news blog

Talking Place: a symposium

WomenTalkPlace is hosting the Talking Place: a symposium, on 2nd and 9th September, online and at the Centre for Place Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.

I’m delighted to be participating on 2nd September,  presenting my paper on urban micro-navigation, in the afternoon online session. I’m excited to find out who the other 2 panel members are for the event, which is followed by a Q&A session. More details coming soon.

Nightingale & Sparrow – Hygge issue

Nightingale & Sparrow, Issue XIII – hygge is now available on line, and in print via Amazon. A note from EIC Juliette Sebock:

‘we aimed to embrace the gentle warmth and comfort of the Scandinavian concept, making our way through winter—and welcoming spring—with a worthy celebration through words and images.’

poem in Walking An Anthology of Writing

‘Returning’ will appear in Walk.Listen.Create’s poetry and prose anthology published in April, available here.  The accompanying illustrations by Alban Low are so beautiful, I was quite emotional when I saw his interpretation of my poem (about my son) on the page – reverse ekphrastic!

 

blurb for Karen Pierce Gonzalez’s ‘Coyote in the basket of my ribs’

I was delighted get a preview of Karen’s glorious upcoming collection, in order to write a blurb, publication date confirmation coming soon.

‘Pierce Gonzalez’s ‘Coyote in the basket of my ribs’ is an exquisite exploration of restlessness. She expertly transcribes the sadness of the untameable, displaying a deep connection with wildness. Her coyote dream poems are intertwined with a delicate, involving understanding of loss, of dependency on the just out of reach, and the melding of domesticity and other.’

Black Bough Poetry, featured writer

I am the writer of the month, and have a feature page, as part of the wonderful Black Bough Poetry, Silver Branch series. I feel honoured to be part of this selection of poets, from this generous Welsh press, run by the multitalented Matthew MC Smith.

Four new poems, and four poems previously published by Black Bough (in their Deep Time and Christmas/Winter anthologies) are included as well as a short CNF piece.  All pieces are available on soundcloud.

My work will be tweeted and posted throughout the month, on Black Bough’s socials.

shortlisted Walking Home writing competition

Walk.Listen.Create has announced their 12 piece shortlist for their ‘Walking Home’ writing competition, which I’m very pleased my poem ‘Returning’ has made.

Shortlisted pieces will be showcased during Sound Walk September 2022, on 25th Sept. at a public online event in which the shortlisted authors and poets will be invited to read their work. The judges will be asked to choose their winner and runner up in both the poetry and prose categories, for which the winners will be invited to be a walk · listen · create on-line Poet- or Writer-in-residence for 2022/3.

All very exciting! My poem can be found here.

Deck the Storms – live reading

Delighted to be an online guest for THE festive poetry party this season, hosted by the unequalled Damien B Donnelly  from the Eat the Storms podcast. I will be reading a couple of my poems. Tuesday December 14th, 7.30pm. Loads of other wonderful guests too! Free tickets here.

Nightingale & Sparrow – l’appel du vide issue

Issue XII now available online and in print via Amazon. Issue note from our EIC:

l’appel du vide is an issue that’s come to life more brilliantly than I could have imagined. As always, we approached submitters with a prompt: “What is it about the darkness that calls to us? In what other ways do all things sinister beckon us, as humans?” 

From “The Chronic Void” by Kate Gough and “Worry” by Amanda Crum to Eva Lynch-Comer’s “Woolf Greets the Sea” and Ceri Morgan’s “Vest-tops and tattoos,” the pieces in this issue take the sensations of “high place phenomenon” and craft them into works of art.

Iambapoet website feature

Iamb –  wave 8 launch

On the 15th December Wave 8 of Iambapoet will be live, and I am delighted to be included alongside 14 other poets. Mark Anthony Owens has created a gorgeous interface where you can view and listen to 3 poems by each poet. 

Ink, Sweat & Tears publication

12 days of Christmas poem

I’m delighted that my poem ‘Robin’ will be included in the Ink, Sweat & Tears Twelve Days of Christmas feature, on 29th December 2021. There is an online launch 12th December hosted by ‘Live from the Butchery’. More details soon.

poem in Black Bough Poetry ‘Christmas & Winter edition, Volume 2’

Thankful that my ‘Wassailing Spirits’ poem has found a home in Black Bough Poetry‘s Christmas and Winter edition, Volume 2 ( Volume 1 came out Christmas 2020 including my poem ‘Field Margins’), once again beautifully illustrated by Emma Bissonnet‘s linocut prints.   I’m very happy to be sharing a page with the talented Gaynor Kane. My gorgeous copies below.

poem in MumWrite Anthology 2021

Nikki has revealed the cover of the MumWrite 2021 anthology – such a beauty! Delighted to have a collaborative poem with my lovely writing buddy Emma included, alongside another poem of mine. Thanks and congratulations to all. Looking forward to getting my hands on a copy, and the online launch 16th December, free tickets here.

blurb for Eli Horan’s ‘The Mask’

Honoured to have the chance to read an advanced copy of Elisabeth Horan‘s  ‘The Mask’. It is a beautiful, immersive experience, available from 1 November, from Broken Spine Arts. 

