Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Writing


This underhand way
Of waging war, hidden, to
Rip malevolence into the
Precincts of peace, unbidden
Entrance through steel and flesh,
Dead centre and sharp, to
Overcome an imaginary enemy.

All ways of war are evil, a
Thin excuse for greed.

Death in secret scatters souls
And limbs into the unholy
Waves of purgatory, and
Now the murderers will never sleep.

R 04/02/2023 09:21

Today’s #MastoPrompt was #torpedo.


I can now share a secret which was only known to the family and two other people. I applied to do the UEA MA In Creative Writing (Prose), and actually got to the interview stage, which was last Thursday. This morning I got a rejection. Part of me is relieved (it saves me £10k, for a start), and a part of me is disappointed, although the comments I got back were very positive and encouraging, and I think the layers of disappointment will wear away quite quickly, until there’s just a kernel of it left which will wonder for some time yet what I did wrong at the interview. However, the largest part of me looks at it this way, and baldly, and if the bods at UEA read this, they will probably decide that they were right to turn me down – there remains a literary Establishment that it’s very difficult to get into, and the MA was going to be a way of getting into that Establishment. I’m just a common or garden Yorkshireman who writes very visceral and spiritual novels, and who doesn’t spend much time thinking about form, doesn’t spend much thought even on academic theories of writing (the only thing R and I have possibly ever disagreed on), and isn’t really the intellectual many people think he is. I just write and forget (just like all the blogs last year were just writing and forgetting), because life, after all, is transience. They may well have seen that, too, that disruptor element, that “I don’t give a shit about academia” trait. Or perhaps I’m just a 62-year-old version of Tonio Kröger, and making excuses for myself.

This setback, if setback it is, just makes me more determined to succeed on my own terms, makes it even more important for me to get Aggie edited (not even half way through the first pass on that yet). And whilst prepping for the interview, I realised that I have 9 completed novels (excluding my excrutiating, never-to-be-published first attempt that I started when I was 21, desperate to imitate Jmes Joyce’s Ulysses), as well as two works in progress, a completed short story collection, and about 5 or 6 ideas for other novels in my head. Not exactly hugely prolific, but not exactly shabby either. And I will stay on this path, and try to get it all, and more, done before time is up. And that’s a promise.

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