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 (: 

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Birth of Autumn

In my last post, I talked about the reprint as a kindle of my second full-length poetry collection 'The End of Summer'. Now I am delighted to announce that my third full-length poetry collection 'The Birth of Autumn' will now be out on the 1st September 2018.

Composed over a near two year period, The Birth of Autumn is as much a sequel to The End of Summer but as much a look over the gate at what comes next instead of looking back at days gone past rooting itself in the exhilaration and the melancholy in the change of season that follows Summer.

Comprising pieces that cover the change in season with a tenderness and stories carried across the change  in seasons, The Birth of Autumn follows on from The End of Summer as a further exploration of life as well as the change of rural and agricultural rhythms of Autumn all wrapped in a whirl of emotions that follows at the end of one season that follows into the next. The Birth of Autumn is a book lost in shadows as the skies begin to darken slowly but also brings back beauty into your emotions, adventures into feelings and the leaves on the floor into a miraculously vibrant colour.

Interlinked with pictures and photographs from Ben Holton (Epic 45 / My Autumn Empire), Jessica Owen (Northern Scapes), Mark Sheeky, Andy P Smith and Linda Nicholson, 
The Birth of Autumn is more than a book but an emotion when everything bursts into a huge beauty, as if nature had been saving up for a great finale.

Paperback details to follow for the book but a pre order for as a kindle can be purchased here

Promotional PDFS are available if requested.

Monday, 4 June 2018

The End of Summer (available again)

Last year (at the beginning of 2017), a few of you may remember
I had some dealings with a press called Goya Press who had agreed
to publish my then third full length poetry collection 'From the Diabetic Ward' (which will still happen but likely will be my fourth full length poetry collection now a bit further along while I conclude work on my third - Birth of Autumn) and agreed as a stop gap agreed to re-publish my second full poetry collection originally from 2015 'The End of Summer' (which is still available from as a book) as a stop gap.

Alas, sadly it didn't work out (which i won't go into great details
on a public forum) but it is best to say i certainly do not recommend anybody working with and resulted in the book being withdrawn after a short period of time been available (my request).

Some time later now after a few requests I have now agreed to
republish it again by myself this time on with
a few additional selected new poems in the book wrote at the same time as when the book was wrote.

The End of Summer itself follows on my debut collection 'Return to Kemptown' (published in 2010) and is a poetry collection capturing both the every-moment of perpetual seasons as well as the vital minutiae of daily life, all wrapped up a whirl of words like
autumn leaves kicked up by the last of summer’s winds taking
nature’s contradictions and her false promises and casts them
over our human condition, as hopeful and nostalgic disciples of
the glorious sun and the beautiful snow.

Told often in taut, short little pieces, the book invites
comparisons with the poet Hugo Williams but also shows a love of
music through two of the author’s own favourite music groups with
July Skies and Epic 45, which explores the Englishness of the countryside in sparse, echoing brush-stroke,s which often need more than one read to breathe the images he portraits.
With an introduction by noted American writer,
Amanda Silbernagel. ‘The End of Summer’ is a book that
tunnels into memories, creating new emotions at the end of it.
I am interested in doing interviews for the collection (minus any talk about Goya Press of course) and it can be downloaded from here for just 99p


although i do have promotional PDFS i can forward if required.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

pictures of my two Yarn thoughts

Latest news


New single by Ocean in a Bottle

“Silence is so freaking loud” 
Sarah DessenJust Listen

“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.” 
Leonardo da Vinci

“Seeing her sitting there unresponsive makes me realize that silence has a sound.” 
Jodi PicoultMy Sister's Keeper

“To understand silence, you have to listen to the sound in-between opening doors
and saying goodbye to your loved one counting emotions counting snowflakes
until you wish you could turn back time’
- Ocean in a Bottle

Spoken Label

Simon Widdop



New interview with Authorsinterviews

A Poem by Manchester has accepted the above from myself.

I also recently finished off my 2018 NaPoWriMo epic. Have a look.
All been good, it will return next year for a massive conclusion. 

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Latest Podcasts / Music news

Plenty of news forthcoming over poetry as I’ve had confirmation coming through in quite a few publications / opportunities but in the meantime, here is the latest on Podcasts etc.

Spoken Label:

Lots of releases to follow as Spoken Label has and is proving very popluar at the moment but here are the last few releases:

Randy Horton

George Melling (Live Word Central, April 2018)

Hilary Robinson

Reading in Bed:

The newish Podcast series by me and my little lady Amanda is going great and we are both reading for Programme 5 at the moment.


and features us reviewing the following books:

Gillian McAllister - Anything you do say 
Jay Asher - Thirteen reasons why 
Alice VL - The Weeping Prince 
Keith Houghton - Crash 
Jacqueline Woods - I have learnt

Ocean in a Bottle:

After a break, Ocean in a Bottle recently released the almost silent single ‘Awakening I’.

