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…

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…

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…

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…

Finnish Poetry

I am writing this post from a warm and colourful studio in Central Finland, sipping tea and eating pumpkin seed bread. This week, on behalf of Cardiff University, I am visiting the University of Jyväskylä to observe seminars, give presentations, teach workshops and learn more about creative writing in Finland. It has been extraordinary so far…

Blogs, Brownies, and Goodbyes

Two weeks ago I finished teaching my ten week ‘Blog and Creative Writing’ course at Dowlais Library in Merthyr Tydfil. It was certainly a bittersweet experience. As it happened, our last session fell on my birthday so my core group surprised me with some wonderful presents which included homemade ‘American’ brownies, a chocolate fudge cake,…

Poetry and Map Making Project

Last week marked the end of one of my first projects with Glamorgan GATES, a wonderful community arts foundation in Merthyr Tydfil. Although it was challenging at times, it was also fun and incredibly rewarding. In addition to gaining a new perspective on poetry and community relationships from the young people I worked with, I…