Excerpt: ‘The rhythmical sense of abandon achieved within these ekphrastic responses, entwined with Frida’s native Spanish, feed a lingering connection between the artist’s and poet’s tenacious spirits.’ – Marcelle Newbold, Managing Editor Rare Swan Press, Editor Nightingale & Sparrow

From Broken Spine Arts: ‘The Mask is the second collection of ekphrastic poetry written by poet Elisabeth Horan in response to the artwork of Frida Khalo. It follows the earlier publication Self-Portrait, published by Cephalo. This dual language collection interweaves the life story of Khalo, her art, and the personal response of Horan to it. The Mask is passionate, intense, and demanding and nothing is safe.’

Fevers of the Mind ‘Quick 9’ Interview

Delighted to be asked for a ‘Quick 9’ interview with Fevers of the Mind. A great opportunity to mention so many generous people, and thank them for their continuing encouragement and involvement.

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Marcelle: I started recording the everyday, usually on my iphone, during maternity leave with my son. It was such an overwhelming time- the extreme sleep deprivation, as well as being new to parenting. I used the page (screen) as someone to share with. Looking back at those notes now the range of emotions is astonishing – some have turned into poems, some not.

In 2018 I attended poetry evening classes run by the generous Mab Jones, she was the one that really got me ‘started’, she is so passionate and enthusiastic. That lead to a weekly group run by Claire Syder, which I still attend now and wouldn’t be without.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Marcelle: I still attend lots of workshops (online in these covid times), which I find really inspiring – learning about different approaches to writing, the different personalities. I have recently had the pleasure of reconnecting with the fabulous Elizabeth Horan and am now inseparable from the prose poem.

I live in South Wales and am surrounded by wonderful landscape and lyrical welsh poets – historic and living. These are a constant influence – to infuse the local into the universal.

Q3: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer/artist?

Marcelle: Reading Tony Hoagland’s work, it is so affecting, I knew I wanted to learn to be able to connect like that. I adore the way he expresses the magicness of the everyday.

Q4: Who has helped you most with writing?

Marcelle: I regularly attend a workshopping group with Rhian EdwardsTracey RhysEmily CotterillSusie Wildsmith and Emily Blewitt, who are all fantastic writers and thoughtful readers. The wonderful Christina Thatcher has been my mentor for almost 2 years now and her steady influence and insight I greatly value.

It is a privilege to be able to read hundreds of poetry submissions in my position as poetry editor for Nightingale and Sparrow, this has really informed my own writing persuasions. In 2020 I worked on a Pandemic Poetry anthology – the submissions were astounding in their breadth and intensity, it was a honour to read for. Editing has definitely helped my ability to objectively assess my own writing.

The twitter poetry community is always generous, I particularly enjoy the inclusive home that Matthew Smith has created around his Black Bough Poetry micro-poem world.

Q5: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing/art? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Marcelle: I grew up and went to school in Cardiff, capital of Wales, before moving on graduation, via London, to Portsmouth on the south coast of England. I have been very lucky always living close to the sea and hills. My parents love the sea and we would often daytrip to visit, in all its different forms, in all types of weather.
I trained as an Architect and have been lucky enough to travel to Australia & New Zealand, North America & Canada, and Western Europe. I love well laid out European urban spaces and can recall routes and places easily, which I often dream about walking through, and they end up on the page.

Q6: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far to you?

Marcelle: I enjoy writing about the everyday, highlighting the precious normal, which can easily be overlooked with our hectic lives.

Q7: Favorite activities to relax?

Marcelle: I love making dresses for my young daughter from found materials (scarves from charity shops, my dad’s old shirts), wind bathing! and reading with continuous cups of tea.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem/writing of yours or others?

Marcelle: From ‘Weeping willow’ my poem published in Indigo Dreams’ ‘Dear Dylan, an anthology after Dylan Thomas’:

She knew: memory as a trick, there’s only now.
So they bathe, drink, exert, worship – keep not
to themselves and believe in divine cultivation.

Q9: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Marcelle: Not really! Watch this space, first pamphlet coming soon (hopefully)!

Appointment at Rare Swan Press

I’m delighted to be recently appointed as Managing Editor of Rare Swan Press  and its companion Literati Magazine, a Swiss based venture run by the talented Renee Sigel. We have a number of fabulous poets and writers lined up for publication in late 2021 and 2022. The manuscripts I have read so far have been exceptional. Looking forward to diving further in! 

