Editing & Reading

Greetings autumn! A few lovely things to post about. I’m delighted to have had a small hand in editing a wonderful children’s book by the inspirational Doncaster young writer, Sam Davis – But Mummy Doesn’t Have a Broken Arm. Sam attends my Hive poetry group and is a super talent. She wrote the book in the absence of finding anything suitable for children to read around understanding why a parent, or adult in their lives, might be in a mental health hospital. The book is beautifully illustrated by Luna de Vera and Sam is an absolute inspiration in following her creative dreams and addressing something much needed.

Blurb from the book: But Mummy Doesn’t Have a Broken Arm looks at the reasons why a parent may be in a mental health hospital, focusing on the visual differences between physical and mental health. It also reiterates the fact that it’s not the child’s fault that a parent is poorly. It can be very hard for children to understand why their mum or dad is not at home, and to understand the complexities of mental health. This book aims to explain that in an easy to understand terms with illustrations to help alongside the text. You can buy the book on Amazon here.

In early September, I had a lovely afternoon doing a reading with a poet I really admire, Rachel Bower, at the beautiful Upper Chapel in Sheffield for Off the Shelf Festival of Words as part of the Sheffield Showcase. It was like giving a sermon haha. The best part was that some really lovely writers I know came to support, and my cousin made it too. It was so nourishing to sit and chat over coffee after with some very brilliant women.

I actually wrote a poem recently too – that side of things has been a bit quiet for a while. And I got two poems accepted for an anthology about Yorkshire – thank you Green Teeth Press! I’m full steam ahead now with Hive happenings (we’ve just heard from the Arts Council and we are go for another year!) I’ve also got several freelance projects on the go. I hope wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, things are good.

Harland Works Reading

Last night I had such a lovely night reading with some very fine poets – Suzannah Evans, Helen Mort & Nasser Husain at the wonderful, old industry Sheffield, Harland Works. It’s a cafe with a courtyard, and due to the heatwave, we were in the courtyard. It felt very Mediterranean!  I also sold 6 chapbooks! I saw a woman read one from another table and it was very surreal! Harland Works were so hospitable and even gave us free tapas. They’re hoping to do something more regularly. I really hope so as it’s such a great space and the people are so warm and friendly. I also had a bit of great poetry news recently. I’ve had 2 poems accepted for an anthology inspired by Yorkshire with Green Teeth Press!

I hope wherever you are, it’s sunny, or you are feeling sunny inside 🙂

 

 

Real world reading!

I’m excited to be doing a reading in the actual real-life, fresh air, sip a pint, solid table, outside world, flesh! – on Thursday 22nd July 7pm at Harland Works in Sheffield. I’m reading with some awesome poets – Suzannah Evans, Helen Mort and Nasser Hussain. Come and join us if you so fancy!

Journey to the Centre of the Poem Workshop with Poetry Wales

Delighted to be running a writing/editing workshop for Poetry Wales in early July – Journey to the Centre of the Poem: From Draft to Destination. As it’s sold out via the workshop mailing list before it went public, we are hopefully putting on another date in July. Subscribe to Poetry Wales to find out when, or check-in here 🙂

Busy spring into summer!

It’s been a warm and busy time recently and I’m looking forward to a few days off to see my old mum this weekend in Wales. Recently, I’ve been working with Sheffield Poet Laurate and Hive young poet, Warda Yassin on a Poetry Society Project. We had a glorious weekend at Victoria Quays in Sheffield and at Swinton Lock on a narrowboat delivering poetry workshops. For the boat trip, we took young poets who had never been on a boat before (and one hadn’t been on the train so it was a double first!), and at the Quays it was a lovely mix of poets and people who’d never written before. The aim of the workshops was to engage people with our wonderful canals, and to get them writing poetry, of course. Warda will be writing a poem, taking inspiration from the work produced in the workshops, to be featured on a wall between the Sheffield and Tinsley stretch of canal later this year. Can’t wait!


I’ve also been hard at work with Zoe Brigley working as a contributing editor on the Summer issue of Poetry Wales. We’re so proud of it! It’s a really humbling experience being on the other side of magazine submissions. I really struggled with writing rejections for one thing. There were so many poems I wished I could take but there wasn’t the room. On the brighter side, it’s been so lovely to showcase a lovely range of poets in the issue.

I hope wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, you are well and there is sun!

