Fiona Pitt-Kethley

Fiona Pitt-Kethley has published more than twenty books of prose and poetry.

From The Blog
14 April 2020

Quiz is based in part on a book written by my husband, James Plaskett, and the late Bob Woffinden. James had himself been obsessed for years with getting on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? He got as far as the studio several times but was lagging on the ‘fastest finger first’ test, so I rigged up a little board with several light switches screwed to it. That seemed to help.

From The Blog
26 September 2019

Southern Spain has suffered a catastrophic storm that will have repercussions for years to come. As I write there are seven people dead who were caught in flash floods. Several hundred have been rescued. Some were given temporary shelter in sports centres. A special army unit was on stand-by and the prime minister has visited some of the worst affected spots. About 1500 farm animals died in the region of Murcia. The sea spat out a thousand dead tuna from a fish farm, and beaches on La Manga had to be closed till the rotting corpses were removed. They had already left an oily film on the sea.

Diary: Santería

Fiona Pitt-Kethley, 27 July 2017

Early​ this year I had my first and only encounter with Santería. It was at the beach. I had long been an enthusiast for cold water swimming. I liked it even when I lived in Hastings, but it’s slightly easier now that I’m in southern Spain, where I snorkel regularly at my local beach. From mid-May to mid-October the temperatures are fine. For the rest of the year I only do...

Diary: The Ravine

Fiona Pitt-Kethley, 20 May 2004

For nearly two years, we have lived in Orihuela Costa, on the Costa Blanca in Spain, among a cocktail of nationalities. Last September, when my son was celebrating his seventh birthday, his Dutch friends brought round a girl from the next road who looked Malaysian. She stayed and had a slice of cake. Her older sisters who came to collect her were introduced as Norwegians. I later learned that...

From The Blog
6 November 2018

The search to find the new poet laureate for when Carol Ann Duffy stands down next year is hotting up. In the past some poets have been reluctant to assume the role. Everything from mock modesty to anti-monarchic feeling has been used as a reason to say no.

Don’t

Jenny Diski, 5 November 1992

There are really only two things people want to keep from public scrutiny: their real, private self; or the fact that they have no private self of any particular interest. Now, my instinctive...

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How long?

Hilary Mantel, 27 February 1992

Fiona Pitt-Kethley’s favourite novel is a 16th-century Chinese work called Chin P’ing Mei. This book, she believes, was written as an act of vengeance. The author imbued each of the...

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Rites of Passage

Anthony Quinn, 27 June 1991

Richard Rayner's new novel, his second, opens with a nervous exhibition of rhetorical trills and twitches, buttonholing the reader like a stand-up comic on his first night: ...

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What the doctor said

Edna Longley, 22 March 1990

Most books offered as poetry never leave the condition of prose – which is not to say they are good prose. But when a prose voice enters poetry, it can clear and freshen the air. Beside...

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Promises

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 10 November 1988

Almost every woman I know has at one time or another been to bed with a man she shouldn’t have been to bed with – a married man, a friend’s man or, quite simply, a man who...

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Out of the blue

Mark Ford, 10 December 1987

So characteristic of Paul Muldoon’s poetry as to be almost a hallmark is the moment, unnerving and exciting in about equal measures, when his speaker is suddenly revealed to himself as...

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Here comes Amy

Christopher Reid, 17 April 1986

Amy Clampitt is a most spirited and exhilarating performer. An enormous appetite for observation and zeal to describe precisely what she has observed are transmitted through both the best and the...

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