,

How to Grow a Library

A couple of years after moving with my family to Nairobi (where we lived between 2013 and 2017), I started thinking about the fact that the school my children attended didn't have a library and I felt unhappy about this. A reading culture in…
,

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

I realise that I'm pretty good at telling myself - and other people - carefully crafted stories that have endured over a long period of time; stories that I've never thought to question. In my non-fiction book coming out later this year…

Full circle from Poetry ➛ Stories ➛ Poetry

When my children were really little, I used to read poems to them in the bath. I had a stack of poetry books down by the side of the tub and I found that while they were splashing around, it was a good opportunity to grab a book and read two…

Once a Little Bird Told Me

I have been teaching creative writing to a child called Carina, aged 7, for about a year and a half now. Even writing that sentence gives me pause for thought, because can creative writing actually be taught? Well, I prefer to think of it as…
,

Write to Travel

In my previous blog, I penned a few thoughts around the curbing of my incessant travel habit. As I was writing it, I considered a poetry competition I entered last year with Trip Fiction (a brilliant online resource pairing books with travel).…

This is not an easy blog post to write

✰ Caveat - Before anyone reads a word of this, the following blog is not intended to make anybody feel guilty. Guilt is such a counter-productive, ungenerous emotion. It leaves no space for change, for reflection, for openness. Everybody…

Writing a Poem a Week for a Year

Published by Nine Arches Press and edited by Jo Bell and guest poets, this wonderful book is a year of poetry-writing prompts. I can't quite remember when it first came on to my radar - possibly through a podcast. But I am now up to…
,

A Year Of Reading Outside My Ethnicity - Results + Reflections

Towards the end of 2020, I decided to spend the following year reading outside my ethnic group. If you'd like to see my original blog post and the intention I set, click here. The vast majority of books published globally are written by authors…
, ,

An Icelandic Flood of Books

It was only a couple of years ago that I first heard about Iceland's Christmas tradition of Jólabókaflóð, roughly translated to 'Christmas Book Flood.' On Christmas Eve each year, Icelanders cosy up in front of the fire, drink…
,

May I touch your hair?

I recently read a book by Aja Barber called Consumed which caused me to take a long, hard look at the clothes I wear, their provenance, and how the clothing industry is helping to fuel the climate crisis. I've really never been into fashion…