If All This Never Happened

 My pamphlet – If All This Never Happened – was a winner of the Fool for Poetry Chap book competition 2021 and is available from Southword Editions. I’m so grateful to Patrick and James at Munster Literature Centre, judges James Harpur & Maya Popa, and for such kind quotes from Ian McMillan, Stuart Paterson and Mary Jean Chan. 

“This is poetry working with great compassion and skill to light up whatever the world throws at it. Vicky Morris’s work is a heartening and humbling illumination of Hemingway’s phrase ‘grace under pressure.’ Here, the pressure is great, but the grace is greater.” Ian McMillan

 

“Vicky Morris’s poems are unafraid of ‘bearing witness to everything that life isn’t, and is.’ in language spare, crafted & memorable, flitting truthfully & sometimes joyously between the very nubs of life & death, from terrible endings to beautiful beginnings. I’ve rarely encountered poetry recently which has spoken so plainly yet unforgettably. There are dark corners, yes, but there are always doors opening off them into light. Doors, as Morris says herself, she has ‘yet to open, or walk through with a pen.’ May we follow her through them listening.” Stuart A. Paterson

 

“These lyric poems are tender yet powerful domestic portraits, depicted with great attention to detail. There is much to admire in this vital pamphlet. I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading it as I was choosing my shortlist.” Mary Jean Chan

Social Care Poem

As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2020, I was recently commissioned by the University of York to write a poem above people’s experiences of self-funded social care inspired by Zoom conversations with some lovely members of the public late last year. Some of them then kindly offered to record it, and here it is! It’s more a spoken word piece really, and wasn’t mean to be as long as it turned out, but people had a lot to say about their experiences and I really wanted to represent as many of them as possible. We are hoping it might get to the powers that be too and have some influence for how the social care system runs in future in the UK.

Magma Issue 79

Delighted to receive my contributor’s copy of Magma Poetry featuring my poem CORD that won the Aurora Prize for Poetry 2020. A big thanks to Fiona Moore and editors Zoe Brigley, Kristian Evans, Rod A. Mackenzie and all at Magma for publishing it!

Arvon & Poetry Wales Workshops

Well hello, spring warmth and sap green bloom! What lovely weather it is here! And I hope wherever this finds you. On top of my usual Hive poetry and young writers’ groups, I’ve very much enjoyed delivering some workshops for Arvon and Poetry Wales recently. It’s the first time I’ve been beamed into a school on behalf of Arvon via Google Teams, but it was actually okay (despite not being able to see the students!) Of course, we’re all uber used to working this way now. I’m looking forward to being sent the rest of the work to read.

On Sunday, I delivered a workshop for Poetry Wales on Human Doings and Human Beings. It was such a lovely, busy workshop, and a warm, talented bunch, up for all I set them to. And I even saw a friend I first met on a course in 2017 and who hadn’t been on one since, nor on Zoom. They said it inspired them to do more so that feels good too! And what cracking work they all produced. I’m hoping to do another Poetry Wales workshop at the end of May. If you write poetry, would love to see you!

Some of the lovely feedback:

Brilliant, brilliant workshop, Vicky. I loved every second of it! Didn’t even pause for chocolate! I’ve been to loads over lockdown and yours was the standout highlight of them all! Can’t wait for the next one : )Thank you so much – Katharine G
Thank you for leading the workshop with such good humour and skill.  I enjoyed it a lot and have the germ of a poem. Your prompt about groups made me think of those amazing clock makers obsessed with measuring time and dreaming up and constructing the most astonishing computer machines 400 years ago. Anne B
Huge thanks Vicky for a brilliant workshop just what I needed and beyond my expectations. – Lorraine O

Tribes & Their Humans Poetry Wales Workshop

In other news, I’m delighted to be leading this workshop for Poetry Wales in March. If you’re a poet, fledgling or otherwise, I’d love to see you!

Tribes and Their Humans: Human Doings & Human Beings in Poetry
Poetry never gets tired of writing people and their particulars, but who doesn’t lack new ways in to get started? If you’d like to explore some great writing exercises and approaches (that you can keep coming back to) then come through and join me!

In this warm, friendly and fast-paced workshop, (open to both fledgling poets and those in full flight) expect to home in on the unexpected, run with first thoughts and generate some fab first drafts. There’ll be opportunities to share and discuss tips and tricks for editing and strengthening your work. Leave with the impetus to get honing your pieces and some reusable approaches to spark something new on the worst of muse-empty days.