Category Archives: Poetry

Saintly Poetry in the Cathedral

How do you respond to a free morning? This was my opening writing prompt for our poetry workshop, as eleven of us sat around the big circular table in Chester Cathedral’s Library, a clear November sun shining through the windows. For some, the beauty of a free morning is its potential for spontaneity. For others, […]

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Poems for Challenging Times 8

Another David Whyte poem this week, and a long, stretchy one at that! Current circumstances can tempt us to stay inside ourselves; the challenge is to go beyond ourselves (it only needs to be a little way at a time). Refuse that call for too long and we end up beside ourselves. The road-image of […]

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Poems for Challenging Times 7

Days of lockdown have only heightened our awareness of others on the limited occasions when we have been beyond our front door. We have become fine-tuned to others’ proximity and behaviour as we practise social distancing – from the avoidance of eye-contact to the edgy camaraderie and choreography of passing an approaching stranger.  Small Kindnesses […]

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Poems for Challenging Times 6

It has been wisely said that writing is as simple as going slowly enough to notice things and stopping long enough to put them down in words. It’s just that most people don’t take take time to do either. Billy Collins’ ‘Morning’ pays careful attention to everyday detail, somehow transforming the ordinary into a sacrament […]

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Poems for Challenging Times 5

Despite its somewhat apocalyptic title, today’s poem by Joy Harjo is as uplifting as it is haunting.   Harjo was born in 1951 in Oklahoma. As well as publishing nine poetry collections, she is a musician (playing saxophone in her band Poetic Justice) and author of two children’s books. In 2019, she became the first […]

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Poems for Challenging Times 4

This week’s poem is one newly-written and  just received from a friend, Jerry Gilpin. As well as reading it below, you can hear Jerry read it with an accompanying film created by his son Matthew, here ‘Gratitude’  focusses on one moment unique to our times, stays with it to observe it closely and dig a […]

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Poems for Challenging Times 3

In these days of lockdown, as many of us are having to simplify and slow down our lives, we are also discovering the gift of moments that arise amid this simplicity. It is a particular blessing that lockdown is coinciding as Nature unlocks into Spring, with lightening evenings and growth to enjoy and cultivate all […]

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Poems for Challenging Times 2

  Three weeks into lockdown and already life beforehand seems about three years ago. Although conversations may turn to what we are looking forward to ‘when this is over,’ for me it is John O’Donohue’s blessing  For the Interim Time that speaks most powerfully right now. When we make a beginning or face an ending, […]

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Poems for Challenging Times 1

David Whyte’s The House of Belonging is – literally – a long poem, but it is rich with possibilities and is indeed, itself about possibilities. The poem points to an epiphany of some kind, as light literally dawns. it marks a shift to a new settledness, a fresh awareness.  This poem, with its short, resonating […]

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Reading As Above So Below

  ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’ So says Shakespeare’s Hamlet to his friend, shaken by the sight of Hamlet’s father’s ghost. As Above So Below is a new online magazine dedicated to poetry in the territory of these ‘more things.’ It explores themes of […]

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  • About Julia

    Julia

    From writing stories for my younger brother, to penning poems for the School Magazine and filling a growing pile of personal journals, the written word has always been part of my life’s journey.

    I started out as an English Teacher and subsequently retrained as a Counsellor. I have counselled in a GP Surgery and worked with various Employee Assistance Schemes and Charitable Trusts alongside seeing private clients.

    Although I have done some freelance journalism and written four non-fiction books, creative writing has become my main focus in recent years.

    My poems have appeared online on sites including Amaryllis, Silver Birch Press, Clear Poetry, Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis, Riggwelter and Ink,Sweat and Tears. I have been published in Curlew and Bucks Mill Magazine, and anthologised in Our Hearts Still Sing. My first poetry collection, Chester City Walls, came out in 2015.

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