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…

Vetoed Wedding Poems

I got married last week. After years of saying I would never get married, I did. I suppose I always believed that marriage would stifle me, take away my freedoms, hinder my ability to pursue my passions. However, over the last six years my partner has done the opposite: he builds platforms, creates more opportunities, supports…

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…