Why do we read, and write, taboos?

This May, I’ll be teaching my first course at The Poetry School on taboos. I am beyond excited! This blog post, which explores my ideas and motivations for running this course, was originally published on their website. You can read it here or check it out there. Thank you!  A few years ago I read…

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…

Dignity

Not many of us think about our dignity on a daily basis. In fact, I’m not sure I’d truly considered what mine meant before being invited to develop two creative writing sessions on the topic for a project run by Making Minds and Interlink. Before planning these workshops, which were aimed at people dealing with…

Solstice Festival

After freelancing seven days a week from September to May, I look forward to taking back my weekends each summer. For me these days mean lots of tea, new poetry collections, and as much writing as I can manage. Often, I also squeeze in a few walks, documentaries and drinks with friends. They allow me…

Memory

Last month I led my first Death Writing session of 2015. Participants of different backgrounds, ages and experiences came together to discuss their relationship with memory, write about significant objects and places, and compose poems for people they’d lost. One of the attendees, the lovely Jodie Kay Ashdown, has kindly posted the piece she wrote…

Cam wrth Gam – Step by Step

I have always believed that people should follow their passions – find the thing they love and do it with as much energy and dedication they can muster. This belief often makes me a difficult party guest. I ignore the small talk and ask questions instead, try to uncover what the person uncomfortably holding their…

Writing Our Lives

Both Anne Lamott and Sharon Olds taught me to write what I know. Before I read their work I did this by composing journal entries and secret stories which I hid in a blue tub under my bed. After I read their work I continued to write what I knew, just more often and publicly,…

City Writing

I have been trying to write the things I love about Cardiff for years. There is something here that excites me, that comforts me, that pulls me back when I’m away. This city deserves poetry more than most. With this in mind, Emma Metcalfe and I decided to set up a City Writing series which…

(mikst)

Last year I was lucky enough to facilitate a writer’s group called MARGIN which aimed to respond to the Rapid Cycling project at ATTIC, a contemporary gallery concerned with scientific, personal and cultural understandings of the mind. Over the course of six months our group examined work from different artists, discussed the relationship between creativity…

Winter Light

This week, when I walked to work in darkness, I thought about poetry. I thought about the Ciliau and the wilds of mid-Wales. But most of all, I thought about light. In our January Landscape Writing workshop, Emma and I discussed the significance of light in winter. We examined how it can magnify our experiences,…