I am very happy that my poem "Before breakfast" has been chosen for publication in The Cardiff Review. It will be in the Spring 2018 issue, which is also their first Queer Issue and is now available to pre-order.
March and April were slightly surreal months this year, starting very cold and ending very warm. In Manchester we seemed to switch overnight from snow and ice to sun and blossoms.
I worked hard towards my degree and celebrated my twenty-fourth birthday and Earth Day. I tried new baking and film clubs, enjoyed the LGBT Foundation's Sugar and Spice Festival, and I feel I grew a lot. I also saw some writing milestones and achievements.
I performed at Verbose, a monthly spoken word night in Manchester, and read some of my poems at the Women on Top event at the LGBT Foundation. My poem "Soap" was featured in Open Mind Manchester's Mind Full of Art exhibition and anthology.
I took part in my second residential at Highgreen Arts in Northumberland, part of my prize for being chosen as a New North Poet at the 2017 Northern Writers' Awards. I was mentored by Clare Pollard and did a workshop with Antony Dunn, and overall, it was a lovely weekend.
I was very happy to have my poem "Soap" chosen for inclusion in Open Mind Manchester's Mind Full of Art project. The poem was featured in an exhibition on mental health and wellbeing at the University of Manchester, as well as in the Mind Full of Art anthology.
Our mental health is so important, and all too often in today's society it is neglected. Helping to raise awareness about it was an honour.
Highgreen is an elegant and comfy old manor house. The five New North Poets and our mentor, Clare Pollard, spent many an hour sitting around the fire doing writing activities and discussing and reading poetry. We also had a full-day workshop with the poet Antony Dunn, which was very useful.
I walked a lot, and found the local nature calming and inspiring. We enjoyed delicious veggie food and divine desserts - apple crumble, chocolate brownie, poached pear. We had lightning one night, which in the total darkness of the countryside was very dramatic. I would later write a poem about it.
Overall, it was a lovely weekend in great company. I hope to do more residentials in the future.