Silvia Koller with a Bird Cage

‘Silvia Koller with a Bird Cage’ (c.1907) oil/canvas, 100 x 100 cm – Collection Eisenberger, Vienna

As part of the Kakania project, I was able to present my commissioned response to the figure of Broncia Koller-Pinell during the symposium at the Austrian Cultural Forum dedicated to aspects of Habsburg Vienna. The day’s events were led and curated by Dr. Diane Silverthorne and S J Fowler; the Kakania poets spoke after a number of fascinating talks, including one by Dr. Silverthorne on expressionist landscapes in music and art, a paper by Dr. Leslie Topp that drew links between topics of ‘madness’, architecture and Vienna, followed by a presentation by Jamie Ruers on Cabaret Fledermaus. Other poets included Vicky Sparrow on Margarethe Wittgenstein, Stephen Emmerson on his multi-part performance art response on Rainer Maria Rilke, and by Marcus Slease writings on Max Kurzweil. There was also a screening of ALTENBERG: The Little Pocket Mirror, a fascinating documentary by David Bickerstaff and Gemma Blackshaw.



Delighted to have been awarded my doctorate by Royal Holloway, University of London. Many thanks to my examiners Prof. Patricia Duncker and Dr. Richard Hamblyn, and to my supervisors Prof. Judith Hawley, Dr. Kristen Kreider and Prof. Andrew Motion for all of their encouragement, candour and patience along the way. My thesis Unclear Definitions: Investigating Dictionaries’ Fictitious Entries through Creative and Critical Writing will no doubt be a staple addition to bedside bookshelves up and down the country.


Roles, Playing #2


Proud to be part of the editorial board at Copy Press, the publishers of the Common Intellectual books (including a new edition of The Bound Man and other stories by Ilse Aichinger), the series Paraclete, the new Loop project series of work, and the curators of a dedicated Reader’s Union.

Roles, Playing #1


I am delighted to be working as Fiction Editor for 3:AM Magazine, commissioning and editing pieces for this fantastic and important site. I have long been an avid reader and proud contributor; I can’t wait to be of use, and attempt to prove some mettle on the other side of the submissions’ desk. Fiction, poetry, essays, reviews and interviews all available here.

Visual Verse


A quick announcement: for the next couple of months, I am thrilled to be Guest Editor at Visual Verse. This is a wonderful site!-journal!-anthology! that offers an ekphrastic prompt each month, and has collected so many fantastic submissions over its lifetime. It is a complete privilege to be involved and I look forward to working with Kristen Harrison and all the team at Curved House.


I am especially excited to help behind the scenes at Visual Verse just as the journal’s stalwart editor Preti Taneja received exciting news about her novel We That Are Young coming soon from Galley Beggar Press.

To see this month’s image and to submit a response, please do visit here; the headline writers include John McCullough, Helen Ivory, Helen McClory, Wendy Choi and Prue Chamberlain. And have a read through VV‘s back issues; as the journal’s tagline states, the image is the starting point, the rest is up to you.

Camarade 61


In January I was excited to work with poet Maren Nygard for a new piece, performed at the 61st Camarade event at The Honeymoon bar in Apiary Studios. Other paired readers on the night included Lavinia Singer & Ella Frears, John Canfield & Joe Turrent, Simone Gilson & Claudia Juhre, Liddy Gilbert & James Caley, Maren Nygard & Eley Williams, Sarah Kelly & Iris Colomb, Prudence Chamberlain & SJ Fowler, Molly Bergin & Megan Haycock, Olga Kolesnikova & Richard Scott, Susie Campbell & Mike West, Keely Laufer & Emma Mackilligin, Julia Lewis & Annabel Banks, Clover Peake & Giovanna Coppola.

Our performance can be seen below, with many thanks to S J Fowler for the filming and the invitation.


Poems for Pacuare


Poems for Pacuare

I am very pleased to be part of the anthology Human Nature: Poems for Pacuare. Featuring a selection of  entries from the Pacuare Poetry Competition 2015,  all proceeds from sales of the book go towards funding The Pacuare Nature Reserve, a conservation project in Costa Rica dedicated to scientific research and environmental education. I am delighted to have a small piece in there and to help the reserve in this small way, with poetry alongside the winner of the competition Saradha Soobrayen and the work of other great writers including Drew Milne, Emily Critchley and Ian McEwen, Many thanks to Kat Addis for the editing, and for the initiative.


With other members of the Generative Constraints committee, I participated in ‘Interactions with the Real’, the third annual Practice-based Research Conference organised by Royal Holloway postgraduate students. As per their call for papers, this was a day-long, interdisciplinary event seeking to provide dialogue between practitioners and academic researchers, and placed an emphasis on foregrounding practice as a means of creative exploration and academic inquiry.


With keynotes by Dr. Liz Tomlin and Prof. Yve Lomax, the Generative Constraints’ performance ended the day with our piece Keepin’ It Real.

I am delighted to be playing compere for this triple-threat: the launch of new work by Sophie Mayer, Preti Taneja and Nisha Ramayya. I had the pleasure of hearing extracts from these three great books while in the audience for this year’s Sussex Poetry festival and at a recent Feminist Library fundraiser event. To quote the event’s enblurburate,

O Sophie Mayer‘Sophie Mayer’s fourth published poetry collection, (O), is a bittersweet lovesong to zombies, tattoos, lovers and sisters, Katniss and Pussy Riot, Artemis and suffragists. In three parts – I DO, I UNDO, I REDO – the poet undoes herself and all around her in a cycle that takes her back to the start as it comes to an end. Spirited, politicised, contemporary and Classical, these poems bring a poetic voice to the women that have lived in the cracks of history. In her own words: “Nothing – and everything – is sacred in this new cosmogony, beginning again with O.’

Malhotra‘Kumkum Malhotra was one of two winners in the Gatehouse Press New Fictions Prize in 2014/15, noted by Maureen Freely for its ‘beautifully sculpted surfaces and terrifying depths.’ As its heroine unravels, the author strips a family and a society bare. In Kumkum Malhotra, set in New Delhi in the 1990s, Preti Taneja tells a familiar tale with startling freshness and an original, exacting style.’

N Ramayya - Sanskrit‘We are also pleased to welcome Nisha Ramayya, whose debut pamphlet ‘Notes on Sanskrit’ is published this month by Oystercatcher Press. Nisha recently completed a practice-based PhD in feminist poetics, at Royal Holloway, University of London. Nisha works across various practices and forms – translation, performance, mythology and ritual to test the possibilities of a Tantric poetics. Her work can be found at Datableed, Jungftak, Quaderna: A Multilingual and Transdisciplinary Journal, and Visual Verse.’


The readings for this Cambridge launch will take place at Heffers bookshop, 13th October 2015, with all three books available for purchase on the evening. Tickets (free! but useful for the venue in terms of registering numbers) are available here.


Prudence Chamberlain and I were thrilled to be asked to judge this year’s Literary Kitchen flash fiction competition, putting our heads together and choosing fifteen writers from the open call for <300word fictions. The shortlist came down to these final few pieces; ricocheting in content from Moby Dick to hypoglycemia, do swing by the Peckham Pelican on Sunday 18th October to hear the winning stories.

Curated by Andrea Mason and packed with masterclasses, workshops, readings and more – featuring A.L.Kennedy, Kreider+O’Leary and the Death Café in due course – the full schedule for the 12-18th October festival can be viewed on the site, or downloadable as a .pdf.