New poetry collection / Iceland residency

Over the last year, in between learning to run sensory workshops for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, and trying to stay financially afloat in the enemy-of-poor-people economy of my new home city of Brighton, I have been working on a new collection of poems…

It is called ‘Boys’ and will be published by Burning Eye Books in May of this year. Its a short collection exploring themes to do with…. you guessed it, boys. Growing up with boys, living with boys, fighting with boys, grieving for boys, and attemps to untangle some of the nonsense messages that this world we live in tells us about what boys (and girls) should say, think, do  and feel. I’ve worked really hard on it (along with my dear friend Jamie Harrison and his very sharp editorial brain), and I’m really excited that it will be available in real life very soon. I’m planning a small book tour in June to celebrate its release.

Also in May, I’m very very excited (and a bit nervous) that I’m going to be Writer in Residence at Klaustrid (managed by The Institute of Gunnar Gunnarsson) in the Fljotsdalur valley in East Iceland. It is situated at Skriduklaustur, which was built in 1939 by the famous Icelandic writer Gunnar Gunnarsson! Its apparently 40km from the nearest town. I full of trepidation about being so far from home on my own for a whole month, but also bubbling over with excitement about getting to explore a new part of the world, learn about a different culture, and have loads of time to get some writing done.

It took me SO long to get into the flow of writing and editing critically while I was working on Boys- its easy to get out of the right brain space, what with doing other work too, and money worries, and just being (as I am) prone to bouts of anxiety and depression which are not really conducive (for me) to a really meaty creative process. But now, just as the collection is finished, I find that I HAVE found my flow. New ideas come all the time, in my day to day thinking. I feel confident about knowing whether they’re shit or not, and pushing myself to work on them further if I think they’re ok. And best of all, I can feel the little magical wonderment compartment of my brain fizzing away- looking for magic, or ways of making things register as magic and unusual and fantastical, in the day to day. This often happens after a period of instensly working on something creative. The problem is that it is difficult to maintain once a project is finished and we are obliged to go back to normal life, with its bills and bedtimes and such. So, and I feel very super grateful about this opportunity to go to Iceland, and determined to use the time as productively as possible.

That’s all for now. Check back for details of the release date for ‘Boys’, I should know more soon!

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Gigs, readings and workshops in January 2016

It’s basically just London and York in January!

  • Tuesday 26th January 2016 – The Poetry Archivist @ The Proud Archivist, LONDON.
    -I’m hosting, with James Bunting. Featured sets from Vanessa Kisuule and Ben Norris. Its going to be ACES, Details here.
  • Friday 29th January 2016 – Say Owt Slam @ The Basement, Picturehouse City Screen, YORK.
    -Featured set from me, loads of brilliant slammers, REALLY excited to be doing a gig in Yorkshire, details here.
  • Saturday 30th January 2016 – Say Owt Workshop
    – Also in YORK, facilitated by me! Details TBC.

BRAND NEW short film of my poem Bit Red

Today is an exciting day because I can share this video for the first time! It is a short film of my poem Bit Red, imagined into visual form by film maker Zoe Alker.

I’m so pleased and proud of how sensitively and realistically it follows to poem’s theme of exploring how difficult it can be to talk about sex, and the kind of sex we want to have. I don’t think we live in a world yet where, especially for women, it is comfortable and natural to discuss, explore, express, articulate, explain the particulars, details, specifics of what kind of sex we would like to be having (or not having). I don’t want to say too much on the matter because its a poem not a socio-political statement, but hopefully poems can start conversations.

I’m so excited and nervous for people to see it. Please take a peek.The actors are Bryher Flanders and Harry Gould, and they are so brilliant.

THANK YOU TO THEM, and also to Zoe Alker, Ryan Sharpe, Georgia Ingles, Jamie Bell, Isabel Macfarlane, Chlo Edwards, Jack Cookson and Cat Wright for making this totally gorgeous and sensitive film!

A really nice review!

I don’t think there’s a particularly strong tradition of reviewers at live poetry events really, so I don’t get that many reviews, good or bad, of my readings. So as you can imagine I was pleased as punch to read this, about my gig in Canterbury at the end of September, from publisher / reviewer Whisky and Beards:

‘Normally, when I don’t have much to say about a headliner, it’s because I don’t have many nice things to say, or I’m trying to kill a high word count, but this is the first time I can recall it being so wildly the opposite. Sally’s work is riveting and enthralling, equal parts surreal and identifiable, in some way I’m upset I couldn’t take more notes, but I wouldn’t have missed any second of her performance for the world.’

Full write up here: http://whiskyandbeards.co.uk/2015/10/08/gulbslam-the-gulbenkian-300915/

I’m performing in Cambridge, Sheffield and Poole in the next month or so. Details in the post below or under the ‘gigs’ tab, please come along if you’re based near one of those towns!

Nice events where I’m going to be reading poems / running workshops in September and October…

  • Monday 21st September BRISTOL @ Milk, The Halo Cafe, Gloucester Road, Bristol. With brilliant Laurie Bolger! Details here https://www.facebook.com/events/1613295128925264/
  • I’m also facilitating a workshop from 6pm until 7pm before the above show, the workshop will be for poets who are looking to start running workshops themselves! A workshop about how to run workshops! Fun! Here’s the details https://www.facebook.com/events/1483323818648015/
  • Wednesday 21st October CAMBRIDGE – @ The Vaults, 14A Trinity St, Cambridge CB2 1TB, with Robin Lamboll. http://www.thevaults.biz/
  • Thursday 19th November POOLE, DORSET – @ Spread the Verb, Poole Museum.