Here are her general notes:
I was gratified by the overwhelming number of entries to this workshop, and impressed by the variety of the shortlisted poems.Yay! (and also, whew!)
It was good to see how some poems (such as Sally Goldsmith's wonderful The Singer, and Anna Hansell's An old British passport up on the shelf) stuck closely to the workshop guidelines, while others (like Cathy Grindrod's nightmarish Open) used the workshop as a springboard for a freer structure.
In general, I was moved by the emotional candour of these poems - peopled, as they are, with daughters, mothers, fathers, ex-husbands and lovers - and the direct way in which the writers handled their often emotive subject matter.
Inevitably some of these poems are more "finished" than others, and in many cases I have offered suggestions for revision.
There is no correlation, however, between the length of my commentaries and the quality of the poems.
Thanks to Sheila Simonson, all around smarty-pants, for her last-minute-yet-fully-considered edit of the poem, and to M for reading the poem in its several many incarnations (and only asking once "This is different HOW from the last draft?").
(To see my first Guardian Unlimited poem, chosen for the April Poetry Workshop, click here.)