Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 14 August 2017

  • Hurricanoes

    Fifteen years before I’d heard of King Lear I walked home
    from a party through a storm, daring the sideways rain to
    stop me, clenching my jaw, livid to the gills in a stretched-
    arm soaking.

    Turns out I’d also lost a girl, I kissed her in the disco the week
    before, fell immediately to lovesickness, dry-mouthed, way
    off the pace during 5th-form games, nights spent praying
    to any god who’d listen that her crowd would show and I
    could get to know her name, and in doing so use my tongue
    again.

    The late evening sun lit up the crosstown bus, but by the
    time I saw her in the kitchen I’d had three ciders and the sky
    outside was heavy as a boxer’s eyes.

    She was sat on the stovetop wrapped around a Mod while
    his Fred Perry friends stared into their vodkas and orange
    squash. I remember a hot throat and a cold torso. Not the
    spot for a New Romantic. Inner chatter took over.

    Tearing up in the street I bated the wind, beckoned it over,
    butted it for seven miles, drove into the rain with my
    promontory chest, a deposed king wailed his misfortune to
    the only gods left.

    They ordained a fever slow to subside and the next fort-
    night in bed. I no longer talk to the elements though they
    often whisper in my head.

    by Daniel Roy Connelly


    The Poetry Centre’s International Poetry Competition, judged this year by award-winning poet Helen Mort, is open for entries for just two more weeks! Poems are welcomed from writers of 18 years or over in the following two categories: English as an Additional Language and Open category. First Prize in both categories is £1000, with £200 for Second. The competition is open for submissions until 11pm GMT on 28 August 2017. Visit our website to enter, and please share with fellow poets or poetry lovers!

    The TOAST Poets scheme is now open for applications! TOAST is a professional development project for mid-career poets. It takes the form of eleven workshops over the course of a year from September 2017 – Summer 2018. Each TOAST poet is offered two,hour long mentoring sessions with an established poet or editor to discuss their work and what steps they might take to progress. This year’s mentors are Hannah Lowe and Kayo Chingonyi. Visit the TOAST website for more details and to apply.

    ‘Hurricanoes’ is copyright © Daniel Roy Connelly, 2017. It is reprinted from Extravagant Stranger: a Memoir (Little Island Press, 2017) by permission of Little Island Press.

    Notes from Little Island Press:

    At once personal and hauntingly universal, Extravagant Stranger is the compelling memoir of self-professed ‘global scalliwag’ Daniel Roy Connelly – former diplomat, theatre director, Shakespeare scholar and conscience-stricken father. Laced with international intrigue and hilarious moments of well-aimed self-scrutiny, here is a book – like the life it relates – truly without comparison. Read more about the book and hear Daniel read from his work on the Little Island Press website.

    A former British diplomat, Daniel Roy Connelly is a theatre director, actor and professor of creative writing, English and theatre at John Cabot University and the American University of Rome. He has acted in and directed theatre in America, the UK, Italy and China, where his 2009 production of David Henry Hwang’s M Butterfly was forced to close by the Chinese secret police.

    His writing is widely published in print and online. He was the winner of the 2014 Fermoy International Poetry Festival Prize, a finalist in the 2015 Aesthetica Magazine Creative Writing Prize and winner of the 2015 Cuirt New Writing Prize for poetry. Recent work has appeared in The NorthThe Transnational (in German), Ink, Sweat and TearsThe MothAcumen and Critical Survey and he has a forthcoming pamphlet from Eyewear Publishing as part of their Aviator Series. Follow Daniel’s work on his website and via Twitter.

    Little Island Press is an independent publisher of fiction, poetry and essays. Founded in 2016, it publishes innovative, intellectually ambitious writing in elegant, hardback editions designed by the award-winning design studio typographic research unit. Find out more about the press on its website and follow its activities on Twitter.

    Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.