A state-school Oxford University modern languages graduate, former journalist and arts reviewer, Sarah is now a poet, fiction writer, occasional playwright, poetryfilm maker and event organiser, and editor at V. Press. She also enjoys writing for artistic commissions and as a poet in residence.
Sarah’s latest books are her Overton Poetry Prize pamphlet, Lampshades & Glass Rivers (Loughborough University, 2016), and the full-length poetry collection plenty-fish, published by Nine Arches Press in July 2015, previewed at Ledbury Poetry Festival and shortlisted in the Internationaal Rubery Book Awards 2016.
Working in both experimental and more mainstream styles, her The Magnetic Diaries (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2015), is a modern narrative in poems based on Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, and incorporating a supplementary multimedia element. The Magnetic Diaries was highly commended in the Forward Prize. Sarah’s one-act poetry-play version of the collection was selected for and performed by Reaction Theatre Makers at the 2015 Write On Festival at Hereford’s The Courtyard theatre, booked for the Edinburgh Fringe 2016 and on an ACE-funded 2016 tour including Ledbury Poetry Festival, Birmingham MAC and London’s The Vaults.
She also has a joint pamphlet with Angela Topping, entitled Hearth, that launched at Cheltenham Poetry Festival in April 2015 and was a PBS Autumn Pamphlet.
Sarah’s second full-length poetry collection Be[yond] was published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press in July 2013 and her debut full-length poetry collection Into the Yell (Circaidy Gregory Press, 2010) won third prize in the International Rubery Book Awards 2011.
She has also won a range of individual poem prizes. Most recent wins include the Overton Poetry Prize 2015, Wordpool Festival Poetry Competition 2014 (with her poem animated for the Blackpool Illuminations) and the Poetry on Loan Poetry Competition 2014. She was also 1 of 111 poets (out of nearly 13,000 entries) longlisted in the National Poetry Competition 2015.
Individual poem publications include the Financial Times, The Rialto, Magma, PN Review (forthcoming), The Wolf, Tears in the Fence, Shearsman magazine, Envoi, The Forward Book of Poetry 2016, Lung Jazz: Young British Poets for Oxfam (Cinnamon Press), Hallelujah for 50ft Women (Bloodaxe) and Hwaet! (Bloodaxe).
Her fiction successes include being shortlisted in the Gatehouse Press New Fictions Prize 15/16 and a winner in the Oxford Today thriller flash competition in 2014. Sarah’s flash fiction has been published in The Ofi Press Literary Magazine, Jellyfish Review, Rockland, Elbow Room (forthcoming) and The Nottingham Review. She has longer literary fiction in the Legend Press anthology The Remarkable Everyday.
A regular guest poet at spoken word events and festivals, Sarah read alongside Bernard O’Donoghue at the 2013 Cheltenham Poetry Festival and returns to the festival in 2016. She performed at Ledbury Poetry Festival 2013 and 2015, read in the Carol Ann Duffy and Friends series at the Royal Exchange in Manchester in 2014 and was a guest poet in Cork and Limerick in July 2013, after being selected for that year’s Coventry-Cork twin city poets exchange.
Her poetry is on the Polesworth Poets’ Trail in Warwickshire and has been set to music, animated for the Blackpool Illuminations 2014, muralled on a café wall, on Worcestershire buses and around 12,000 copies of AGFA’s annual report distributed internationally.
Sarah has been a festival poet in residence at a church and café, and National Poetry Day writer in residence at Worcester Oxfam Bookshop. Stranger claims to 5-mins of fame include her poetry translated into Russian (through English PEN), a poem screened at a Bulgarian film festival (thanks to animators Emily & Anne), reading from the top of a glass cone furnace and poems shared in the American classroom.
A professional member of NAWE (the National Association of Writers in Education), Sarah has experience facilitating workshops and running spoken word events. She has been a judge for individual poem and poetry collection competitions.
Extracts of the poetry, photography and artwork featured in her 2012 poetry-art exhibition aimed at bringing poetry to a wider audience can be found in the An Eyeful of Words section of this website. She also enjoys creative collaborations and film poetry. (Do get in touch if you have a poetry project idea.)
Currently based in Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, UK, Sarah runs the Poetry Society’s Worcestershire Stanza. She was secretary of Droitwich Arts Network from April 2011 to February 2015 and remains actively involved in the network. In 2013, she set up a small poetry and flash fiction imprint: V. Press.
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