My Poetry Bookshelf – March

In January, when I started revisiting collections for #mypoetrybookshelf, I never imagined that my life would utterly change just three months later. In March, one of my students tested positive for Covid-19 and I went into self-isolation for two weeks. My university teaching moved swiftly online, my husband could no longer work and our busy…

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…

Striking the Match – Introducing the How to Carry Fire Blog Tour

Back in 2012, I was asked to design and run a blog-writing course for a community organisation in South Wales. Although I was no expert, I said yes! and started reading blogs every day to prepare. I loved the versatility of this form and feeling connected to people through their posts. It wasn’t long before…

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…

My Poetry Bookshelf — February

I was introduced to the work of Jorge Luis Borges back in 2009 when I started my Creative Writing MA at Cardiff University. Richard Gwyn, who later became my PhD supervisor, used Borges’ writing in one of our early seminars. I cannot remember which piece he brought but I remember the sense of cracking open….

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…

My Poetry Bookshelf — January

Last year, I read Mary Ruefle’s book of collected lectures, Madness, Rack and Honey, and have thought often since about this passage on rereading: ‘And there was a curiosity too, the curiosity of revisiting and remeeting. Some gigantic memory might strike me as being rather small in the flesh, or the altogether unremembered might strike me…

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…

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…