National Poetry Writing Month – Poetry Prompts

It is April 1st which means we have now entered National Poetry Writing Month! Back in 2012, I founded a Cardiff-based writers’ group called Roath Writers. For the past three years, I’ve been keeping track of the prompts I’ve given to this group. I thought I’d share some of them here in case anyone would…

A Poet’s Return to Finland

Today I held the initial meeting for the lucky Cardiff Metropolitan University students who will accompany me to Finland for a Creative Writing Summer School in June this year. In anticipation of hosting my first international writing school, I thought I’d share a piece I wrote for Cardiff Met’s staff news page, Insite, about this…

Proofs, Previews, Pre-Orders

I submitted my PhD on February 4th and since then I have been spending my time catching up on sleep and ‘decompressing’. This deserves a whole blog post of its own which I hope to write after my Viva in May. For now, I am enjoying having space in my brain again and time to…

A Writer’s Decade

Recently, I bought a dozen doughnuts from the baker and was given 13 instead of 12. A baker’s dozen. Apparently, bakers in the Middle Ages were afraid of being beaten for ‘cheating’ their customers out of bread. Strict punishments would be handed down to any bakers who were found skimping. So, to avoid these penalties,…

How Poetry Burns

This blog post could be called so many things: how time burns, how love burns, how loss burns. I have stepped away from this blog for 18 months to attend to various fires in my own life – some destructive and some restorative. I will be returning, slowly, to say more about these experiences over…

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…

The Cardiff Review – Poetry Editor

On Friday, I was officially welcomed to The Cardiff Review as their new Poetry Editor! As a result my weekend was spent feeling joy-filled and celebrating with just the right amount of craft cider. Okay, perhaps a little too much… I am honored to join this dedicated team and follow in the footsteps of former editor…

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…

Thank You Poetry Lovers!

Three months ago I launched my debut poetry collection, More than you were. Since then, somehow, I have signed and sold 100 copies. I still can’t believe it but I’ve checked my math again and again – it has happened. More have been added to carts on Amazon or sold to bookshops, but I know…