Friday 16 November 2018



 Last night I visited Speak!, one of the last of the big Mancunian spoken word nights I hadn't yet been to. It was a different atmosphere to what I had experienced at other nights, with more people, louder music, and generally, for me, a more intense vibe.

 However new it felt, I threw myself into my set, performing my poems. The crowd were into it, with laughter in the right places, and I got some good feedback afterwards. The other acts were diverse and interesting, and I was glad I decided to give Speak! a go.

 Liz x

Thursday 15 November 2018

Now Then - Keisha Thompson


 It was a joy to interview the dynamic writer and spoken-word performer Keisha Thompson for Now Then Manchester, and to attend and review her solo show Man on the Moon

 I hope you enjoy my feature on Keisha.

 Liz x

Far Off Places - A cave, and Finding the fish


 You may remember that I had a translation published in Far Off Places in 2016. It is a gorgeous journal, available in print and digital formats.

 I was recently happy to discover that I would again be part of it, with my poems, "A cave" and "Finding the fish" published in the upcoming issue. 

 There is also a bittersweet feeling, as this will be the final issue of Far Off Places. I am proud and moved to be part of it. You can purchase the digital edition of Volume V, Issue II online.

 I hope you enjoy my poetry.

 Liz x

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Manchester Literature Festival - On stories and snow


 Just letting you know that you can now read my piece "On stories and snow", commissioned for Manchester Literature Festival, online at The National Literacy Trust. It was a joy to write this piece, and to perform it at the Take Ten event at Manchester Central Library.

 I hope you enjoy discovering how reading has shaped my life.

 Liz x

Flim Nite - Pan's Labyrinth


 I had been hoping to get involved with Flim Nite, a cinema-inspired performance night, since I first learnt about it. My fellow New North Poet Jasmine Chatfield, is one of the organisers, and it sounded intriguing.

 When I heard that they would be taking on Pan's Labyrinth, I just had to be there - I studied this film for my Spanish A-Level, and it is one of my all-time favourites. It was so lovely to be welcomed there to read my poetry. I wrote two poems, a sonnet and a ghazal, especially for the occasion.

 The large audience at the Three Minute Theatre were warm and listened intently, and it was a great experience. It was fascinating to see and hear how the other performers interpreted the film.

 I hope to return to Flim Nite in the future, and look forward to seeing what films they have lined up for us to revisit and respond to.

 Liz x

Now Then - Word Life 60


 November's issue of Now Then Manchester - our sixtieth! - is here, and for Word Life I set the theme of "Gifts". I received a huge number of submissions, probably more than for any previous issue.

 The final selection includes writing by J V Birch, Margaret King, Fee Thomas, Gerry Sikazwe, Lynn White, John Grey, Anna Maria Dall'Olio, Andrew Nowell, Sarah Hulme, Kristi Rose, Joan McNerney and Laura Potts. The "Gifts" prompt is interpreted in many different and fascinating ways.

 We also have the usual listings for literary events in and around Manchester.

 I hope you enjoy Issue 60!

 Liz x

Confingo - Oyster


 I am very happy that my poem "Oyster" has been published in Confingo 10, the autumn/winter 2018 issue. It is wonderful to see my work in this elegant Mancunian print journal.

 I hope you enjoy my poem.

 Liz x

Sunday 11 November 2018

Visual Verse - Leaving Manchester


 Visual Verse have been celebrating their fifth birthday with a competition, and I was delighted to be one of the writers chosen to be published first in November's issue. 

 My poem "Leaving Manchester" was a response to the above image by Hannah Coulson, but also inspired by my many trips in and out of the city that has become my home over the last six years. Leaving always feels bittersweet, but I know I will never stay away for too long.

 I hope you enjoy my writing. Feel free to also look at my Visual Verse archive to see all the pieces I have had published on the site since 2015.

 Liz x

Monday 5 November 2018

News - September and October 2018


 Since my last news post, autumn has arrived in the north of England, and the weather has transformed. It is very cold, but some lovely things have brought me moments of warmth. So much has happened in my writing and creative projects, and I am looking forward to sharing it with you.