Update March 2022 – this appointment term has now ended, best of luck to Renee and the team, and wishing Rare Swan Press every success.

Nightingale & Sparrow – Growth issue

Issue XI now available online via the website or in print from Amazon. EIC Juliette Sebock’s issue note:

‘Nightingale & Sparrow Literary Magazine is proud to present their eleventh issue, growth. This volume features the poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, and photography of dozens of amazing creators from around the world, as well as—for the first time—other forms of visual art. For this themed issue, Nightingale & Sparrow told submitters, “We aren’t only looking for notes on flora. From children growing up to emotional growth, we want to see your interpretations of this term in its many forms.” ‘

Gloucester Poetry Festival 2021 – Festival coordinator

The last couple of months have been enlightening and enjoyable compiling the Gloucester Poetry Festival, which runs online for the month of October 2021. This is my first year as festival coordinator working with Director Z.D. Dicks. The programme is now finalised and free tickets are available from www.gloucesterpoetryfestival.uk.  There are 13 event from publishers and individual poets, as well as open mic slots. 

Editor – Amantine Brodeur’s ‘Falling Slowly’

Amantine and I have been working on her gathered poems collection for a couple of months, and I’m delighted to hear her publisher Book Hub Publishing are in the final stages of production. Print copies are officially ‘coming soon’. Working as Amantine’s editor has been such a joyful experience – learning about her drivers, expansive life experiences, and many hours of poetic discussions. I really can’t wait to get my hands on a physical copy!

Eat the Storms Poetry Podcast, Season 3 Episode 3

went live with the exuberant Damien B Donnelly hosting on Saturday 10th July, featuring myself and a host of talented poets, available to listen to now, on just about every podcast platform!  Direct link from eatthestorms.com

Nightingale & Sparrow – Harmony issue

Issue X ‘Harmony’ from Nightingale & Sparrow is now available online from the website, or in print from Amazon. EIC issue note:

 

‘For this submissions period, we asked writers and photographers to “surprise us with your own unique harmonies. Share the songs that intersperse your life. Show us the places where discord unites. Let us hear the chords in each image and every line.” As always, our wonderful contributors have brought that vision to life.’

Eat The Storms Poetry Podcast guest

The wonderful Damien B. Donnelly has invited me onto his Eat The Storms Poetry Podcast (named after his poetry collection) to read a couple of my recent poems. The recording is complete and I’m just waiting to hear the broadcast date. Very excited!

The Poetry Podcast can be accessed through Spotify and most streaming platforms and via the twitter page. This is the 3rd season and all back episodes are available, they really are worth a listen, he has had some great guests and of course, you can hear his own poems too.

promotion to Managing Editor Nightingale & Sparrow Literary Press

It’s been a busy month, and I’m delighted to say that Juliette (N&S EIC) has asked if I would be willing to take on the role of Managing Editor for the Press, which I was delighted to accept.

I’ve been poetry editor for N&S since Jan 2020 and have seen the Press grow to now 15 volunteers covering editorial, social media and production. Our quarterly magazine – which publishes poetry, cnf, fiction, photography as well as visual art is available as a free online version, via nightingaleandsparrow.com or in print from Amazon.

The team is entirely remote so we utilise airtable, clickup, trello, wiki, and google drive to keep us organised! We have staff members in USA, India, the UK and Europe.

linktree up and populated

My linktree is now up and running, with links to online and print poems, as well as social media.

Dylan Thomas Day = publication day!

May 14th, International Dylan Thomas Day, saw the publication of the long-awaited ‘Dear Dylan: letter to, and poems after, Dylan Thomas’ by Indigo Dreams Press, edited by the talented Anna Saunders. A fascinating collection of poems, and insights through the letters from the poets to Dylan, into the lasting impact the Welsh poet enjoys.  

I’m delighted that my poem ‘Weeping Willow’ and letter to Dylan about the dramatic landscape of The Boathouse in Laugharne, which I had the pleasure to revisit with my parents, is included alongside fantastic poets. The book really is a treat.  Available now.  

IceFloe Press publication

The ever-inventive and original IceFloe Press headed by the multi-talented  Robert Kenter is running a Pandemic Dispatches series on their website which now features my poem ‘Dwelling’, alongside one of Robert’s original paintings. I am so pleased to be part of this initiative.

 

Words for the Wild poem publication

Words for the Wild latest theme was the extraordinary Gilbert White. My poem  ‘We understand, Gilbert White and I, while in Selborne architecting’ now features on their website here. This is such a special poem to me as 20 years ago or so I used to work in Hampshire, very close to Selborne (Gilbert White’s village) and spent most of some very happy years exploring the manmade and natural environment there. I was privileged to work for the delightful Richard Ashby at his architectural practice, just outside the village. This poem was written for Richard, as a memory of the reverence he instilled in history, careful study and his love of the Hampshire Hangers.     

