Michelene Wandor is a poet, playwright, broadcaster, musician and teacher of creative writing, the latter on the Distance Learning MA in Creative Writing, at Lancaster University. She has written original plays and dramatisations for radio, many nominated for awards. She has written two books relevant to Creative Writing: The Art of Writing Drama (Methuen), and The Author is not Dead, Merely Somewhere Else: Creative Writing Reconceived (Palgrave Macmillan). Travellers, published by Arc Publications, is her seventh poetry collection. You can read about it, and a sample poem from it, below. Michelene's website is here.
You can see more information about Travellers on the publisher's website here. Below, you can read a poem from the collection.
a divebomb at night
my right arm
something made out of nothing
A Tuscan hillside. A monastery. I sit
alone at a round table in Miravelle, the
local restaurant. Andrea, the drama
teacher, arrives. He bows a punctilious
flicks back a thick, caressing wave
of black hair over his temple, and sits at
another round table. He is an artista.
I am the poet I sit alone
angrier than a mosquito
Andrea runs the summer course. He flirts
with the young women, slippy straps on
shoulder-bare camisole tops. He wears a
black leather jacket, carries a black
leather bag. He checks his hairline
carefully each morning for signs of
I am the poet I sit alone
I have very sweet blood
oil of lavender
sharp on the skin
Andrea opens doors for me, a code
rusted from centuries of chivalric
use. He calls it courtesy. I say they are
not the same thing.
I talk to the mosquito bite
upper inner arm red field spreads
the mosquito cannot buzz in English
The acting exercises are like leather.
Smooth. Soft. Malleable. The cool
monastery room smells of rosemary
anchovies spring to mind. I watch.
I am the poet I applaud
bright yellow duck egg dense omelette
ham and formaggio are cake
I am born into taste at my round table
white bread in olive oil
salt hits my palate
sweet and sharp
outside it rains
jasmine and eucalyptus and oleander
in the cool air my arm cools
The leather factories are in Ponte a Egola.
Bus, train, TV aerials. The scent of
tanning fills the air. Soft leather curls
round the nape of my neck, a soft black
leather jacket, loose and cooling. It fits as
if made for me. I buy it and it is made for
me. My leather lover.
I am an artista
red white and green
The end of the week. Andrea joins me at
my round table. The slippy-strap students
wave to us. Blasts of cool air from barred
windows. Outside a leaf floats, a bell, a
bird in a mirror in yellow, red and black.
whine mosquitoes in the night
I wear my new black leather jacket, my
dark hair streaked with grey. Drama and
poetry. There is a buzz in the monastery
room. Listeners look out across a green
valley streaked with houses.
we are artisti