2017 – THE POETS

Louise Greig lives in Aberdeen with her husband and her rescue Greyhound, Smoky, where she writes children’s picture books and is also a co-director of a dog rescue and re-homing organisation. She describes herself as an ‘outsider poet’, inhabited by poetry all her life, but only since 2014 committing some poems to paper. She has been joint winner of The Manchester Writing for Children Prize 2014, winner of The Caterpillar Poetry Prize 2015, winner of The Wigtown Poetry Prize 2015 and winner of The McLellan Poetry Prize 2017. Louise loves birds, animals, mountains, rivers, forests and children’s literature.

Anna Saunders is the author of Communion, (Wild Conversations Press), Struck, (Pindrop Press) and Kissing the She Bear, (Wild Conversations Press), Burne Jones and the Fox ( Indigo Dreams) and the forthcoming Ghosting for Beginners ( Indigo Dreams, Spring 2018). Anna has had poems published in journals and anthologies, which include Ambit, The North, New Walk Magazine, Amaryllis, Iota, Caduceus, Envoi, The Wenlock Anthology, Eyeflash, and The Museum of Light. Anna holds a Masters in Creative and Critical Writing from The University of Gloucestershire and is the CEO and founder of Cheltenham Poetry Festival. She has been described as ‘a poet who surely can do anything’ by The North and ‘a poet of quite remarkable gifts’ by Bernard O’Donoghue.
Ama Bolton, a former member of the Liverpool School of Language, Music, Dream and Pun, now lives in Somerset where she convenes a monthly open-mic and is a member of the Fountain Poets in Wells and Sue Boyle’s Project 2017 in Bath. Her poems have appeared in anthologies, magazines including Magma, Mslexia and Obsessed with Pipework, and on-line. She blogs at barleybooks.wordpress.com and wellsfountainpoets.wordpress.com.

Kirsten Irving is a writer, voiceover and editor, and one half of the team behind collaborative poetry publisher Sidekick Books. Her debt pamphlet, What To Do, was published by Happenstance, and her first collection, Never Never Never Come Back, by Salt Publishing. She recently won the 2017 Live Canon International Poetry Prize. Kirsten’s most recent project was Love Carcass, a blog detailing an awkward affair with a beast. She is currently tinkering with a second collection and assorted projects on demons, robots and crows. www.kirstenirving.com @KoftheTriffids

Romalyn Ante is a Filipino-born poet who immigrated to the UK at age 16. Her debut pamphlet, Rice & Rain (V. Press), came out in August 2017. She is currently being mentored by Pascale Petit through Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Programme. As a recipient of Artists’ International Development Fund, she will travel back to the Philippines in November to research on and write about culture, heritage, and identity. She hopes to publish her first full collection in the near future. She blogs at www.ripplesoftheriver.blogspot.com. @RomalynAnte
Rachel Davies has been published in several journals and anthologies, most recently The Interpreters House no. 63 and A Bee’s Breakfast (Beautiful Dragons Press 2017). She has been a winner in several poetry competitions. She co-ordinates the Poetry Society’s East Manchester and Tameside Stanza and is a member of Manchester’s Poets & Players organising committee. Formerly a primary school head-teacher, since retirement she has graduated MA in Creative Writing from Manchester Metropolitan University and is currently working towards a creative/critical PhD in poetry. She doubts she will ever learn how to stop being a student. Originally from the Fens she now lives in Saddleworth with her partner and two cats. She blogs regularly on the challenge of fitting a PhD into a very full life. You can read her blog here: racheld1607.com
David Hale was born in Ayrshire but now lives in a small hamlet in Gloucestershire. Most of his working life has been spent as a Secondary English, ESL and SEN teacher in London, Bristol, Greece and Gloucestershire. He is currently teaching Syrian ‘refugees’ in the Stroud area. He enjoys Green woodwork and has made a number of chairs and a table. Lately he has been hand-setting poems using the old letterpress technology. He shares the care of three Welsh Cobs and has a Lurcher called Gwen. His poems have been published in a range of magazines and anthologies, He has two pamphlets to date: The Last Walking Stick Factory from Happenstance, and In Bedlam’s Wood from Templar, which won their 2014 Pamphlet prize.