Part II and an additional single Reading in the reference library will follow over summer

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Premature Birth poem published on Bonnie's Crew

The excellent Bonnie's Crew website has just published one of my poems 'Premature Birth'.

Without going into personal details too much over Kate (who set up this project)'s personal background but Bonnie’s Crew was created after problems through the birth of Kate’s youngest child and the hard work Leeds Congenital Hearts put it for her. Paraphrasing the site, the unit is funded by the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund for the invaluable work they do, and it doesn’t bear thinking about that the government nearly closed this unit down. Whether someone’s heart defect is big or small, whether the person is big or small, they do everything they can to save a life.

This experience Kate advises made her want to give back to the unit, to the nurses, the doctors and everyone who keeps the place going which resulted in the creation of this site (and an accompanying anthology will follow, with 100% of the proceeds going to the CHSF Keeping the Beat campaign) to showcase poems of hope, hearts, hospitals, children, survival, love, faith – however those things manifest in the work people send – and hopefully raise some money for the CHSF / Leeds Congenital Hearts.

Speaking from my side, Premature Birth covers the difficult birth my nephew went through years back, and is now a lovely young man of just turned 10 and looks like me I’ve heard more than a few people say like me at that age several times now and made me reflect on my own birth back in 1972 and the problems my mother also had with me. Without the care I received and Jack also received, it is open to debate whether either of us would have survived.

I struggle with money myself at the best of times but the poem needed to be wrote for this excellent cause and I hope you like it and also choose to donate something to their Just Giving Page which can be found here

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Ghost Story V

Well, it's that time of year for NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) and of course it's time for the return of my annual series, Ghost Story.

A blog on the separate blog itself reveals where Ghost Story originally came from, and a little bit about the seasons which have followed it since.

Not going to give anything away this year apart from Part 5 was in my thoughts when I wrote Part 4 last year in particular in reference to a missing character who was missing for almost the full of the narrative.

Anyway, hope you enjoy it and always feel welcome to let me know what you think.

Any additional poems for NaPoWriMo this year will appear on this blog (don't expect 30!)


Andy N

Sunday, 18 March 2018

New Podcasts and Poems published

Reading in Bed

Running a few days behind Amanda’s announcement, I can confirm that our third episode in our Literature review podcast is now live.

It can be streamed at:


We are always looking for books to do honest reviews on, so please get in contact if you would like us to review your book.

Spoken Label has also been busy with the following sessions / podcast:

Various Poets – Extracts from Please hear what  I’m not saying


Ann Arbor Review Issue 20 have published the poems ‘Threads of a Jumper, Early Morning Walk and Early Autumn Walk’ (

A New Ulster 65 have published the following poetry - Brighton in September, Remains of a Christmas Day Party, Absence of Words, Underscoring Immortality, Swallows and Amazons, Threads of a Jumper and The Highwayman’s Daughter (

Nthandareview have published the poems ‘Early Mornig, Brighton in September and The Swan (after Mary Oliver) (

I am not a silent poet have published Let him have it (A tribute to Derek Bentley) 

Ghost Story

The latest NaPoWriMo story begins on 1st April (

Additional NaPoWriMo poems may appear on this blog. 

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Three short poems for Mark E Smith


Starting off with an instrumental
Blazen in a fragmented fury;
Their first song stumbled along
In a bass heavy nervourness
as the band looked at each other worried
Like they were throwing
accidential thunder at the crowd
With a mellifluous speed
Until the words ‘I am coming out of the toilet’
Could be heard going through the crowd
Ricochetting eventually onto the stage
Where he sang two songs
Then fell through the drummers kit
And collapsed backstage drunk.


Popping into the Duchess for a quick pint
After missing a train home
turned into three
when Pat bumped into his brother
who worked for the NME
and was interviewing Mark
who had already gone through
four and a half pints already
and insisted he added us to his tad before adding
‘I can’t stick musicians
Like journalists you know’
And sat there pissing Pat’s brother off
With as many anti journalist jokes
As he could remember for the rest of the interview.


Clearly ruffled,
lost in the wilderness of memory
he stood there at the other side
of the bus station
his hands fluttered
with his paper
like a paper clown
lost in the upswing of a sigh
before looking at his watch
and me
and walking off
scraping insults in the wind
almost like it was
the only person left
who was listening.

(Mark Edward Smith (5 March 1957 – 24 January 2018) was an English singer, songwriter and musician. He was best known as the lead singer, lyricist and only constant member of the post-punk group The Fall, which he led from 1976 until his death.

Smith formed the group after attending a Sex Pistols gig at the Manchester Free Trade Hall in June 1976. During their 42-year existence, the Fall's line-up consisted of some 60 musicians who, with Smith, released 32 studio albums and many singles and EPs.

The three above short poems are memories of the three times I met him over a 19 year period)