 Firstly, in terms of performance and spoken word, I was commissioned to create a special piece of writing for Manchester Literature Festival's Take Ten event, at Manchester Central Library. This was an incredible opportunity, and I really enjoyed writing and performing "On stories and snow".

 I also performed a set at (In)sane, a really nice, chilled event to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing, and I enjoyed reading at the ever-lovely feminist poetry night Stirred.

 In terms of the written word, GASP, the anthology of the New North Poets, was released. Four of my poems featured: "Blood ghazal", "León", "Pilot" and "Missing Leo", and our mentor, Clare Pollard, wrote a lovely introduction, praising the "conjuring of place" in my work.

 The year of mentoring following my Northern Writers' Awards win was so important to me as a writer, and this anthology was a way of celebrating our progress as New North Poets. I am very proud of it.

 I have also had poems published by other brilliant publications: "Things that can fly" appeared in Culture Matters, "Things that make me happy" in Scrittura Magazine, "Dogteeth" in Severine, "Dragon" in The Poetry Village and "An L-shaped room" in Here Comes Everyone.

 My prose also had a chance to shine, with my short story "Australia" published in The Lampeter Review, and my flash fiction piece "The time of harps" in Visual Verse.

 I enjoyed another year as a Digital Reporter for Manchester Literature Festival, reviewing two very powerful events. Firstly, I listened to Michael Morpurgo's words on the environment and conservation at Manchester Cathedral.

 I then visited the Whitworth Art Gallery to hear Rommi Smith and Dave Evans responding to the exhibition "Bodies of Colour" through the media of spoken word and piano, respectively. Issues tackled included sexism, homophobia and racism, but there was also a strong sense of hope.

 As usual, I curated the Word Life section of Now Then Manchester, and really enjoyed putting together two very different issues - September's had the more serious theme of "Messages", while October's was more fun, with poems surrounding "Animals".

 That being said, a quite solemn poem of mine, "Requiem", about whales, featured in October's issue. I hope you enjoy both months' sets of writing.

 I took part in a fun Writing Squad workshop with Stevie Ronnie on making books and presenting written work in new ways, and have enjoyed my continued participation in spoken word group Young Identity.

 I have also been chosen as a Digital Reporter at HOME, Manchester, which is very exciting! I look forward to a year of masterclasses and opportunities.

 Thanks for following my creative journey, and watch this space to see where it goes next.

 Liz x

Sunday 4 November 2018

Tales From the Forest - Noelle


Image by Lar Ó Duinn
 I'm pleased to announce that Tales From the Forest have published my fiction piece "Noelle" in Issue Nine, which has the theme of "Limits". 

 I hope you enjoy reading this story, which tells of of a young skater constantly forced to push her limits, the respite she finds in nature, and the darkness that pressure and stress can lead to.

 Liz x

Saturday 3 November 2018

Stirred - Underworld


 You may remember that I performed at feminist poetry night Stirred back in July, when the theme was "Pirates and Adventurers". It was a lovely experience, and I was delighted to return this month, to an event themed "Underworld".

 I read some new poems, and the audience was, like last time, very warm and receptive. I enjoyed hearing everybody else's work - there was a real range of styles in both content and delivery; some loving, some gentle, some dramatic.

 The chat in the breaks, and the general vibe, was so cosy and relaxed, and I left feeling very fulfilled. I am looking forward to doing more poetry performances, at Stirred and beyond.

 Liz x

Here Comes Everyone - An L-shaped room


 I am very happy that my poem "An L-shaped room" has been published by Here Comes Everyone, as part of a series on the theme of "Rituals".

 I hope you enjoy my writing.

 Liz x

MLF18: Rommi Smith and Dave Evans


 It was a great honour to be invited to attend and review Rommi Smith and Dave Evans' event at Whitworth Art Gallery as part of Manchester Literature Festival. The pair responded to the exhibition "Bodies of Colour", Smith through spoken word, Evans through music.

 I attended a Writing Squad performance masterclass with Rommi a year or so ago, and she really inspired and encouraged me, so seeing her again was lovely. The evening was extremely powerful and moving. I hope you enjoy my review for Chapter & Verse.

 As with every year, I've enjoyed being a Digital Reporter for the Festival, and hope to be able to do it again in the future.

 Liz x