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 –…

Five Years with Roath Writers

September saw the five year anniversary of my writer’s group, Roath Writers. I am still in awe of how the group has grown into its own kind, enthusiastic, thoughtful and creative community. My dream of carving out a small space to talk poems and write with new people has been so far exceeded I wonder if…

To San Jose with Thanks & Poetry

I am sitting in bright sunshine under a blue clock tower in Prague but all I can think about is San Jose: the thick humidity cloaking its streets, the shelves and shelves of poetry written in a language I cannot yet reach, and the school I visited on the outskirts of the city—the Institute of…

First Stop: Costa Rica

For weeks, I have been asking myself how to write about my book tour. Or, more specifically, the first stop on my book tour: Costa Rica. It has been two months since watching the mountains fade from my tiny-plane-window-view and, still, I am questioning. How can I articulate the magic that happened there? How can…

Dying Matters

‘Dying Matters Awareness Week’ in the UK ended yesterday. For those who don’t know, Dying Matters is a coalition of 32,000 members across England and Wales — including the NHS, bereavement charities, social service organisations, academic bodies and more — which aims to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and to…

Warmth & Writing at the University of Jyväskylä

During Cardiff University’s reading week in February, I could be found on the University of Jyväskylä’s snowy campus in Finland. Both institutions are members of the European Association of Creative Writing Programmes (EACWP) and formed a link in 2015 with the first teaching exchange between Dr. Shelagh Weeks and Terhi Forssén. I was delighted that my visit…

The Joys of the Pre-Order

Last year, I pre-ordered two debut poetry collections: The Sobbing School by fellow Marshall Scholar Joshua Bennett and The Knowledge Weapon by the winner of Bare Fiction’s Debut Poetry Collection Competition, Annette C. Boehm. I was desperate to read these collections so I ordered them the first chance I got. Then I waited, full of the…

Semi-Detached

My last post was in May and a lot has happened since then. Summer is my busiest season and as work for my day job, PhD and freelance projects increased my blog posts and personal writing took a reluctant back seat. Luckily, things are cooling down, both literally and figuratively, and I can now take…

Grieve, Read, Write

My Dad would have been 48 this Boxing Day. I wished him a happy birthday three years ago, chatting casually about the ham he was cooking, what he and my grandmother did for Christmas, what his plans were for New Year’s Eve. He seemed happy. He’d finally won a disability settlement he’d been after for…

Written Portraits

October is coming which means warm scarves, woolly jumpers, colourful leaves and Made in Roath are just around the corner! Although we’ve got an excellent poetry and literature programme planned, I am most excited to be organising another Written Portraits event for the upcoming festival. Run for this first time at Solstice in June, this…