The Emma Press’ new anthology, Campaign in Poetry

has me included, well, a poem of mine. Which I am very happy about.
Campaign in Poetry is a powerful anthology about political and social issues in the UK, with poems written by contemporary poets in the months leading up to the UK General Election. The poems reflect current concerns and developing events in this country as well as more global trends, including nationalism, climate change, immigration, political apathy amongst voters and arts funding. This anthology is a statement against disaffection, providing a fresh perspective on the political landscape of the UK.

Edited by Rachel Piercey and Emma Wright, illustrated by Emma Wright, with poems from Stephanie Arsoska, Elizabeth Barrett, Kayo Chingonyi, Ellie Danak, Dai George, Jan Heritage, Holly Hopkins, Luke Kennard, Anna Kisby, Rachel Long, Rosie Miles, Mona Arshi, Richard O’Brien, Clare Pollard, Ewan Stevenson, Jon Stone, James Trevelyan and Kate Wise.

Publication date: 2nd April 2015
Book launch: 15th April 2015 @ The Betsy Trotwood, Farringdon.
Free entry. Readings from 8pm.

You can pre-order the book here:


Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Scheme Awardee

So I’ve neglected my site a bit of late. I will be better (140 characters is just so much easier) but, the latest big news that should really be recorded here (especially when saying it still sounds surreal. Re-typing helps) is that I am very proud, flattered, and excited to have been awarded a place on the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Scheme 2015/16.
I have just returned from a weeks masterclass at the stunning Totleigh Barton, and I cannot calcify how much that week meant, how much it moved my writing, and how incredible it is to be working with and learning from Caroline Bird. For a year. A whole year…  Nope, still not yet quite sunk.

The Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Scheme 2015/16

We are delighted to announce that nine writers have been selected for the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Scheme 2015/16. This year’s poets, novelists and playwrights were chosen from nearly 200 applicants, and will be supported for one year by three successful and established writers – poet Caroline Bird, playwright Tanika Gupta and novelist Ross Raisin.

Selected for this year on the scheme are:

Poetry: Rachel Long, Emma Simon and Hilary Watson

Fiction: Gill Darling, Carol Farrelly and Ruth Gladwin

Playwriting: Annette Brook, Charlotte Coates and Sarah Mulholland

Over the course of the year participants benefit from dedicated support and guidance with their writing, two residential weeks at an Arvon centre, additional industry advice, and the opportunity to expand their practice as part of a new media writing project. The nine writers’ development over the year will culminate in an edited anthology of works and a live showcase at the Free Word Centre in London. Each place on the scheme is fully supported.

Highly Commended in Poetry Book Society’s National Student Competition

Very pleased to have been Highly Commended in Poetry Book Society ‘s National Student Competition for my poem, ‘Sandwiches’.

Judge, Jane Yeh wrote:  ‘I love how this poem crackles with life, its teen characters sparky, beguiling, and adroitly drawn. A sense of semi -thwarted hope shines through the images: ‘We want / engagement rings this big / so big we can see freedom on the other side’. A real storyteller’s eye and way with words are in evidence here.’

Many thanks to PBS & Jane Yeh, and congratulations to all the winners.

You can read the free e-book of all winning entries here:

Sign Up! Purple Drum Poetry Workshops for Women 16-25 with Joelle Taylor and I

Purple D
Are you a young woman aged 16-25?

Are you fed up with how you are represented in the media as a young woman, young woman of colour and/or LGBTQ young woman?

You are not the only one who feels like this, we understand, we feel the same way and we say no more!

Purple Drum is a movement of young women challenging misrepresentation and promoting equality in pop culture, and beyond. We are working with young women to generate creative challenges to racism, sexism and homophobia in popular culture including film, advertising, television, fashion and music industries.

Join us at our poetry workshops with the awesome Rachel Long and Joelle Taylor, to create poetry / spoken word to challenge media misrepresentation.

The workshops will take place from 6:30pm—8:00pm in London on 9th and 16th December (workshops come in packs of two so you will need to attend both).

To book your place email

For information about other workshops in the series visit workshops

Shortlisted for Young Poet Laureate for London

I have been shortlisted for Young Poet Laureate of London 2014 (for real that sentence still barely registers- even typed)

Won last year by the incredible Warsan Shire. This year it is an all female short list (Whoop Whoop!) I am both excited and honored to be nominated alongside Aisling Fahey, Ella Frears, Clare Mulley, Debris Stevenson and Laurie Bolger.