Nightingale & Sparrow – Blizzard issue

Issue IX ‘Blizzard’ from Nightingale & Sparrow is now available online from the website, or in print from Amazon. EIC issue note:

‘As I write this introduction to blizzard, I’m sipping a mug of hot, black coffee and gazing out the window at another interpretation of our theme. “The February 2021 nor’easter” already has its own Wikipedia page! The nearby woodland (hearkening back to our November 2020 issue!), having long since lost its leaves, is coated in a thick layer of white and ice. Watching the breeze blow snowdust through the air, I can’t help but think of the photos and written work that make up this Nightingale & Sparrow blizzard. 
With blizzard, we aimed to showcase the unique facets of every snowflake and the dichotomies present in every storm. As we make our way through the early proofs of the issue, I believe we’ve done just that.’

poem in The Broken Spine Artists Collective

I’m thrilled that the north of England based The Broken Spine will be publishing my poem ‘Thanking Nan for a Souvenir Christ on the Cross’ in their Third Edition of The Broken Spine Artists Collective in the Spring. TBS is run by the talented duo of Alan & Paul.  Cover reveal below! 

Maytree Poets zoom launch reading

On Friday 11th December, Sarah Barr will be launching her new collection ‘January’ via zoom. Sarah will be reading alongside other Maytree Press poets including myself, for a festive night of celebration. I will be reading ‘A reflection on the dreaming collective’ from Maytree’s ‘Green Fields’ anthology. Details here

poem in The Ekphrastic Review

I’ve always been interested in ekphrastic poetry, and was lucky enough to attend some of Rachel Carney’s inspiring sessions in Cardiff. My poem ‘Walking Home’ inspired by Moses Salihou‘s ‘Unbreakable’ artwork (below) has been accepted for publication in The Ekphrastic Review‘s 5 year anniversary anthology, which I’m very excited about. The free ebook can be downloaded here

Pushcart Nomination

Absolutely delighted with a New Year’s Eve gift, of nomination for a Pushcart, by the industrious Matthew Smith of Black Bough Poetry. A very lovely surprise indeed. 

Black Bough Poetry have produced some exquisite publications this year including 2 ‘Deep Time’ anthologies inspired by Robert Macfarlane’s Underland writings and a delicious ‘Winter Edition’ of micropoems. All volumes have included beautiful artwork by Welsh artists, Deep Time is also accompanied by original musical compositions.  All available on Soundcloud, and purchasable via Amazon and Black Bough website. Matthew really has been a tour-de-force for Welsh, and global, creativity this year. I am very grateful to be within his sphere. 

poem in Failure Baler, ‘Joy’ edition

The lovely Kate has decided a bonus ‘Joy’ edition of the Failure Baler is required, and I couldn’t agree more. It will be out and about mid December, including my joyful poem ‘ Mid-engined 1990 Mazda Bongo’ (which is now in van heaven.) This edition can be received by request from: thefailurebaler@outlook.com.

Gloucester Poetry Festival, Pandemic Poetry Anthology

The hardback Pandemic Poetry anthology is now out in world. I’m so pleased that my poem ‘Looking for Dad’ has been included. Proceeds from the sales go to NHS charities and frontline workers PPE. The anthology, which features over 70 poets can be ordered here.  

ARCADE POET COMPETITON – winner announced

And it’s me! Back in March Cardiff City of Arcades launched a poetry competition, with the brief ‘a celebration of Cardiff’. The winning poem is displayed in one of the 7 historic Cardiff shopping arcades, alongside 6 commissioned Welsh poets. My poem is now up, in Morgan Arcade, and I’m so delighted it is alongside the lovely Mab Jones’ poem ‘Summer city’. Having grown up, and now living back in Cardiff it is a very special competition to win.  Happy days.

Nightingale & Sparrow – Woodland Issue

Nightingale and Sparrow’s Issue VIII – Woodland is now ready to order for doorstep delivery or to read online. Extract from Juliette’s introduction: 

‘You’ll travel through the woods of the world with each page, and even enter other literary worlds – beyond a certain wardrobe door – through the pieces included in our eighth issue.’

poem in Black Bough Poetry, Christmas and Winter edition

Delighted to have my witchy poem ‘Field margins’ included in the absolutely gorgeous ‘Christmas and Winter edition’ from Black Bough Poetry and to be sharing a page with the editor Matthew Smith. The poems are accompanied by fabulous linocut artwork by Emma Bissonnet. This special edition can be ordered here.

