The Launch of clew














On Saturday 18th April, at the Duke of York pub in St Werburghs in Bristol my first pamphlet, clew, published by Hesterglock Press, was launched. This was along with Sarer Scotthorne’s first pamphlet, The Blood House, and Paul Hawkins’s first full length collection from Erbacce press, Contumacy







l-r: Sheer Zed, Sarer Scotthorne, me, Paul Hawkins

As part of the Bristol Spring Poetry Festival this was a wonderful evening of us three poets coming together to read our work, and celebrate. Sheer Zed, a  fantastic multi-talented electronic musician, provided soundscapes to some of the poems, and a great set of his own work.
















It was a pleasure to be back at this lovely pub in a corner of the city that I spent time in occasionally when I lived in  Bristol many years ago. Strange and synchronistic to be back reading poetry and launching my first collection here, after ten years to the month of leaving. Also, to be supported by dear friends living there, who I have stayed in touch with, and amazingly, to have four brilliant mates from Wales drive across for the evening! And to meet and chat with new people in this friendly, vibrant place









Sarer and Paul gave superb readings, hugely talented performers, and unique voices in poetry individually, as well as the partnership behind Hesterglock Press, which also publishes the vital Boscombe Revolution / Bosc:Rev magazine. I was chuffed to finally meet with Sheer Zed too, who I have been communicating with on social media for a while.


















I’m so grateful to Zed for composing soundtracks for some of my work. As someone who started off many years ago by singing in a band and making experimental music, it was really exciting to ‘out’ my frustrated vocalist and have that additional musical dimension to my work. I hope we get to work together again.

lucyzededit lucybristoledit








There are plans to do a similar event in London but not sure when- keep an eye on the blog for details.

In the meantime Sarer and Paul’s work can be found via Hesterglock Press and Paul’s web site- I wrote a brief review of The Blood House, and have since spent more time with it and I would recommend you do so too. Here is Andie Berryman’s review of it. I have also read and re-read Contumacy, and it contains my favourite poem from last year which I return to over and over. Steve Willey wrote a great piece about it here.

Back on the 21st March, Sarer and Paul appeared on Jude Cowan Montague’s radio show, The News Agents on Resonance FM. Sarer beautifully read my poem, The Cleaning Cupboard, which was published in issue 3 of Boscombe Revolution. It’s a great programme with Jude and co-host Alice Foster discussing Hesterglock Press, and talking with Paul and Sarer about their work, including Paul’s up and coming publication, Place/Waste/Dissent, which is going to be published by Influx Press in October 2015. Listen in here!

Submissions to Bosc:Rev are open for the next issue- more info here.

Listen to some of Sheer Zed’s amazing remixes of poems by Sarer, Paul and me here.

You can buy my pamphlet clew here.

“Read ‘clew’ for a window on our times and a reminder of how poetry remains a resistant art.”Siobhán Campbell; poet





I haven’t been here for a while. The summer has kept me busy with a multitude of competing priorities, including a lot of digging. Mainly in my vegetable patch at the end of the garden.

More recently I have started work on the front garden, which has been completely overgrown with bindweed and brambles. I am reclaiming it. It is a sunny day out there and I wish I could be digging now but I have another type of digging to attend to, with a pen in my hand.

In my mind both types of digging are closely related. Seamus Heaney writes beautifully about this in his poem Digging

Loose Muse

The first time I read my poetry in public was last November at an open mic night at the Poetry Cafe. Agnes Meadows was reading that night and said she liked my stuff and I should go to the night she does there, Loose Muse. So I finally did last Wednesday.

Agnes is currently on a six month sabbatical in Singapore so the evening was hosted by Dfiza Benson instead. Loose Muse was originally set up as a monthly evening, where women can read their work to each other and talk about it. There are normally one or two readers, followed by question and answer sessions, and some open mic slots so that anyone (female) can come and read their work.

