What do you love about Nottingham?

I’m a born and bred Notts bird so it’s pretty hard to pick, but I’d have to say that the Independent scene as a whole in Nottingham has a firm grip on my heart – big up Hockley! Who are the poets or artists that have had the biggest influence on you so far?

I’m in love with Sharon OldsSelima Hill too; both of them together have worked my poetry into a cocktail of weird and truth.

Adrian Buckner taught me imagism and stillness, and Deborah Stevenson taught me how to tie everything together into performances that set the work free.

Who are the top three poets to follow on twitter and why? Lemn Sissay, because he’ll smash all of your misconceptions and he’s a white-hot ball of quirk. Rupi Kaur because she writes for women as much as she writes for herself, and John Berkavitch because not only does he have a chicken called ‘bumcrack’, but if you can nab a chance to catch one of his shows you will not regret it.

What changes would you like to see in Nottingham’s poetry scene as a result of Nottingham Capital of Culture 2023?

I would like to see Nottingham’s own Fringe Festival, where every bar opens its doors every night for a whole month to revellers ready to celebrate the art form. I’d like to see kids spoken word nights, I’d like cultural exchanges, I’d like international live streams, all the right kind of noise.  What one piece of advice would I give to young aspiring poets? Go at your own pace, but remember to push yourself to say yes.

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