Future Events

  • Sheaf Poetry Festival 2023: May 21st – 29th 2023
    More tbc.

2023 Pandemic Access Statement

I love few things more than talking about books, all things bookish, and lots of things thematically linked to my writing, in any format.

I’m committed to only doing in-person events if they have infection control in place with the acknowledgement that covid is airborne (eg. ventilation, HEPA filtration, masks preferred if not required) and remote access options, whether live streaming or recorded (audio or visual). Where video, it should be captioned. Where audio, a transcript should be made available.

This is an act of solidarity with all those who are excluded from in-person events, including those who are shielding/ housebound / carers/ geographically isolated – to try and promote a more equitable arts ecosystem in which no one is left behind – as well as an essential measure to protect my own health. Chronically ill and disabled people must not be excluded from arts programming as the pandemic continues with no mitigations.

Where I am doing in-person indoor events, I will be doing so wearing a filtering mask, and with printed access copies for lip-reading audience members.

It is important to me that everyone’s health is protected – no one knows how covid is going to affect them – no one should have to risk their health for a book event. I want everyone involved in an event to be able to enjoy it safely and without avoidable risk, whether that is speakers, audience, booksellers, organisers, or hospitality staff. Everyone’s health is of equal importance.

If you’re a bookshop or small events organiser and you’d like to do an event with me but aren’t sure how to meet these conditions, get in touch – we can talk it through together. There are lots of simple ways to make sure there is remote access and it doesn’t have to be simultaneous if that’s impossible.

For more information on providing equal access to events see:
Inklusion Guide
ADCI guides to working with Disabled and Chronically Ill writers and audiences
Spread the Word: Being Hybrid Guide

