Exciting Publication News: My Debut Poetry Collection!

A big tick for my most impressive poetry acceptance ever

I am unbelievably excited to announce that I have just signed a contract with Seren Books to publish my debut poetry collection Octopus Mind in July 2023! After years of hard work, and many many rejections, this really is a dream come true, especially when I remember that I gave up on the poetry dream for nearly a decade. It was this blog, and the welcoming arms of the Cardiff poetry scene, that spurred me on to start writing and submitting once again.

The photo shows a gigantic tick in my poetry admin notebook, where I record all of my submissions, rejections and acceptances. And I love the fact that my six-year-old niece wrote me a poem of her own, when she heard the news! I’m training up her up to be a poet too…

I’ll be revealing more about the book over the coming months, but in the meantime, here’s a quick round up of my other poetry goings-on:

My ekphrastic poem ‘Hidden Disability’ was highly commended in the Disability Arts Cymru Creative Word Award! I found out during their live event on Zoom, which was rather nerve-wracking. And I currently have two poems on the longlist for the AUB International Poetry Prize.

Poetry Wales magazineEarlier this summer I was delighted to have a poem published in the summer issue of Poetry Wales. I never dreamed I’d end up in not just one, but two issues of this esteemed poetry mag! If you look really closely you can see that they even listed my name on the cover…

I also recently received my copy of Correnti Incrociate 2 – a bilingual anthology of poems translated into Italian, with two of my poems inside. It’s such a thrill to see your words translated into another language. Another anthology is due out soon, with two of my poems translated into Romanian, so I’m looking forward to seeing that too.

Alongside the PhD and poetry writing, I’m very pleased to have started in a new voluntary role as Assistant Poetry Editor at The Cardiff Review. It involves shortlisting poems for the Poetry Editor (Christina Thatcher) to read, and I also have the rather unenviable task of sending out rejections – but someone has to do it! So far it has been a real privilege to be trusted to make those initial decisions, and I hope people don’t feel too bad when they receive my rejection emails. The quality of submissions has been very high.

Finally, here’s another plug for my interactive poetry display, which is now open at National Museum Cardiff for nine weeks – until 6th November. And this morning I’ve been filming in the museum, creating short poetry prompt films for the Just Another Poet YouTube channel, which will be released in a few weeks time. I’m really excited to see what people write in response.

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