Saturday 8 June 2024

NEW poetry-films / Orwell '1984' 75th Anniversary / Tour Dates

Hello my loves, 

How are you? 

I haven't posted on here for a while as I have just started a new Substack and have been doing my blogging there. My Substack page is  titled 'With Love, Grief and Fury' and I have been sharing poetry and tour diaries there, you can follow and subscribe for free here:

Overall, May 2024 was a wicked flurry of double book launches, gigs and festivals, books and adventures, miles and trains, poets and joys. THANK YOU: Thank you to every single person that came to a show, that came to get a book signed and have a chat, that reviewed and shared my two new books. Thank you so very much to everyone working so hard to make these events and festivals happen with so much care and consideration. I have really been enjoying sharing the new work and poems. 

This is all new work, poems I have never performed before. With every gig I learn new things. At every show I see how we gather and unite and share words and ways to heal and react and respond to our grief, trauma and fear, of past and present, the uncertainties of our now and here and our futures. I can feel a much bigger essay I want to write - All I can say for now is I love poets and  feel very grateful. My heart spills over. So here I am just saying thank you. Thank you to everyone at this first leg of the tour and first batch of gigs with the brand new books. Thank you for everyone who came to say hello. Thank you for listening to my audio book. Thank you for checking in with me, thank you for roaring with me. I thank you for your beautiful hearts and messages. Thank you for your time, it is a luxury and privilege to write a book, to read a book, to seek hope and wonder and nourish dreams. Solidarity. You’re a lovely lot, thank you Canongate and OWN IT!

2024 Book tour continues this month with a batch of LIVEwire shows with Matt Abbott and Maria Ferguson in Manchester, Hull, Leeds and Weston-Super-Mare I hope to see you here and there, scroll down for dates...

NEW POETRY-FILMS: 'While Justice Waits' and '2084'

I have been collaborating with my Hastings crew, artist, filmmaker and musician Wolfgang Dubieniec and my dear friend poet and artist Oli Spleen. A poetry-film 'While Justice Waits’ was shared online last month and I am delighted to see an article in the Hastings Independent about it this week by Merlin Betts, thank you!


As I write this I note the date is June 8th 2024. It is the 75th Anniversary of ‘1984’ by George Orwell so it seems fitting we share our second collaborative piece ‘2084’ this weekend. 

‘1984’ was published on June 8th 1949 by Secker & Warburg as Orwell's final book. I've shared the '2084' poetry-film and written a bit about it on the new Substack page.

Excited to add here, that both of these new poetry-films 'While Justice Waits' and '2084' will be included in an exhibition at The Garden of Tomorrow Festival, June 13-15, come along, find out more and get your tickets here 



Coming up: 

I continue my book tour with a fresh batch of LIVEwire shows, I will be on the road and on stage with my dear friends Matt Abbott and Maria Ferguson and all of these mighty and powerful and brilliant poets. I'm so looking forward to all of these shows. Tix are on sale now!


• 13 June - The Edge, Manchester

• 14 June - Wrecking Ball Arts, Hull 

• 15 June - Leeds Lit Fest, Hyde Park Book Club

• 20 June - Front Room, Weston-Super-Mare 

Summer 2024 - Gigs & Festivals


4 July - Joelle Taylor & Salena Godden

in-conversation, Pages Of Hackney, London 

6 July - Idler Festival, Hampstead, London

13-14 July - ALSO Festival, Warwickshire

2-4 August - Green Gathering, Chepstow

9-12 August - EIBF, Edinburgh

more on my linktree:

NEW ReadLast year I was invited to be a key note speaker for a conference on ‘consolation in contemporary literature’ at Lyon University. I had an incredible time in France, amazing conversations, and met with PHD student Héloïse Lecomte. Out this week is her incredible paper, a deep dive into the very heart and soul of my debut novel 'Mrs Death Misses Death' this is incredible. Thank you, Merci Xx

Before I go offline again, here’s links to 4 delicious new listens and reads and things out now; a link for you to stream our packed out live and lively shows at Lyra Poetry Festival in Bristol, two very wonderful poetry podcasts, and a beautiful new poetry anthology, Poems As Friends by The Poetry Exchange: 

NEW Watch: Lyra Festival 

NEW PodcastWe, The Poets 

NEW PodcastPoetry Archive

NEW Anthology: The Poetry Exchange

Out now: With Love, Grief and Fury

Out now: Springfield Road 

Out now: Pessimism is for Lightweights 

Out now: Mrs Death Misses Death


Thursday 18 April 2024

NEW films: 'Tyger Tyger' + 'Cathedrals' | 'William Blake's Universe' Fitzwilliam Museum


Just sharing some BIG William Blake love on the blog today. Thank you so much to Fitzwilliam team for inviting me to spend time in the museum and with the art and dreams of Blake, we had such a wonder-filled day. It was so brilliant and inspiring to spend time to explore some of his poetry and art up close like this. Also thank you so much to the amazing Storya film crew. Such a special day! 

Scroll down for some links and images in front of camera and behind the scenes. You'll find more about these poems and new films on social media and YouTube, sharing pics here for the good memories

Radical British poet, painter and visionary William Blake believed in the power of art and words to bring us together. 

Almost 200 years on from his death,
he still continues to inspire so many people today. 

Contemporary poet and award-winning author Salena Godden joined us in 'William Blake's Universe' for an exclusive performance of her poem ‘Cathedrals’. 

This poem is from her upcoming poetry collection ‘With Love, Grief and Fury’ which will be published 2 May 2024 by Canongate Books. 

Watch Cathedrals on YouTube

‘Tyger Tyger’ one of Blake most-loved poems, it was first published in 1794 by William Blake as part of his collection of poems, ‘Songs of Experience’

Feeling inspired? 

Come and soak up the creative energy yourself! 

‘William Blake’s Universe’ is on at the Fitzwillam until 19 May 2024, book your tickets online:


I have also made two short films for the two new books
you will also find these on my YouTube channel:

short film about the making of my latest poetry book 'With Love, Grief and Fury' published in Hardback, E-Book and Audiobook on May 2nd 2024 with Canongate Books. This film shows glimpses of the work in progress, early drafts and clips of places where I wrote the poems and stages where this work may be performed...

short film about the beautiful new Canon edition of my literary childhood memoir 'Springfield Road - A Poets Childhood Revisited' published on May 2nd with Canongate Books. This short film shares glimpses into my early years and some clips of who we were and where we came from. This story is a flashback to the era when oranges seemed bigger and summers were longer, a world of half-penny sweets, free school milk, hand-me-downs and Thatcher's Britain, for those too young to remember and for those old enough to know... 

That's 4 delicious new things to watch! Enjoy!

Thank you for supporting this journey and these writing adventures. We have a double book launch coming up as this glorious memoir will be published alongside my powerful new poetry book 'With Love, Grief and Fury'

It's been the longest winter write: I'm slowly coming out of hibernation, spring is here and I'm getting excited to see you all again, book tour is beginning and so here's the first batch of dates below, see you here and see you there...

Thank you Xxsg

tickets are on sale now

see you at these springtime gigs, 

festivals, talks and bookshop events

April 27: Rough Trade Books, Southbank


May 7: Blackwell’s Manchester 

May 8: Foyles, Charing Cross Road, London

May 9: Brighton Book Festival

May 11: Writing on the Wall, Liverpool

May 15: Jawdance, Rich Mix, London 

May 16: Out-Spoken, Southbank, London 

May 18: The Bath Festival of Literature 

May 23: Norfolk and Norwich Festival 

May 31: Wanstead Tap, Forest Gate, London 

June 2: Bad Betty Live, Nottingham