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2016 Round-Up

I’m not alone as I wave 2016 a very earnest farewell. It is what it is, and I hold no malice for anyone whose political viewpoints differ from mine. We are in a mess right now, and it will take resistance and love, not resentment, to put it right. am very glad to live near the beach – it helps me keep …

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Writing Motherhood Anthology

******COVER REVEAL!**** This is the cover for the Writing Motherhood anthology which is being published in March 2017 by Seren. The book comes on the heel of my Arts Council-funded Writing Motherhood tour throughout 2014/15 and presents poems, essays and interviews by 80 female writers in the UK and US such as Sharon Olds, Carol Ann Duffy, Emma Donoghue, Sarah …

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Durham Book Festival event

My residency at the Northern Poetry Library has now come to an end. It’s been a great project. I worked with two groups – a school and a community group, both in Northumberland, UK – over a period of months, running writing sessions and then finally putting together group poems for the anthology, as well as writing my own commissioned …

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Northern Writers Awards

  Last night I had the privilege of attending the 2016 Northern Writers Awards at the Great Hall, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. These awards are held annually by New Writing North to recognise writing talent in the North of England, and each year they have a different panel of judges. Last year I finished one of my first short stories and tried to …

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New Works in Progress

I’ve spent the last year working on some new projects and am almost, almost at the stage of seeing that hard work pay off. Some new poetry is emerging, mostly inspired by the 19th century feminist and social activist Josephine Butler, as I’ve been poet in residence at the Northern Poetry Library which houses some works on Butler, and also she …

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Currently in Crete

As the title of this post states, I’m in Crete and so this will be brief, but I wanted to touch base and write about what I’m doing out here. A few months back the Society of Authors was kind enough to give me a K Blundell Award, which funded a wee research trip out here in Crete, which is where …

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Two reviews and a giveaway

Last December, Eleanor Rees commented on Facebook that her poetry collection Blood Child (Liverpool University Press, 2015) hadn’t had any reviews. This is the frustrating part of writing – you can work harder than you’ve ever worked on a project, manage somehow to get it accepted by a great publisher, work yourself into a frenzy on the publicity racket, and then nobody …

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On Editing

This here’s a brief post on editing, Carolyn Jess-Cooke style. I’m obsessed with editing, at least the concept of editing. I’m obsessed with it because it’s so damn difficult. No one teaches you this, not really. And yet it’s the toughest part of the job. Right now I’m editing my new novel. I’ve found myself pacing around it over the …

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2015 Round-Up

I’m excited for 2016. This may not sound terribly rational, given the terrible floods just down the road from me and much, much worse to come on a global scale, but I am genuinely glad of the chance for a fresh start and a new perspective on things. 2015 was a great year. I left the terribleness of 2014 behind …

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Poet in Residence at Northern Poetry Library

When I moved to the north east of England 10 years ago, I was slightly beside myself to be based so close to the Northern Poetry Library in Morpeth. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone interested in poetry and I’m really pleased to be one of the poets in residence for the new digital platform. This will involve a huge …