I had to order myself an original print of this wassailing plate. Merry Christmas to me !

Pandemic Poetry Anthology – print run and online launch

And we are at the printers! Charlie Markwick of Yarn Whispering has done a fantastic job of formatting and layout, and alongside artwork, chosen by Ziggy, by Glen Vaudrey and Steve Samsara, and a cover by Jason Conway, we are good to go. 

It has been an enjoyable six months or so, working remotely alongside Ziggy and Charlie:  discussing submissions, editing, section arrangements, proofs, and corresponding with the contributors.   

Copies are available to order from the Gloucester Poetry Festival website, raising funds for NHS charities and frontline workers PPE.

The online launch of The Pandemic Poetry Anthology will be on Tuesday 10th November at 7.30pm GMT. We are really excited about this celebratory evening, with lots of poets reading from the anthology. Free tickets can be ordered here, the event is also on Facebook

new Soundcloud page

I have now set up my Soundcloud page which can be accessed here. There are 3 poems up at the moment, including ‘Precious’ (featured in Black Bough Poetry’s ‘Deep Time’ anthology), ‘Arcade Hopping’ (featured in Wales Arts Review Digithon Festival), and ‘Map of Llandarcy 2008’ (featured in Wild Pressed Book ‘New Towns, an anthology’). Happy listening!

poem published Black Bough Poetry, Deep Time: Volume 2

Matthew Smith of Black Bough Poetry has curated 2 volumes of wonderful poems inspired by Robert Macfarlanes’s ‘Underland: A Deep Time Journey’.  Delighted to see my deep time poem ‘Precious’ in volume 2, under the section ‘Liquid walls’. Both volumes, which include fabulous artwork by Rebecca Wainwright, are available from Amazon, details can be found here.

Perhappened online zine, heatwave issue

I have a little poem ‘shopping list’ in the latest issue of Perhappened zine, their ‘heatwave’ issue. This relatively new zine is steered by the lovely Isaura, and aims to give a snapshot of the now.

Editor – Pandemic Poetry Anthology

It has been a busy couple of months with the deadline for submissions closing at the end of June for the Pandemic Poetry Anthology.  We had a fantastic response, with over 500 poems submitted for consideration from the UK, USA and elsewhere. It has been quite a task to administer and monitor, but very fulfilling, thank goodness for the joys of airtable!

It has been a privilege to read and comment on all of the poems, alongside Ziggy, and we have now made the final selection, and all poets have been notified. The submission standards were so high, and so heartfelt, it was a shame we could not accept everyone.

Publication due October 2020.  

Black Bough Poetry #toptweettuesday host

The ever industrious Matt Smith, originator of the micro poem publisher Black Bough Poetry organises the very successful ‘Top Tweet Tuesday’ and I’m delighted to have be asked to host on 28th July.

The twitter poetry community are invited to tweet a poem: WIP, drafts, published, not yet published with the hashtag #toptweettuesday and @blackboughpoems for commenting and sharing and generally sending lots of poems out into the world!

I’m excited to see the poems, from across the globe, and facilitate the day.

Update: what a day ! 61 poets shared their work across twitter, in a glorious Tuesday that lasted 43 hours ! It was an honour to read and comment on such a global variety of work, themes and mediums. 

 

Pandemic Poetry Anthology callout

Gloucestershire Poet Laureate, Z.D. Dicks has a call out for poems for a printed Pandemic Poetry Anthology, with proceeds going to resources / PPE for frontline workers. I’m pleased to be part of the team working behind the scenes for this important cause. Submissions by the end of June to pandemicpoetryanthology@gmail.com. 

Nightingale & Sparrow – Melody Issue

Nightingale and Sparrow’s Issue VI – Melody is now ready to order for doorstep delivery or to read online.  It was such a joy reading for this issue, although a somewhat illusive brief, we were spoilt for choice with 90 poetry submissions.

Penned on the Bont virtual poetry night reading

The lovely Rhian Edwards (who has a new poetry collection ‘The Estate Agent’s Daughter’ out now from Seren Books) will be hosting a virtual version of the ‘Penned on the Bont’ poetry night, that she usually runs at Carnegnie House in Bridgend, on Friday 15th May 7.30pm on the Carnegnie House facebook page.  I’m pleased to be reading a poem ‘Fisherfolk,’ alongside 6 other poetry folk. Link here: Penned on the Bont virtual poetry night

‘New Towns An Anthology’ acceptance

Wild Pressed Books recently had a call out for poems for a New Towns anthology – which explores the in between spaces that these peripheral places now inhabit. I was delighted that there are officially a couple of ‘new towns’ in South Wales that I know quite well and really enjoyed investigating them further in the process of creating the poems.

