Apologies for the length of time that's passed since my last post - ten days in Shanghai took me out of circulation.
Travelling is a key part of my job and often becomes humdrum, especially when I'm visiting somewhere for the umpteenth time. However, this trip was different. Shanghai's an intoxicating city, a challenge to the senses, the emotions and preconceptions. Best of all, I was accompanied throughout by Chinese friends - a wonderful way to get under a city's skin. They welcomed me into their lives and helped me cast new light on my own.
I'm not one for writing travel poetry as such, but such experiences feed my poetry indirectly. I've returned with a refeshed view of my day-to-day life, with new counterpoints. It's time to pick up a pen once more.
The TS Eliot shortlist for 2017 was announced six weeks ago. As Sandeep Parmar pointed out in her short article in The Guardian: ‘For those who have champi...