Roddy Williams – The Atheist Poet

My Latest Publication #poetry


My contributor’s copy of South Bank Poetry arrived today. It’s got my name on the back and everything, listed among my fellow contributors, which always gives me a feeling of achievement.
This issue contains one of my sonnets. Writing or saying that phrase elicits quite a different feeling. There’s something about the public perception of a sonnet that makes me feel uneasy. I am sure it gives many people a vision of me sitting in the window in a velvet blouson (one with a ruff) gazing out across the city, quill in hand and parchment on knee, awaiting inspiration.
Sadly, it’s not like that at all. My velvet blouson has no ruff for one thing…
Sonnets tend to suggest pretentiousness, long words and worthy pronouncements, in the same way that the mention of Leonard Cohen dredges up the impression of suicidal misery, generally in people who have never listened to him. Leonard and sonnets are sorely misjudged.
At the end of the day it is nothing more than a poem of fourteen lines. Some rhyme and follow a formal structure. Some do not.
Mine tend to vary since I have been writing them regulary for at least ten years. Recently I’ve been experimenting with the format to a such a degree that my loved ones are fearful for my own safety.
This isn’t one of those, so fear not.
If you wish to explore the variety of modern sonnets you could do worse than look through some back issues of the much lost and lamented magazine ’14’ edited by Michael Loveday. I was fortunate enough to feature in a couple of issues before the 14th and appropriately final issue.
Anyhoo, South Bank Poetry is a cool glossy covered number, edited by Katherine Lockton and Peter Ebsworth, featuring many poems about London, but not exclusively.
Check it out



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