A few places left – edit session for The Poetry Business

I’m delighted to be running this close editing poetry session for the wonderful Poetry Business on 22nd Nov, 11.30am. If you’re a poet, wanting feedback on your work, and would like to join in a small, supportive group for a two-hour session focused on editing, then please do sign up! We’ll look at some before and after edit poems and the types of considerations for getting a poem in the best shape it can be.

Details here and details of my work as an editor/mentor here.

Seren launch reading for Flamingo by Kathryn Bevis

I’m so honoured to be a guest reader, along with the brilliant Jonathan Edwards for the launch of the absolutely gorgeous Flamingo by Kathryn Bevis. It’s an honour for so many reasons. As a Welsh poet, it’s great to read with Seren, a fine welsh publisher, and with Jonathan Edwards, a fine Welsh poet, and because Kathryn is a dear poetry friend, who it’s been a joy seeing the momentum of the world discovering her for the incredible poet she is more recently, and, most importantly, because Flamingo is, quite simply, a stunning body of work. For lovers of poetry, or for those who want to fall in love anew, Flamingo by Kathryn Bevis (available here) is a must read! Also, join us!

By the end of the collection, with its sustained group of poems exploring love and mortality, I was in floods of tears, and convinced that this is the most accomplished and emotionally significant group of new poems I have read in a very long time. – Jonathan Edwards

Dear Life at All Good Stuff

Just a note to say, Dear Life, an anthology of poetry and fiction from emerging young writers in the north, is now available at All Good Stuff on Arundel Street in Sheffield, as well as here online. It was a joy to edit this book and I can’t think of a better smorgasbord of delights Christmas present for anyone this year!

All Good Stuff, 72 Arundel St, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2NS  Street venue here | AGSFacebook | AGSTwitter

If you hold this book to your ear and really listen, you can hear its heart beating. Powerful, tender and wonderfully unique writing by the next generation of writers in the North. This anthology is quite simply stunning. Vanessa Lampert
Compassionate and quirky, funny and sad, strange and disturbing. A beautifully rich and varied selection from the voices of tomorrowSimon Bestwick

Hello October leaf fall :)

I’ve just driven down a sun-kissed tree-lined street with all the trees scattering their beautiful golden leaves on me like confetti. I love this gorgeous window of seasonal change (before the dark!) Greetings, all, and I hope you are enjoying some autumn leave-fall and all is well.

Very busy here with Hive happenings but a few lovely updates! Firstly, delighted to be in the new Poetry Review thanks to guest editors Hannah Lowe and Kim Moore. It’s a dream come true to make it into this incredible journal, and wow, what a lineup among fine poets like Kathryn Bevis, Caroline Bird and Sharon Olds! You can buy The Poetry Review here.

Also, I’m super excited to be running an edit session for the Brilliant Poetry Business on 22nd Nov. anyone interested can sign up here.

Being a book in a Human Library

Last week, I was delighted to take part in Justine Gaubert’s Human Library as part of the Festival of the Mind. This involved being a human book (!) and two lovely women loaning me out for conversations, alongside a lovely smorgasbord of brilliant women ‘books’. It was such a gorgeous experience and by all accounts, there were many enriched by the conversations they had. I loved the chats I got to have with my two loaners. It was wonderful to find immediate connections over a coffee with a beautiful stranger! More events like this are needed, so nurturing. Thank you Justine for your constant vision and brilliance. I will treasure my book cover!

New Welsh Reader

Lovely to have a poem in the autumn 130 issue of New Welsh Reader! Looks like a very exciting issue with Jonathan Edwards, Rory Waterman & many fine writers. Can’t wait to make time to get stuck in! Many thanks Emily, Edith, Gwen & co at New Welsh Review.  Available here

Look How Alive

Delighted to have worked with Hive young poet Lauren Hollingsworth Smith to edit her first full-length collection, Look How Alive, at the bonkers age of 20! It’s a brilliant, vulnerable, unapologetic read and I’m so proud of her. Lauren first joined us at Rotherham Young Writers when she was around 15 and I had the privilege of watching her grow into her voice through the group. At 18 she was a winner of the New Poets Prize with her debut pamphlet Ugly Bird. When she moved to uni she joined the Hive Poetry Collective I run online. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Lauren over the years and seeing her go from strength to strength. 

Lauren launches Look How Alive (Write Bloody UK) on Saturday 1st Oct at Dina Sheffield. Supporting poets include Iain Whiteley and another (TBC).

End of Summer…

What a busy summer it’s been! Although a lot of it work, some lovely happenings including a gorgeous welcome as guest reader to The Writing School last week. Such a great group of poets and working with the mighty stars that are Kathryn Bevis and Jonathan Edwards. They were all so lovely, I couldn’t resist going to their final Friday reading a few evenings later, which was very special. If you’re a poet/writer looking for endless inspiration, look no further than The Poetry School online (for a great range of courses) and Jonathan Edwards (who is a regular tutor for them)

July was also a busy month in part due to putting together two Hive anthologies which we launched at the iconic Leadmill in Sheffield with an amazing audience on 250 people! I worked with the fabulous Warda Yassin on the gorgeous chapbook anthology ‘We Are Everything’ from her Mixing Roots project (which you can buy here). I also put together Dear Life, a weighty anthology of 85 pieces of poetry and fiction from a whopping 74 young writers aged 14 to 30. It truly is a stunning anthology, and you can buy it here.

More soon!

Words from writers on Dear Life:

If you hold this book to your ear and really listen, you can hear its heart beating. Powerful, tender and wonderfully unique writing by the next generation of writers in the North. This anthology is quite simply stunning. I went to sleep with so many phrases and lines running through my head. Vanessa Lampert


Compassionate and quirky, funny and sad, strange and disturbing. A beautifully rich and varied selection from the voices of tomorrowSimon Bestwick

Poetry Review & The Writing School

Delighted to have a poem forthcoming in…drum roll…Poetry Review!  Thanks to Hannah Lowe and Kim Moore for including my poem Brother.  I’m also delighted to be guest reader at this brilliant Writing School week-long writing retreat with the amazing Jonathan Edwards in August. Jonathan is a brilliant teacher as many will attest. There’s still at least one place on the course I believe so get in there quickly if you’re looking to write lots of great drafts and feel inspired by the surreal in poetry. Thanks to the beautiful soul that is Kathryn Bevis for asking me.

Also, for the women’s Euro, Flux Rotherham have featured a poem I wrote with Rotherham Young Writers in celebration of Rotherham for Yorkshire Day. Five parts of the poem are displayed as street-art around Rotherham streets for the next few months.

More lovely June news…

Lots of lovely news today! I’ve just had a poem picked up for New Welsh Review’s New Welsh Reader autumn issue – thank you Gwen and Emily!

And mega chuffed for Hive young poet Beth Davies who is a winner of the New Poets Prize 2022! Congratulations to all four of the young poets, very exciting! It’s been an honour to work with Beth over the years and see her develop and shine as an emerging poet. I’m so glad Hive and myself could sow a seed. Makes me very proud. Much deserved Beth!