‘Map of Llandarcy / Coed Darcy 2008’ explores the deindustrialisation of landscapes for housing, and the scars that are left.

Publication is due September, pre order now here

‘Deep Time’ anthology acceptance

My poem ‘Precious’ has been accepted for publication in Black Bough Poetry‘s first anthology – ‘Deep Time’, which is inspired by Robert Macfarlane’s thought provoking ‘Underland: A Deep Time Journey’ book. I’m so pleased to have a poem in this collection, amongst so fantastic poets.  There will be two volumes, with a guest artist and composer. The first volume is due July and Volume 2 which my poem is in, available from August. Amazon link here for Volume 1.

Wales Arts Review Digithon

Wales Arts Review Digithon Festival was a 3 day digital arts festival in late March, to raise emergency funds for artists and freelancers who have had their income impacted by Covid-19. The festival included literature, cinema, dance, gigs and art all experienced from the comfort of home.

I was delighted to be asked by the lovely Mab Jones, to record my poem ‘Arcade Hopping’, that I submitted for the Poetry in the Arcades competition (winner yet to be announced), to be broadcast as part of the event. Poetry in the Arcades is a project to produce new poetry works that celebrate the city of Cardiff which are now being displayed publicly in Cardiff’s iconic Victorian arcades, including Castle Arcade, High Street Arcade, Duke Street Arcade, Royal Arcade, Morgan Arcade and Dominions Arcade.

Readers were a selection of Arcade Poets plus a few Poetry in the Arcades competition entrants.  In order, they were:  Emily Cotterill (funder of Poetry in the Arcades, honorary Arcade Poet!), Angela Graham (competition entrant), Thomas Tyrrell (competition entrant) , Marcelle Newbold (competition entrant), Mab Jones (Arcade Poet) who helped coordinate Poetry in the Arcades , Siân Melangell Dafydd (Arcade Poet), Sarah McCreadie (competition entrant).

The recording can be seen and listened to here:

poem publication Failure baler, issue 2

The generous Kate Dowling has kindly included my poem ‘Life is a mantelpiece’ about my low level gripe, of the constant task to keep just one surface in my house just for me (yes a 4 inch by 30 inch plank of wood) in the second issue of the Failure Baler. Beautiful sunny photo of the glorious cover below, on my writing desk. The premise of the magazine is really heart-warming ‘If you know what it’s like to fail, then come and join the bale.  This zine is open to submissions of writing and artwork about your failures, whatever they may be’.   I really enjoyed this issue, as well as the inaugural one. Available to purchase here.

poem collaboration

Magma had a call out for collaborative poems, and I was delighted when Kate Dowling of the serene Failure Baler literary zine agreed to be my partner. We had not worked together before, but know each other from Twitter, and Kate kindly published me in her heart-warming magazine. Neither of us had collaborated previously on a poem so deciding on a process to collaborate and communicate was fun. We were both very pleased with the result. The title of the piece is ‘’Kate and Marcelle planting sunny window cills, 150 miles apart’. Hopefully our little seed will blossom…

Poetry mentor – Christina Thatcher

I’m excited to say the delightful Christina Thatcher has agreed to be my poetry mentor. I was keen to reach out to Christina – I have heard her read many times in Cardiff (the 1st time was in Penarth in September 2018) including at her collection launches, Roath Writers, and Cardiff Poetry Festival amongst others. I have always been completely engrossed in her delivery, subject matter and succinct style. Bit more about Christina, taken from her website, below:

‘Christina Thatcher is a Creative Writing Lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan University. She keeps busy off campus as Poetry Editor for The Cardiff Review, a tutor for The Poetry School, a member of the Literature Wales Management Board and as a freelance workshop facilitator across the UK.’

This month I sent her my first batch of poems for critique and discussion over a zoom cuppa. We will be working together regularly throughout the year.

Poetry Editor, Nightingale & Sparrow

I’m delighted that I have recently started working with Nightingale & Sparrow, an online magazine and print publisher, as a Poetry Editor and now appear on their masthead. The multi-talented Juliette Sebock has been incredibly welcoming, and I have already had the opportunity to review some very fine pieces with the global team.   

I have also managed to significantly upgrade my remote working skills, due to this new position, including Airtable, Slack and Trello!

A bit from the ‘about us’ section:

‘Founded in 2019 by Juliette Sebock, Nightingale & Sparrow is a literary magazine and small press featuring poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, and photography.

Nightingale and Sparrow aims to soar through written and visual arts. We want to publish work that takes the earthly and makes it ethereal. Send us your deepest thoughts, most poignant memories, and flights of fancy.’

