaving really, really early for work and during the travelling resulted in the pictures below that perhaps I wouldn't have normally seen.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

latest news etc

Long story short, I got approached to write some non-fiction recently from my friend Katy aka The Rebel Poetess which can be read here -

Since then, my lovely partner, Amanda Steel then approached me with questions about said article which has resulted in a follow up piece being blogged not long after here..

I’ll be writing a additional blog here next, and will then be looking at additional follow up blogs for this too (as this will be a series of blogs containing some stories which will appear in my autobiography ‘Losing the Plot’ which will be finished in the next year in much more detail.

Spoken Label is still really, really active with podcasts recently-ish with the last six podcasts or so being released (There are loads more forthcoming):

Zoë Sîobhan Howarth​-​Lowe (

Jason A Meuschke (

Paul Jenkins


Michael John Hulley II


Melissa Walters


Kealan Coady



Reading in Bed, My joint Literature review podcast with the always lovely Amanda Steel has also been maintaining a monthly schedule of Podcasting, the podcasts for August and September can be seen as below..


Ocean in a Bottle has also been steadily releasing singles and Eps (with other releases pending for elsewhere in the new year - more details to follow) the last three releases are: (Synth Dreams) (Movement in the Wind) (Staring into the sea)


Poetry wise, apart from the release of The Birth of Autumn which I am delighted with, me and Amanda have done a number of gigs from a excellent support to Julia Davenport’s book launch and Bolton Diggers Festival too, I have had three poems appear (Twice as Hard, Missing the Point and Held Back) all appear in Helen Kay’s touring Dyslexia Exhibition (worth seeing), two poems (Re-creating the Railway Children and last train from New Mills Central) at the New Mills Poetry Arts trail (Pictures to follow) which are on display until 30 September 2018.

More to follow also including details of guest posts from writers regarding writing.

All go

Watch this space (: