Welcome to Clear Poetry. You can expect to see some marvellous poetry here when the blog officially launches early in 2015, but in the mean time, here’s some info about me and my master plan! My name’s Ben Banyard and I live in Portishead, UK. Like many people I enjoyed studying poetry at school and then university, but for one reason and another I stopped reading, and writing it, soon after I entered the big, bad adult world. At the beginning of 2014 I spotted a tweet by poet Jo Bell. She was setting up a project called 52, which launched on New Year’s Day and aimed to get participants to write at least one poem a week throughout the year, inspired by her wonderful prompts. To my amazement I managed to write and post (via the group’s Facebook page) over 180 poems. What’s more, the helpful comments posted by Jo and the other “52ers” emboldened me to submit what I considered my best work to various print and online journals. By the end of the year, I’d had (to be fair) a large number of rejections, but on the up side around fifteen of my poems had been accepted. Blimey – I’m a poet! But then having read so many posts by 52’s other members I discovered my own tastes in contemporary poetry. However, when I set out to find an online blog which reflected that taste, I struggled. While there are some notable exceptions, I found a lot of writing was far too cryptic, or (dare I say) downright pretentious. Which is when I hit upon the idea for Clear Poetry. This blog is aimed at encouraging an appreciation of, and an engagement with, contemporary poetry. The poems you’ll find here are my personal choice and I feel that they are approachable, accessible and downright astonishing! If you enjoy them, why not comment, or even submit some of your own?