 Catherine Brogan performed her poetry first. She is originally from Belfast but now settled in London. Her work is personal, witty and dynamic, relying on rhymes and pace to hook the audience in and grip them. She has been performing her poetry since childhood and brings enthusiasm and infectious energy to what she does. After performing her work there was a question and answer session where Catherine talked about her experience of performing poetry; how she writes and what she is interested in and how she got to be in Radio 4 on New Year’s Day.

It was a completely female environment, with an intimate audience of about ten women, although men do often attend they are prohibited from performing or reading their work. As Agnes says on the Poetry Society web site, “I don’t mind whose £5 I take but only women can read, unless you wear a wig and call yourself Susan”.  Two other women apart from me read poetry, and both were excellent poems. The first was about not knocking the over-sixties , and was well-delivered, witty and biting. The second was about the experience of a daughter looking after her father in his last days, which used beautiful imagery and was very touching.

I read one of my poems but felt very nervous and did not do justice to it at all. I was unsure about going at all that day, just one of those days I think, but made myself. I received some positive, very kind and encouraging feedback from all three professionals, and will perform again. I am hoping that it will be more of a performance next time, and less of a self-conscious shuffle, especially as I have done my fair share of performing in the past! This is a new experience and not like the singing I’ve done before. There was no separation between me and the audience- it felt much more raw and honest- or maybe that was how I felt. I am glad I did it- but I am not happy with how it went.

Dfiza Benson performed a fantastic poem about the Hottentot Venus and then introduced the second guest of the evening. Zena Edwards is a performance poet, with great experience and who runs various workshops and has an ongoing project called Conversations running at the moment. She also has a one-woman show, Security.  She is interested in languages, sonics and people, and these are captured in her poems and spoken word performance. She uses sounds and rhythm and accents to conjure up different people and places. I particularly loved her poem “Tube Sage” where she mimics the sound of the train on the tracks as a connection between the different people she describes. She also uses music and played the kalimba and sang beautifully.

In the question and answer session that followed she discussed her reluctance to accept the tag of performance poet and all of the associations that go along with it, until she was ready to make a commitment to it, because as she said she would have to approach it with a “wanting to be the best” attitude. There was also an interesting discussion between all three performers about the current poetry scene, which is disparate and too-many stranded, and the problems of funding and earning a living from being a spoken word artist/performance poet.

Zena Edwards offered me some great advice at the end of the evening, saying that I need to be able to offer my poetry as a gift, forget about all my “stuff” and be there for the poem. The poem is the important bit, not me. I was in denial about reading my work on Wednesday, until I actually said I would do it when I got to the Poetry Cafe. So although I had taken a folder full of work, I hadn’t prepared a poem to read, even if I had thought about what would be suitable.

Performing a poem, rather than just reading it out, makes you consider your words in a different context. They take on three dimensions and you have to work out how to communicate that and whether what you have written is going to work in a live setting.

 Dfiza suggested going back and doing it again and I will, until I find my poetry ‘feet’.  For anyone (female) wanting to try performing their work, Loose Muse is a great place to start, and find out more about the craft of poetry. I learned a lot and enjoyed some great poetry!

Loose Muse takes place on the second Wednesday of the month, and is only a fiver to get in. For more information click here.

The Hill Top

The picture at the top of this blog shows part of the shopfront for The Hill Top, a now empty shop, the last of the shops in Richmond Village before you reach the famous terrace.

I lived in the village when I was a child, and this was a newsagent’s and post office. It is strange to see it empty and remember how it used to be and how I used to be.

I’ve written a couple of poems about Richmond recently, and there will probably be more as I have just begun work on a new project. More about that in another post.

Richmond is also the place where Virginia and Leonard Woolf set up the Hogarth Press and published TS Eliot’s second book of poetry, Poems, and his seminal work  The Wasteland in 1923.

The Hill Top is also a pictorial pun, referring back to the other LucyFurLeaps blog, which is illustrated by a photo of the view looking east from the top of Glastonbury Tor, another great place for leaps of the imagination…