Arvon Retreat -Starting to Write: Letting your writing take flight

So looking forward to running this fine Starting to Write ‘Let your writing take flight’ Arvon retreat for the Lumb Bank centre at Hebden Bridge hostel with co-tutor, the brilliant Jacob Ross and visiting writer Alycia Pirmohamed in spring 2024. A little of the blurb here:

Do you feel unsure about how to get your writing off the ground? Do you want to get your flying machine of ideas into the air and landing on the dreaded blank page? What about support for writing you’ve already started? If you’re a new or fledgling writer, keen to explore fiction and poetry in a warm and supportive environment, this course will help your writing take flight.
Full details here

Shortlisted in the Ironbridge Poetry Competition 2023

Delighted to be shortlisted in the Ironbridge Poetry Competition 2023. Thanks to judge Pat Edwards and Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists. Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists are Dave Pitt, Steve Pottinger and Emma Purshouse. Three performance poets from the Black Country. Find all places and more info here.

Ear to the Street & NHS workshops

Greetings autumn 🙂 Just two little updates. Lots of goings on this October, especially with the Off the Shelf Festival of Words. Hive usually has a few related events (you can check out here), but I just wanted to briefly spotlight the Off the Shelf film installation project: Ear to the Street. I thoroughly enjoyed working on this project, not just the running of workshops with brilliant young people from across South Yorkshire, but also working with the very talented audio-visual whizz, Kitty Turner. Here’s a bit of the blurb on it >

Ear to the Streets: 24hrs in the life of South Yorkshire– is an audio-visual love letter to the urban and rural life of South Yorkshire, featuring the words and voices of over 40 young writers from across the region’s cities, towns and villages, working with poet Vicky Morris through Hive Young Writers Network. The film has been created in collaboration with digital content producer and musician Kitty Turner. More details here

And in mid-October, I’m delighted to be leading a series of creative writing workshops in acute psychiatric wards at Sheffield Hospitals. This will be my third year delivering for the Sheffield Social Care Arts Festival. The patients and nurses are always absolutely lovely and I love bringing everyone notebooks to encourage them to keep writing!

Busy July

Greetings August! Just a little update on a very busy time. In July, I was delighted to be part of a brilliant panel (with the inspirational George Bastow and Pippa Hennessey) at Writing West Midlands National Writers Conference 2023, on all things supporting neurodiverse writers. It felt like the dream team and we really seemed to work in sync to get across everything we’d been discussing beforehand. The conference in general was brilliant (and I saw some lovely writer friends I’ve taught and mentored but who I’ve only previously met on Zoom!) A fab day and I left energised and inspired. Thanks to my fellow panellists, George and Pippa and to Jonathan Davidson and Emma Boniwell at WWM.

I so enjoyed running an odes masterclass for the mighty Arvon at the end of July. It’s been a long time dream of mine to teach for Arvon and despite me being unsure about the webinar format beforehand, I think it went pretty well. I got some lovely feedback that warmed my cockles!

Congratulations to poet Kathryn Bevis for her Forward shortlisting for the stunning ‘My body tells me that she’s filing for divorce’. Kathryn was kind enough to mention my work in her Forward interview (which is nuts because I’m her fangirl!) And to Hive spoken word poet and rapper, Dominic Heslop, who has been awarded a Churchill Fellowship that I was honoured to write a reference for. I’ve mentored Dom through his rocky younger years and am so proud to see the person he’s grown into and what he’s achieving through Slambarz.

And I’ve just got a copy of Obsessed with Pipework, hot off the press, with a few of my poems in. Anyway, I hope whatever you’re doing, the sun is out 🙂

The Rialto & NAWE

Well, look at this thing of great beauty! The cover of The Rialto’s anthology to celebrate 100 issues (1984 to 2023) Poetry with an Axe to Grind. The fact that my poem stood out in Michael Mackmin’s revisiting of 100 issues, was a very lovely boost indeed. And the company it’s in! Work from poets such as Simon Armitage, Pascale Petit, Les Murray, Carol Ann Duffy and Catherine Smith. It’s chock-full of wonderful poems and you can get hold of a copy here.

And just a quick update to say, I’ll be taking part in a writers’ panel focused on Writing with Neurodivergence chaired by Emma Boniwell from  Writing West Midlands at the National Writers’ Conference in Birmingham on 8th July along with Pippa Hennessy and George Bastow should anyone be interested. Most details here.

Online Poetry Summer School

Just a quick update to say I’m running this Hive Online Poetry Summer School – Sundays in July 2023 – A set of inspiring online poetry workshops for new or emerging young poets to develop or refresh your poetry writing skills and build more of a body of work. Open to young people aged 17-30 in the north of England & Midlands | more details

Sheaf Poetry Festvial

Such a lovely weekend at Sheaf Poetry Festival. Congrats to Suzannah Evans and Gevi Carver for putting on a really thoughtful and wide-ranging festival. It was an honour to take part in a reading on all things brainwaves and mental states with John McCullough & Naseefa Hamid.

Hive young poets were incredible across so many events including the Saturday showcase with Yomi Sode, who also delivered a wonderful young poets workshop in the morning. I was exhausted at the end of the weekend but fully energised creatively!

Arvon Masterclass (July)

Busy May! Just a wee update with details of an Arvon Masterclass I’m doing on Friday 28th July on all things the modern ode and its elated contemporary variations. Booking here.

Had a gorgeous time at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre of Wales at the end of April, co-tutoring with brilliant Vanessa Lampert on Journey to the Centre of the Poem. We certainly traveled far into many great poems. It was such a gorgeous group and gorgeous weather to boot. Ah, wish I was back there. I miss the woods, the river, the house, the sea!  

Pipework & Sheaf Festival

So pleased to have two poems accepted into the summer issue of the brilliant Obsessed with Pipework journal. Thank you to Penny Sharman and co. I’m also very chuffed to be reading at the Sheaf Poetry Festival in Sheffield at the end of May. The event is Brainwaves: Navigating Our Mental States. I’ll be reading with the fabulous John McCullough and Nafeesa Hamid.

What’s also lovely is that a lot of Hive young poets are reading and doing also at the festival. The full programme can be found at: sheafpoetryfestival.com

The Rialto 100th Edition Anthology

I’m so thrilled to have a poem in The Rialto’s forthcoming anthology – Republic of Poetry: 100 Issues of The Rialto and be in fine company with poets like Raymond Antrobus, Hannah Lowe, Laura Scott and Richard Scott. The Rialto is such a brilliant poetry journal and it made my day, (month year1!) when I had two poems published in it in 2021.

You can book tickets to the launch at National Centre for Writing at 6pm on 27th May 2023 here.