#deeptimeday

Black Bough Poetry are hosting a ‘Deep Time Day’ on twitter, and across facebook and instagram, to celebrate the publication of their Deep Time poetry anthologies, volumes 1 and 2. All the poems, musical compositions and artwork, by Rebecca Wainwright,  were inspired by Robert Macfarlanes’ ‘Underland: A Deep Time Journey’. Contributors will be sharing their readings, photographs and poems. Poems can also be heard on Soundcloud.  Here’s mine, with Rebecca’s artwork:

poem publication Nightingale & Sparrow, Issue V

I’ve had a small,  tongue-in-cheek, poem ‘I Love..’ published in the 5th Nightingale & Sparrow issue, titled ‘Love’, which was published on Valentine’s Day.  It can be viewed online here, or a hardcopy ordered from their online shop.

Green Fields anthology

I’m delighted that Maytree Press and The Poetry Village have chosen my poem ‘A reflection on the dreaming collective’ to be part of their ‘Green Fields’ anthology – all about music festivals. My poem came from our last visit to Lakefest in the grounds of Eastnor Castle, and was imagined in a slightly sleep deprived state. Groovy cover art below! The anthology is to be launched at Huddersfield Literature Festival on 28th March 2020, details here.  It is also available for pre order now.

Nightingale & Sparrow – Schoolhouse Issue

Nightingale and Sparrow’s Issue VII – Schoolhouse is now ready to order for doorstep delivery or to read online. Gorgeous cover to this cathartic issue. Extract from Juliette’s introduction: 

‘This is our shortest issue yet, and yet it’s one of our saddest. Schoolhouse surprised us with the heaviness of its subjects. The circumstances and emotions that come through in these pieces are all too real. From COVID-19 and its effects on education to the horrors of school shootings and other violence, our contributors took the idea of schoolhouse to a far deeper level than we could have imagined when we set the theme over a year ago.’

#This Assembly

The astonishingly creative K Weber has produced a wonderful poetry pamphlet of 21 poems using donated words, her explanation of the project is below:

‘THIS ASSEMBLY is a collaborative poetry project. I wrote 21 poems using 160 words donated by 160 people. Additionally, there are bonus poems featuring other poets’ writing, unique additions to poems, poets reading their work in the audio, and more! Project was reviewed by a team of readers. Cover and interior art by Greg Lawhun incorporated color palette that won a poll open to the public. In total, 165 people participated in my latest effort!’

I had the pleasure of looking over a few of K’s poems and making a couple of suggestions. 

Read the beautiful pdf here. It is also available on soundcloud

poem in Re-Side magazine

Pleased to have my poem ‘Stepping out’ published in Re-Side’s Winter issue, which can be read here. Re-Side is an online literary and arts zine steered by the talented Elizabeth Kemball and Beth Longman.

2 poems in Anti-Heroin Chic magazine

Anti-Heroin Chic magazine

The lovely James Diaz has included two of my poems ‘Hot Chocolate’ and ‘The Day After’ in his very emotional ‘Grief & Loss’ issue of Anti-Heroin Chic magazine, which can be read here. It has been a brave endeavour on his part and the contributors. It is comforting to think that so many loved ones, now gone, are united here. Very proud to be a part of it.

Dylan Thomas Anthology acceptance

Absolutely delighted that my poem ‘Weeping Willow’ has been accepted to appear in Indigo Dreams, ‘Dear Dylan, an anthology after Dylan’, due for publication in May 2020. It is going to be a very interesting format as a letter to Dylan Thomas and a poem was required from each submittee.

The weather was absolutely glorious on my inspirational visit to Laugharne in September, and the views – Wales at its best.

2 poems in print anthology

The cover has been released for the ‘International Anthology of Womxn’s Poetry’ titled ‘From the Ashes’ and it is gorgeous. I am so pleased to have two poems included: one within the Chapter ‘On knowing’, and one within ‘On how we love’.  ‘Editors Amanda McLeod and Mela Blust have curated a collection of poems that tell the stories of the journey, trials, and triumphs of womxn. In this book, womxn share their most authentic, inner selves; their challenges and their victories; the words they wish they could say; the legacy they dream of for the womxn of the future. With over 50 poets, some internationally acclaimed and others making their publication debut, this stunning anthology captures the voices of womxn around the world.’

All proceeds from the sale of the anthology will be donated to international womxn’s charities. Available for order from Animal Heart Press.

Black Rabbit Press

Spent a lovely afternoon helping out with the new Black Rabbit Press compiling their first pamphlet, Things Only Borderlines Know by the vastly talented Olivia Tuck. Beautiful on the outside and inside.

haikus publication

Black Bough Poetry Magazine

In response to the anniversary of the Moon landings, Black Bough Poetry opened a call for cosmic influenced haikus, and I’m excited that two of mine have been selected for their 2.5 Cosmic issue! Gorgeous cover. Magazine here.