The first London Laureates performance reading will be on Saturday 13th September, 2pm at Kings Place. Hosted by Mr Gee.

Moreso than usual, I would love to see some of you there.


Clayground Commisson



At the beginning of this month, I was commissioned by Clayground Collective, a UK independent arts organisation directed by Julia Rowntree and ceramicist Duncan Hooson, to write poems inspired by my trip to Stoke-on-Trent – to see, and poetically respond to the last few working potteries, the (arguable) six towns, its history and its people.

The poems inspired by the trip are in progress (#amwriting), the launch event will be in November, but in the meantime, for all those interested in mixed-arts projects, I thought I’d post a video of the trip.
(See more at:

Photo credit: Caroline Gervay.
Video with thanks to Matt Edwards of FilmEditGo


This Sunday is Slow Sunday – Music & Poetry @ The Ritzy



This Sunday @ The Ritzy, Brixton. Please note the new start time of 3pm – which is even better. Time enough to shake off any Sat night hangovers, have your roast (insert variation of traditional English Sunday meal here) and make it down to listen to exciting new music and poetry by Antosh Wojcik – Poet, Performance Poet, Writer, Sophie Fenella, Amaal Said, Lana Bell, and me. A perfect Sunday really.

Entry and new ARAF Collective London Fanzine: FREE


BARCADEMY Workshop ‘You Bring Out The Black Woman in Me’

Black Women Workshop

All next week (11th-15th Aug), Burn After Reading (the poetry community I am part of, lead by Jacob Sam-La Rose and Jasmine Cooray) is running the first ‘BARCADEMY‘ in Deptford, London, between Deptford Lounge and the Albany (nearest stations: Deptford Rail Station or Deptford Bridge DLR) BARCADEMY is a week of creative and professional development workshops. In the evenings, members of the BAR community will be running a series of workshops:

I will be running a workshop on Wednesday 13th August (18:00-20:00)


In this workshop, we will unpack a poem from Mexican American Feminist, Sandra Cisneros, and use it as a model to discuss what components and characteristics make up a ‘black woman’. Is it her skin, hair, headscarf, history, kissing of teeth, attitude, beliefs?
We will share our own stories and experiences, and see if they are common. We will challenge myths and stereotypes of the black woman, in history, in contemporary society, and in our own minds, all within a safe and supportive environment. From this we will write our own poems, perhaps even combine them to create a group poem, embracing every celebration and contradiction.
This workshop is open to all self-identifying black women. We welcome ALL shades, mixes, definitions. The purpose of the workshop is not to measure blackness, (whatever that means, but we can discuss things like this) but rather, to explore all experiences on the black female spectrum.

Workshops are open on a “pay what you can” basis— we want them to be as accessible as possible, but we also need to be able to cover the costs of our workshop space. Suggested donation is anywhere between £5 and £10 per workshop, but that’s obviously dependent on what you’re able to offer.

I would love to see some of you there, at either this workshop, or at any of the other great workshops happening during BARCADEMY week (see below)
If you are interested please let me know ASAP, or email Jacob Sam La Rose directly: , Jacob will then confirm your place on the workshop.
If you can’t make it, (or are not a black woman, it happens) 😉 please still share widely. Or come to…

Other great workshops happening during BARCADEMY week:

– Monday 11th August: 18:00-20:00— Poetry And Activism: What’s The Issue With “Issue” Poetry? With Carmina Masoliver
– Tuesday 12th August: 18:00-20:00— Language and Innovation with Cameron Bray
– Wednesday 13th August: 18:00-20:00— ‘You Bring Out The Black Woman In Me’ with Rachel Long
– Thursday 14th August: 18:00-20:00— Form and Structure with Lewis Buxton
– Friday 15th August: 17:00-19:00— Physical Poetry: Exploring Ways of Using the Body in Poetry with Sophie Fenella Robinski



 On the last afternoon in August (Sunday 31st, 1-4pm) I will be reading some poems and will be in conversation with Hazel Atashroo from ARAF Collective and Douglas Parker, Brixton photographer, about his two new photography books, ‘Love Letters from Brixton’ and ‘Postcards from Brixton’,  for which I was commissioned to write poems to accompany the photographs.

They are both beautiful books, important social-political documentation and celebrations of Brixton’s history and its people from the late 1980s.

Both books will be available to buy on the day. The event is free, all afternoon. All welcome.