News, news and more news this week!


“Sarah James’ Plenty-fish cannot be gulped in one go, slipping as it does magnificently around in the imagination, never quite solidly poetry, but fleshy and fresh. The seventy-one-piece collection contains poems of varying lengths – all semi-anecdotal and detailed accounts of everyday life. As a graduate in Modern Languages, James’ sense of poetic form is playful in its use of French phrases, literary quotations and punctuation marks; it is acutely aware of its own sounds and intonations. Her verse elaborates on anything from holding hands to watching TV…

Many of the poems in the collection voice a woman’s perspective with clarity and honesty. James writes with a vulnerability similar to the one we hear in Carol Ann Duffy…” Zoe Cassells, DURA (Dundee University Review of the Arts). Full review here.

Lampshades & Glass Rivers
“…a sparkling example of how pared-down language, carefully controlled rhythm and crafting combined with rich imagery can make poems dazzle.” Emma Lee, London Grip, June 2016, full review here.

The Magnetic Diaries (poetry-play)
P1010350 boosted

Almost two weeks today was the first 2016 ACE-funded tour performance of The Magnetic Diaries by Reaction Theatre Makers. Directed by Tiffany Hosking and starring Vey Straker, it was also the first time that I’d heard the score specially composed for the poetry-play by Joanna Karselis. The whole production was amazing – and the audience also fantastic, with great feedback in the after-show Q & A as well as online.



I was also delighted with lovely words from poet Ruth Stacey on her blog: “I really recommend seeing this astonishing play. It is an incredible, intense performance that discusses depression and the space that creates within a marriage. The narrative is told through carefully articulated poems that focus on tiny moments that are illuminated through Sarah James’ highly polished language selection. Each word of this play is honed for precisely the right image. The theatre company and actor produce an emotional, unforgettable experience.”

The next performance is at Ledbury Poetry Festival (more details of this alter in the blog post).


Delighted to sign a contract for the publication of my shortened novella, Kaleidoscope, which was shortlisted in the Gatehouse Press New Fictions Prize 15/16 earlier this year…more on the where and when soon!

Also excited to have my poem ‘The Man Who Raced Fire’ included in Hwaet!, a Bloodaxe anthology celebrating 20 years of the Ledbury Poetry Festival (more about the launch of this later on in this post).

Two photographs – Warming and Tendrils – published in Yellow Chair Review.

‘Of the liver’ flash fiction accepted for under the radar.


This week sees the first of my ‘From Pain to Poetry’ workshops (as part of The Magnetic Diaries tour) for a charity working with the homeless in Worcester. I’m very much looking forward to meeting the group and hopefully sparking some new writing. More on the background to these workshops here, and a blog on the ‘power of pain’ here.


This Friday (July 1) sees the launch of this year’s Ledbury Poetry Festival, and the Bloodaxe anthology Hwaet!.

I will be reading my poem from the anthology, which celebrates 20 years of the poetry festival, at the launch event on Friday.

The Magnetic Diaries
Tuesday, July 5, 2016 Ledbury Poetry Festival
Market Theatre, Market St, Ledbury HR8 2AQ
20:30 – 21:40
Tickets: £9 from box Office on 01531 636232, or the festival website box office at

Ledbury MD

The Magnetic Diaries Trailer from Nathan K Williams on Vimeo.