Interview with young writer Mandisa Mathew

'There is something freeing about being in a world you have complete control over.' It's wonderful to have on the blog today seventeen year old Mandisa Mathew. We knew Mandisa's family when we lived in Nairobi; Mandisa was a friend of…

Just Stop Oil - Criminals or Heroes?

My sixteen year old daughter has challenged me in the past months, asking me why we talk about our concerns around climate change, but never get involved in activism. We talk about it, feel angry, afraid and a whole range of other emotions,…

Shirley Read-Jahn: Life, Writing, Illustrating, Dancing & Parkinson's Disease

Shirley Read-Jahn is an old friend or, more accurately, an old friend of my mother's who I've also come to know and love over the years. If you've read my third novel The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale, you'll remember that my protagonist…
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Rejection and Acceptance

This is a photo of me back in 2005, when I was twenty-seven years old. I had finished writing my first book, The Poet's Wife (which I called In the Shade of the Orange Tree - this was later changed by the publisher) and my then-boyfriend-now-husband,…
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Top Five Books of 2022

In no particular oder, here are my top five reads from this past year, books that have stayed with me and I know will do for some time. I have three fiction here, one non-fiction and a travelogue. I'm not normally into anything vaguely…
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Yours Sincerely: The Climate Letters

Over the summer, a wonderful poet called Linda France did a call out entitled 'Yours Sincerely: The Climate Letters.' This was an invitation to use our pens and imaginations and continue the powerful work that words can bring to the ongoing…
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Norwich Writers Rebel and #WordsInTheWild

Inspired by the publication of my poem 'Colourless' with Writers Rebel back in July, along with a friend here in Norwich, we decided to set a local offshoot of Writers Rebel, a collective of writers and poets who could gather together in person…
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Publication of new book: The Sky Within - A Memoir of Sleep

My fourth book (and first non-fiction offering), winner of the Backlash Press prize for non-fiction, has been published! It's not very easy to describe how it makes me feel to finally see this book in print. I've been working on it physically…

Colourless

Last week I had a poem entitled Colourless published by Writers Rebel, a collective of writers under the Extinction Rebellion umbrella who believe in a duty to tell the truth about the climate emergency through the power of words and aim to…

Beneath the Same Sun

I've written a fair few poems over the years, but I've never read one in public before. The thought of these things is often scarier than the reality, and I decided to submit a poem I wrote specially for Refugee Week following a call out for…