David Nash exhibition writing day

What an inspiring travelling exhibition housed temporarily at the National Museum Cardiff. Claire Syder facilitated a day of wonder, writing and sharing.

writing retreat weekend

St David’s, West Wales

Renee Stanton and Claire Syder ran a wonderful weekend retreat in a blustery St David’s at The Court House. Food, wine, new and old friends and of course some poetry.

Cardiff Poetry Festival

The second year of this event was held at Cornerstone, a church now converted into a community space / cafe / arts venue. The quite amazing Kim MooreEmily Blewitt and Katherine Stansfield read on the Friday evening. Katherine’s tribute to a poetry friend and colleague from her new pamphlet All that is wood bought a few tears to my eyes.

On the Sunday I was more than pleased to meet Bryony Littlefair whose collection Giraffe I really connected. She read as well as other Mslexia women over lunch.

Looking forward to next year all ready.

Mary Oliver memorial

The lovely Mab Jones arranged a Mary Oliver memorial event at Cardiff Wetlands on a blustery Saturday afternoon. Mab is the Poet in Residence at Cardiff Wetlands.  Many bought their favourite Mary Oliver poems to read aloud and Mab said a few words.

Company of Words poetry evening

I read at the Open Mike night, at the Little Man Coffee Shop in Cardiff. About 60 people attended the event with a jazz group and Clare Potter as guest poet. She was mesmerising with her mix of New Orleans jazz singing, Welsh accent and musical poetry.  I read three poems, in the open mike section,  from late 2018: The mantlepiece; Care instructions; An unremarkable wish. Clare was kind enough to say how much she enjoyed them.

Made in Roath festival event

As part of The Dipping Pool anthology launch, we have a reading event as part of the Made in Roath Arts Festival.

Christina Thatcher book reading

I was blown away by Christina‘s readings at a poetry evening, hosted by Griffin Books, in Penarth, alongside with Helen Calcutt. Her delivery and emotion were so affecting. Couldn’t wait to bring her poetry collection home ‘More than you were’.

anthology launch at Chapter

A fantastic turn out at Chapter meant the anthology launch was held in the Seligman Theatre. Claire Syder introduced the collection and each of the nine authors read to the audience.   It was a lovely event, with a great turn out.

a handful of anthologies!

Delighted to finally hold The Dipping Pool collection of poetry and prose. Nine authors contributed a section each, with mine being the first which comprised of a prose piece and ten poems including: Reunited, Gone, Great Granny, The salt breeze.

International Dylan Thomas Day

As part of this years celebrations organisers composed ‘the world’s longest love poem‘, from submitted individual lines. I am very pleased to have contributed with the line

‘our bodies remember the bends and hollows of each other’

anthology publication

‘The dipping pool’ weekly writing group, with Claire Syder, are in the process of publishing their first anthology. There are nine authors in total, and I am very pleased to say my collection of nine poems and one prose piece has been chosen to appear first in the book. First run off the press July 2018, ready for the book launch August 2018.

new writing group

I’ve started attending the incredibly generous Claire Syder‘s weekly writing group. What a cathartic and wonderful experience! I’ll be posting some words shortly.

poem publication

online The ‘two drops of ink’ family have kindly published my poem, on their literary blog ‘Go away morning‘.

Design Commission for Wales essay

essay publication online and print

Landmarks is the Design Commission for Wales’ autumn 2015 conference, events and exhibition which explore the relationship between the natural resources of the Welsh landscape and human intervention, with the aim of informing and inspiring a future for design in the rural landscape. This publication serves as a lasting reference to the themes and thoughts which have been uncovered through Landmarks.  My essay ‘How we made our way‘ starts on p104.

Design Circle (RSAW) article

online article

As part of the ‘My kind of…’ series, published on the Design Circle (Royal Society of Architects in Wales branch) website.

‘My kind of home is within a community, built for sharing and collective enjoyment; with immediate neighbours to talk to, safe roads for play, allotments to grow produce and room enough for dinner with extended family and friends.

My kind of home is a home of conscience; economic, using little energy, treading softly, lightly and healthily. It is a home of resource; providing energy to the grid, vegetables for dinner and flowers for the table.

My kind of home provides shelter; security of familiarity, privacy for reflection, a nook for a favourite book, protection from extremes of weather and environs for nature to use.

My kind of home enables involvement; the overheard sound of a lawnmower, a friendly hello of passing dog walker, a spontaneous football match, a quiet place to watch the world go by.

My kind of home affords space for breathing; just sitting and enjoying, a distant view to drink in, an opportunity to linger a while on a bench in the street, a tree to climb and green space to explore.

And my kind of home is a home for life; adaptable and evolving overtime to meet life’s changing needs.’