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…

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…