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Writing about Animals: New Podcast

Tuesday, 25 April 2023 at 18:49

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My Podcast The Writer and Nature has just appeared on the Royal Literary Fund website.

Audio Archives - Page 2 of 454 - The Royal Literary Fund (

I recorded this podcast at home a few years back, in the early days of the pandemic. Unfortunately, this meant I couldn't get into the recording studio, but needs must, and it now reminds me of those odd lock-down times. There are one or two more recordings forthcoming at the RLF website.

Laforgue anthology: book launch

Tuesday, 28 February 2023 at 20:31

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I've contributed two versions of French poems by Jules Laforgue to an anthology being launched this week.

The 180-odd pages of All Keyboards are Legitimate (Guillemot 2023), edited by Suzannah Evans contains translations,versions and variations on Laforgue by, among othersm Christopher Reid, Maurice Riordan, Gillian Allnutt, Mark Ford, Zoe Skoulding, Beverley Brie Brahic, Hart Crane, Angela Leighton, Niall Campbell, Harriet Tarlo, Douiglas Dunn and many more.

There is an online launch on Thursday 2 March. I will be reading live along with several other contributors, and there will be a Q&A after the readings. The event is free to attend, so please do sign up here:

The book is now available to order! Feel free to share this link:


Poems for Andrew Marvell

Tuesday, 8 November 2022 at 14:01

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Companions of His Thoughts MoreGreen, poems for Andrew Marvell,

edited by David Wheatley has just appeared from Broken Sleep.


I've contributed some poems based around Marvell's Mower poems,

including a longish satire on what Marvell might have made of GM crops.


Here's a link Ed. David Wheatley - Companions of His Thoughts More Green Broken Sleep Books


And as a taster, the first couple of stanzas of

"The Marvellous Garden"


If Man was made in the spit and image of God

then He Himself looks pretty odd.

Ditto the creatures Man has proudly bred

(the wilder ones he leaves for dead)

– experiments which cast, sooner or later,

harsh light on their manipulator.

And so our freaks of nature, deformed, unfit,

reveal a human Identikit

in whose dark mirror meddling Man may see

his road to Eschatology.


As Man’s best friend down from the cuddly surface

has been rejigged, improved, repurposed,

with crippled hips, short breath and weakened jaw,

docked tail, lopped ears and clawless paw,

so, as well as Fauna, the Flora too

is re-created, made brand-new.

Our trek from Genesis to Revelation,

now passes through these vast plantations

where patented monocultured GM crops

lay waste the forest and ancient copse.

Festschrift for Maurice Rutherford

Tuesday, 8 November 2022 at 13:18

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Celebrating a Century: a Festschrift for Maurice Rutherford,

edited by Carol Rumens and John Lucas

is now available from Shoestring Press.

The anthology contains five of my Rilke versions and work by various of Maurice's admirers, including Mary Aherne, John Alderton. James Booth, Phil Bowen, Malcolm Carson, Gillian Clarke, Andy Croft, Robert Edric, Robert Etty, Felix Hodcraft, Angela Leithton, John Lucas, John Osbourne, Carlol Rumens, Barrie Rutter, Laurence Sail, Matt Simpson, SarajhStutt, Malcolm Watson and David Wheatley.

For the Shoestring book:

Celebrating a Century: A Festschrift for Maurice Rutherford (

Here's a link to the Maurice Rutherford website where you can find some of Maurice's poems.

Painting in Beverley Exhibition

Wednesday, 21 September 2022 at 11:20

Central Hall, University of York,91cm x 107cm. Oil on canvas. 2020

My painting of a cyclist at York University, done when I was a Royal Literary Fellow there will be exhibited in Beverley Art Gallery's 23rd Annual Open Exhibition, 24 September 2022 to 7 January 2023. There is a larger version of the image in the Paintings portfolio.

Central Hall, University of York,91cm x 107cm. Oil on canvas. 2020





"The Cemetery by the Sea" by Paul Valery (1871-1945)

Wednesday, 21 September 2022 at 10:03

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*"Le Cimetière Marin"

Paul Valery







This peaceful roof, its tombs in long buckled lines:
as noon performs its daily alchemy,
doves flicker up from stones through tall blue pines.
And I am here. All this now glows for me:
the sea, the sea, once more transformed by fire;
a moment’s calm, beyond small wants, desire.

This is how my version of Paul Valery's longish poem "Le Cimetière Marin", recently featured in the Tupelo Quarterly, begins.

The poem is part of ny collection French Leave: versions and perversions which will appear from Broken Sleep Books in 2023.

For the full version clink on the link:

from French Leave: versions and perversions - by Cliff Forshaw - Tupelo Quarterly

RE:VERB online launch and reading

Wednesday, 27 July 2022 at 12:29


RE:VERB is one of the collections featured in the Broken Sleep Books online launch on THURSDAY 28 JULY at 1930. For details follow the link.

Broken Sleep Books July Launch Tickets, Thu 28 Jul 2022 at 19:30 Eventbrite

For a preview of the book and a selection of poems:

Cliff Forshaw - RE:VERB Broken Sleep Books


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