Begin as you mean to go on

It’s the third week of 2018 and I am finally starting to feel human again after an extremely busy period and a long-standing chest infection. Despite the occasional cough, I am now getting back to a healthy routine of early nights, early rises, poem writing, editing, reading and more.

Soon I’ll be teaching again – which I adore – but before I get swept up in the waves of 2018 students, marking, grant applications and freelancing, I wanted to take this time to reflect on last year, just for a moment, because I feel so absurdly lucky to have had all sorts of brilliant adventures.

With the help of some awesome people in 2017, I was able to:

  • publish my first poetry collection, More than you were, with Parthian Books
  • read in 25 bookstores, pubs, libraries, art galleries and more on my first book tour
  • visit 7 countries on 3 continents
  • get very close to completing my PhD draft
  • secure funding for two addiction and creative writing projects I believe in
  • become Poetry Editor for The Cardiff Review
  • discover some life-changing books and;
  • meet incredible writers from around the world

Thank you to everyone – family, friends, poets, colleagues, teachers and my ever-patient husband – who made last year the best it could be. I am so grateful for your love, support, kindness, advice and humour which always pushed me to keep going, learning, adapting, and resting, when I needed it most.

I cannot wait to see what 2018 has in store for me and for all the creative, courageous and wonderful people in my life and beyond. Among lots of other things, I know for certain that I would like to spend more of this year reading poetry.

So, if you’ve got any recommendations for poetry pamphlets or collections please send them my way! I’d love to hear from you. I will also be making an effort to share more of what I am reading on this blog so stay tuned for poetry book suggestions from me.

For now, please enjoy a few photos of my writing desks/book tour/travels throughout 2017. For more pictures, you’re welcome to follow me on my new Instagram account: writetoempower. Speak soon!

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