I'm pleased to introduce Issue 45 of Word Life, which has the theme "Stages of life". It features information on spoken word events in Manchester as well as poetry from Kersten Christianson, Carl Boon, Ken Allan Dronsfield, Jo Boon, Kate Garrett, Allison Grayhurst, Joan McNerney and Ann Christine Tabaka.
I love editing this page and I hope you enjoy reading it.
When I started sending my writing out to journals, I stumbled upon one in particular that I loved. Cake Magazine was beautifully designed and featured great writers. Every issue was named after a type of cake: Battenberg, Key Lime, Cherry Bakewell. I dreamt of seeing my own work there.
Now my poem "Perpignan sestina" has been published in Issue 9, Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. It is an amazing feeling, and proof to me that dreams really can come true if you work hard. I am very happy, and very grateful to everyone who has encouraged me with my poetry.
May and June were hectic months for me, what with doing my exams in Spain and then finishing my semester there and returning to the UK. There have also been some major developments on the writing front, and I can't wait to tell you about them.
Firstly, I won a Northern Writers' Award! I was chosen as one of five New North Poets. My prize is a year of mentoring with The Poetry School and Clare Pollard. This is a huge milestone in my writing career and I'm very happy.
I'm enjoying my post as curator of Now Then Manchester's Word Life section - May's issue had "The sea" as a theme, and included my poem "Ink sea" along with work from four other writers. June's issue had the theme of "You" or the second person, and included five great pieces.
I am extremely happy to have been announced as a winner in the New North Poets section of the Northern Writers' Awards. The ceremony, on Thursday night at Northumbria University, was a really lovely evening of food, writing and celebration.
Receiving such a prestigious award is amazing. I'm greatly looking forward to my prize, which is a year of mentoring with The Poetry School and Clare Pollard. I'm also excited to get to know the four other poets chosen. The next year looks to be a great one for me creatively.
Many thanks to everyone who has read and enjoyed my writing over the years, and congratulations to all of the award-winners.
In 2015 I reviewed Holly Webb's The Water Horse for Cuckoo Review. I enjoyed the novel very much, and so was pleased to get the chance to review another instalment in the Magical Venice series. My review of The Girl of Glass is up on Cuckoo Review now.
I hope you enjoy learning about this beautiful book.
Issue 43 of Now Then Manchester's Word Life is here, curated by me and featuring some of June's top poetry and spoken-word events in Manchester as well as five great pieces of writing on the theme of "you" or the second person.
A few years ago an article I wrote about my late rescue cat Murphy was published in Your Cat Magazine. I recently found out that another piece I wrote appeared in the December 2016 issue.
"Little and large: A tale of two tabbies" completes Murphy's story and introduces our current cat, Kitt. It also features photos by me. The issue seems to currently be out of print but if you do find it, I hope you enjoy it.