Past Events

  • Thursday June 30th, 7pm BST, Reading, Q&A and Open Mic, hosted by Wendy Pratt, poet and editor of Spelt Magazine. Online.
  • May 6th, 12noon – 2pm – Online Workshop on writing write through, about and against ecological crisis, Newcastle Poetry Festival – ‘To speak the impossible hope of the firefly: trying to notice joy in a time of ecological crisis’. Workshop booking here.
  • May 5th, 13.30-14.30pm – Climate Emergency panel, Emergency Poetry Summit, Newcastle Poetry Festival. With Jason Allen-Paisant and Sylvia Legris, chaired by Linda France. In-person and online tickets here.
  • April 19th, Seren Showcase, with Hannah Hodgson and Isle Pedler, Cheltenham Poetry Festival, Online – book here.
  • April 12th, 8pm, Online Q&A, Write Like A Grrl, more details tbc.
  • March 31st, 5.30pm, Further Afield 2: Purpose of Place, Conversation event with artist Bella Milroy exploring disability arts practices through a rural lens, LEVEL arts centre, Online – book here.
  • March 22nd, Talk for Vulnerability Studies Network seminar series, University of Leicester. Online, details tbc.
  • March 17th, 7.30pm GMT, Women on Nature at Lancaster Litfest with editor Katherine Norbury, and contributors Sarah Thomas, Karen Lloyd and Polly Atkin. NB: this is an in-person event also streamed on crowdcast – I will be reading remotely.
  • March 10th, 11am GMT, Society of Authors At Home Industry Insider: What Did Zoom Ever Do For Us? Panel discussion with Aki Schilz, Polly Atkin, Roy McFarlane and Daniel Sluman, hosted by Katrina Naomi.
  • February 23rd, 5pm – 6.25pm GMT, Polly Atkin: Writing Place, Belonging and Disability, Research Centre for Environmental Humanities, Bath Spa University, Online – Book here.
  • February 24th, 7 – 9pm GMT, Spelt Issue Four Launch, Online.
  • February 2nd, 6pm, Northern Writers Awards: Disability, Writing and Publishing Roadshow, with Dr Pragya Agarwal, Hannah Hodgson, Vik Bennett and Cat Mitchell, chaired by Polly Atkin.
  • January 27th, 7.30-9pm, Recovering Dorothy: Dorothy Wordsworth after the Grasmere Journals, with Dr Polly Atkin and Dr Jo Taylor, hosted by Jeff Cowton, Principal Curator & Head of Learning at Wordsworth Grasmere. Online.
  • January 26th, 1pm, Dorothy Wordsworth 250 Years On – with Polly Atkin and Sarah Corbett, Lancaster University, Department of English Literature & Creative Writing. Online.
  • December 17th, 7.30pm GMT – CELEBRATING DW250: A VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS BIRTHDAY – free, online event. Book here
  • December 15th, 7pm GMT – Poetry Book Society Insta-live Poetry Bookclub – with Lila Matsumoto, hosted by PBS selector Anthony Anaxagorou.
  • December 2nd, 5-7pm GMT – CHASE Medical Humanities Network with Daniel Sluman, Polly Atkin, and Dorothy Lehane. Zoom Event. Book here
  • November 21st, 7pm GMT – Recovering Dorothy. Kendal Mountain Literature Festival. Online event on Kendal Mountain Player.
  • November 21st, 11am GMT – Open Mountain 2021: Unlocking the Landscape, Kendal Mountain Literature Festival. Free online event. Available afterwards on Kendal Mountain Player.
  • November 4th, 7.30pm – Seren Virtual First Thursday, with Hammad Rind and open mic. Book here. 
  • October 20th 2021, 7pm – Launch of ‘Much With Body’ – on Zoom – with guest readers Hannah Hodgson, Éireann Lorsung and Claudine Toutoungi.
  • October 17th 2021, 3pm – Reading and Discussion: Never the New Normal, with Jen Hadfield, Polly Atkin, Samuel Tongue, Daisy Lafarge, Push the Boat Out Festival.
  • October 9th 2021, 7.30pm – Poetry Double-Bill with Kim Moore, Lancaster Litfest. Online via crowdcast.
  • Hosting ‘Open Mountain: Inclusion and Connection’, showcasing work by Anita Sethi, Kate Davis, and five writers chosen from an open call out, Kendal Mountain Festival, Saturday 17th November 2019, 5.30pm.
  • ‘The New Poetics of Climate Change’: performance, discussion and poetry reading with Matthew Griffiths, Richmond Literature Festival, Saturday 2nd November 2019, 8pm.
  • ‘Northern Powerhouse’, a poetry reading with Kerry Darbishire, Geraldine Green and Katie Hale, Borderlines, Saturday 5th October, 7.30pm.
  • ‘Objectification: writing the world through objects’, a workshop at Borderlines Carlisle Book Festival, Saturday 5th October, 3pm.
  • ‘Imploring the Territory: taking the language for an unwalk’ a performance, q&a and interactive workshop with Vahni Capildeo and Harry Josephine Giles, The Scottish Poetry Library, Wednesday 3rd July, 7.30pm.
  • Rural Writing Institute Reunion: tutor, 22-24th June, Strickley.
  • Waymaking at Buxton Adventure Festival, Tuesday 9th April, 7.30pm.
  • Hosting Karen Lloyd and Beth Pipe talking about writing landscape and nature and their latest books, Lancaster Litfest 2019.
  • Reading with Andrew McMillan, Lancaster Litfest 2019, Saturday 16th March, 3.30pm.
  • Poetry Breakfast at StAnza 2019: ‘Another Place’. Friday 8th March, 10am.
  • Mslexia Pamphlet Prize retrospective at Cornerstone Poetry Festival, February 10th 2019.
  • Keele Hall Reading Series, Senior Common Room, Keele Hall, Keele University, January 28th, 7.30pm.
  • Magma Climate Change Issue reading at CCI, Cambridge, Monday January 21st 2019, 6.30pm. Details and to book a free place. 
  • ‘My time’ reading and exhibition launch at The Mitchell Library, Glasgow, January 10th 2019, 4.30-5.30pm. My Time Mitchell Library launch invite.jpg
  • Reading and Discussion with Creative Writing students at Leicester University, December 8th.
  • Reading with Kim Moore at Bookcase Hebden Bridge, Thursday November 22nd.
  • Reading for the launch of ‘Waymaking’ at Kendal Mountain Literature Festival, Sunday November 18th, 2.30pm.
  • Hosting a reading and discussion for ‘This Place I know’ at Kendal Mountain Literature Festival, Saturday November 17th, 11.30am.
  • Launch of ‘Watch the Birdie’ the new Beautiful Dragons anthology covering the birds on the red list, Leighton Moss RSPB, November 16th.
  • Reading for Magma issue on climate change, Poetry in Aldeburgh, 2.30pm, November 4th.
  • Performing at ‘Deranged Poetesses’ edition on ‘Crones’, October 20th, ARC Stockton.
  • Launch of the new anthology of Cumbrian poetry  at The Wordsworth Trust, November 17th.
  • Launch of ‘Spark’ (Blue Diode Press) at the Scottish Poetry Library, Saturday October 13th.
  • Kendal Poetry Festival: Reading with Kate Davis, Friday Sept 7th, 2pm, Kendal Library.
  • Guest reader at The Garsdale Retreat for ‘Character Portraits: Escaping the Ego’, with course tutor Rhian Edwards, August 8th.
  • Substitute workshop leader at the Rural Writing Institute (Kathryn Alto and James Rebanks), June 30th.
  • National Writing Day workshops at schools throughout Cumbria, and with Shap Writer’s Group at The Wordsworth Trust.
  • Waymaking Anthology Reading at the BMC tent, Keswick Mountain Festival with Kathleen Jones and Judith Brown, Sunday 10th June, 2.30pm.
  • New Walk pamphlet launch at Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham, May 22nd,
    with Alan Jenkins, 7.30pm.
  • Read Regional 2018 Events Keighley Library, Saturday 2nd June, 3pm (Exploring Poetry Workshop at 2pm)Robinson-Gay Art Gallery, Hexham, Wednesday 2nd May, 1pm (Part of Hexham Book Festival)Hebden Bridge Library, Hebden Bridge, Thursday 29 March, 7.30pmCommunity Hub Central, Hartlepool, Thursday 5 April, 5.30pm
  • Wildlines festival: discussion and reading with Zaffar Kunial, hosted by Richard Smyth, at The Leeds Library, March 17th.
  • StAnza : Past and Present Friday 9th March (talking about Jane Cooper); Border Crossing Sunday 11th March (reading my own work).I also co-lead the collective reading of Stairs and Whispers with Georgi Gill, read work by Ahmet Altan at the Scottish PEN event, and roped Matthew Griffiths into being my dance partner to perform my My Time poem at a Meet the Artist event, also featuring the outstanding Scottish Foyle Young Poets winners.
  • Writer-in-residence at Gladstone’s Library, February 2018. Public events:
    Discussion & Poetry Reading February 6th.
    Masterclass February 24th.
  • Anthology launch of It All Radiates Outwards / City Poetry Competition Results at Verve Poetry Festival, February 17th.
  • Guest reader at Poetry Carousel residential, Grange-over-Sands, December 9th 2017.
  • Reading with Elizabeth-Jane Burnett at Kendal Mountain Festival, Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, Saturday 18th November, 2017, 11.30 am, Brewery Arts Malt Room.
  • Durham Book Festival Rich Seams Northern Poets event, Saturday October 14th, 3.30–5pm, Durham Town Hall:
    Degna Stone, Kim Moore, Malika Booker, Mark Pajak, Polly Atkin , Melissa Lee-Houghton, Pippa Little, Ruby Robinson, Zaffar Kunial, Vidyan Ravinthiran and Seán Hewitt will be introduced by Durham Book Festival Laureate Andrew McMillan.
  • Reading with Claire Askew at Wigtown Book FestivalSaturday September 30th, 12pm, The Print Room.
  • ‘A Perfect Mirror’: Reading and Discussion about Dorothy’s Colour exhibition, by Zoe Benbow and Sarah Corbett, at The Wordsworth Trust, Saturday September 16th, 6-8pm.
  • Reading for Caught by The River at The Good Life Experience, Hawarden Estate, Flintshire, Saturday September 16th, 10am.
  • Rialto Nature Poetry Prize reading at the CCI Cambridge, Thursday June 14th, 2017, 6pm. With Judge Kathleen Jamie, and winners Jemma Borg, Martin Figura, Sophie F Baker and Sue Norton.
  • Seren 2017 Poetry Gala at Hay Festival: Siobhan Campbell, Emily Blewitt, Rhiannon Hooson and Polly Atkin, Monday May 29th, 5.30pm.
  • Little Unsuspected Paradise presents …
    the Grasmere launch of Basic Nest Architecture
    with guest readers Mark Ward (standing in for Jack Nicholls) and Megan Beech
    and amazing music from Jenn Grant and her band, from Nova Scotia. More info here.
  • Vanguard Readings, The Peckham Pelican, London, Thursday May 18th, 2017.
  • St. Mungo’s Mirrorball, The CCA, Glasgow, Thursday May 4th, 2017.
  • Launch of Basic Nest Architecture, Lancaster Litfest, 1pm, Saturday March 25th 2017.
  • Reading at Vespers alongside JL Williams and Cheryl Follon, The Serenity Cafe, Edinburgh, Tuesday March 14th 2017.
  • Nuts and Bolts Creative Writing Craft Talk on Basic Nest Architecture, University of Strathclyde, January 25th 2017.
  • Reading alongside Sarah Hymas and Carole Coates at Brewery Poets, at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal, May 20th 2016.
  • Guest reader, Poetry in Grasmere, April 13th 2016.
  • Workshop ‘ERASING THE LAKES: writing by un-writing’ for Campus in the City, Lancaster, May 7th 2016.This workshop for all ages took texts about the Lake District and encouraged participants to find their own erasure poems within the text.
  • Reading with Rebecca Tamás and Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, Landscaping Change, Bath, March 29th 2016.
  • Lancaster Litfest showcase for Beautiful Dragon‘s anthology My Dear Watson: Elemental Poetry, 2pm, Saturday 19th March 2016.
  • Reading at Garrigill village hall in aid of the Cumbria Flood Recovery Appeal, 7.30pm, Sunday February 21st 2016.
  • Launch of My Dear Watson: Elemental Poetry, The Anthony Burgess Centre, Manchester, 5pm, November 27th 2015.
  • Café Writers Prize Reading, Norwich, February 9th 2015.
  • Poetry workshop and reading, University of Ghent/Gent Poëziecentrum, November 17th 2014.
  • Wigtown Book Festival, Poetry Prize Reading, October 4th 2014.
  • Interviewed live on Fylde Community Radio, A Poetry Show, July 12th 2014.
  • Launch of  Wordpool‘s first poetry competition, Blackpool Central Library, July 4th 2014, and award presentation, October 2nd 2014.
  • Reading with Gregory Leadbetter at St Mary Magdalene Church, Cannington, to participants in the Coleridge Summer Conference, July 28th 2014.
  • Poets and Players Award Reading, John Rylands Library, Manchester, June 21st, 2014.
  • Reading at launch of Heavenly Bodies: an anthology of stellar poems, one for each of the constellations, Judges Lodgings, Lancaster, April 30th 2013.
  • Reading at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal as part of the Quiet Compere tour,  April 26th 2014.
  • Reading at April Poets in Lancaster, April 10th 2014.
  • Reading at Moonlighting II charity event, Lancaster University, with Jenn Ashworth, Zoe Lambert and Eoghan Walls, 5th December 2013.
  • Reading at launch of Holy Detritus exhibition at St. Oswalds, Grasmere, 27th September 2013.
  • Reading at Greenbelt Festival, 26th August 2013.
  • Poem ‘Redwoods’ included in Beneath the Boughs poetry exhibition, Lowther Castle, July – September 2013.
  • Reading for delegates at the 2013 Southey Conference, Robert Southey and Romanticism: The Lake School in Context, 29th July 2013.
  • Featured Poet at Wordsworth Trust/Zeffirelli’s Open Mic, 10th July 2013.
  • BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour – Discussion on the role of Aunts in Literature, with Vona Groarke, 10th May 2013.
  • Shadow Dispatches Launch, with Judy Brown, at The Wordsworth Trust, 20th April 2013.
  • Solstice: 24 hours of poetry from the longest day 2012 launch, Lancaster Judge’s Rooms,  20th March 2013.
  • Hosted reading and Q&A with Jamie McKendrick, Tom Warner and Èireann Lorsung, Nottingham Festival of Words, 16th February 2013.
  • Reading with Paul Farley, Jenn Ashworth and George Green at Moonlighting, Lancaster University, 6th December 2012. In support of The Twins Appeal.
Reading at the Troubadour
Reading at the Troubadour

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