Meet The Team

Our People

Hannah Trevarthen


Paty Bennett

General Manager
I am passionate about making arts and creativity accessible to all, and to ensure we offer opportunities for anyone to engage with words, especially for those that may feel that arts are not for them. I believe creativity can change people’s lives. I am keen to promote people-centred environments, spaces for collaboration and co-production working closely with people. I have over 15 years experience working in the arts sector in Mexico and the UK, at Tequila Jose Cuervo Cultural Division, The Mighty Creatives and Attenborough Arts Centre. I have a PhD on learning dialogue in museums. I am a Trustee for The Spark Arts. Growing up in Mexico, I enjoyed reading Hispanic Literature. One of my favourite books is The Flanders Panel, by Arturo Perez Reverte, a book encompassing art, chess and mystery. Octavio Paz’s Labyrinth of Solitude is a classic book that influenced my own views about Mexican identity.

Matt Turpin

Communications Coordinator
I joined the City of Literature when we were in the UNESCO bidding process back in 2014, while also working for Oxfam to promote their local musical festival, Beeston Oxjam, and setting up a local magazine and several community focussed projects. Before that, I have had every job imaginable, from a postal worker to a cheese-packer; a barman in Portugal to a tulip-picker in Holland. I am fascinated by words, and how they can literally change lives: I am very much an example of this. My role at Nottingham City of Literature is to understand, interpret and promote both the things we do hee centrally: the wonderful projects we are fortunate to deliver; and to engage with the wider writer/creative practitioners in the city . This is a forever-rewarding job, as I get to see close-up what a vibrant diversity of talent we have here: we are a city that punches far above its weight when it comes to words and I am privileged to document that: to watch established talent thrive; new talent blossom.

What book changed your life the most?

There are many to choose from! It was An Audience With An Elephant by Byron Rogers: a simple collection of non-fiction essays, but with such deep poetry in the prose, shot through with a deep sense of place. It focussed my writing, and my career followed.

Katy Birch

Project Coordinator

Jo Heidrich

Finance Manager
​Jo joined Nottingham City of Literature in 2020 as Finance Manager. Jo qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2001 followed by 10 years leading the Finance Department of one of the East Midlands largest housing providers.

Our Board

Patrick Limb KC

I have served on the Board since 2018 as first trustee, then deputy chair and latterly as chair. I'm a Nottingham-based barrister, who has practised in the city since 1987. My abiding enthusiasm for literature goes back to school days (and I take misplaced pride in the fact that “Sons and Lovers“ by D.H. Lawrence has a character called Meg Limb). As an amateur scribbler, essays of my  memoir have been published in ‘The Clearing’ (Little Toller), a slow-art project called ‘Birds of Firle’ and, most recently, a chapter in ‘Crafting Autoethnography’ (Routledge). Enthused by the work and engagement of the team, my fellow board members and the Youth Advisory Board, I believes wholeheartedly in the founding mission of building a better world with words.

Amy Bere

I am currently Director of Culture at Nottingham Trent University, where I am responsible for the development of cultural engagement for students and staff, and for our partnerships with cultural and arts organisations in the City of Nottingham. My background is in cultural strategy and leadership, and I have worked extensively in arts engagement for all ages, backgrounds and abilities. At NTU, we encourage all our students to be creative writers and avid readers with regular activity through our WRAP workshops, performance poetry cafes and live events with brilliant authors, as well as curated book giveaways and exchanges across our campuses. I like a bit of escapism in my own reading so am drawn to fantasy fiction, graphic novels and nature writing. I would encourage everyone to read authors from around the world, support your local independent bookshops and for true magic, make friends with your local library and librarians.

Emily York (she/her)

Trustee for Youth Empowerment
My name’s Emily York and I am Trustee for Youth Empowerment at Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature. I am currently working for The Mighty Creatives as Youth Programme Manager where we fight for the creative voices for children and young people. Youth voice, participation, collaboration and co-production is at the heart of everything I do and I am exceptionally dedicated to ensuring that children and young people have access to meaningful opportunities to make positive change in their lives and others, now and in the future. In my role as Trustee, I also support the Youth Advisory Board with their work and development, as well as advocate for their voices at the Trustee meetings.

Claire Bale

Trustee and Chair of the Fundraising Sub Committee
Literature has always played a vital role in my life and I’m delighted to support the Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature as a Trustee. I am Nottingham born and bred, and by day, I am the Head of Equality Diversity and Inclusion for the Girls’ Day School Trust. I spend my spare time writing a blog to get more people talking about race and equality. Books are a huge part of my research and antiracist journey, and I capture my learnings on my own bookstagram account on Instagram account too.

Khaya Ayomide Job

I am the founder of Femme Fatale Gals, annual magazine and creative empowerment platform based in Nottingham. I am also a freelance workshop facilitator, artist and resident at Primary and a singer songwriter. My work is community driven with an emphasis on empowerment and liberation, particularly for marginalised voices and young people. Sharing my writing through my platform and magazines over the years helped me to find my voice and has been life changing. I’m committed to helping others find the courage to share their own truths. I have recently started my new role as Youth Programme Coordinator at The Mighty Creatives, an arts and cultural charity who fight for the creative voices of children and young people.

Jeremy Gregory

I have been Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts since 2015 and am now also Interim Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Social Sciences. I am the University's Lead for Civic Engagement. I am excited to be leading both faculties which have strong connections with the City of Nottingham’s culture and heritage. We have a great deal to offer the city through holdings of early books and manuscripts and the D.H. Lawrence collection, and our strength of expertise in both English and International literatures. The University has the Lakeside Arts complex based on campus, partnerships with the Theatre Royal and Broadway Media Centre, and collaborates with Nottingham Contemporary, as well as having strong relations with Nottingham Playhouse and the New Art Exchange. The UK’s ‘Being Human – Festival of the Humanities' is a wonderful opportunity for people to engage with the community, through delivering a local programme of events and contributing to national events.

Barbara Cathcart

Vice Chair
As a dual-national, I've made Nottinghamshire my home for over 20 years, having hailed from Montreal and Toronto, Canada. In a professional capacity, since then, she has developed Nottingham Hospitals Charity into a strong organisation that exists to benefit NHS patients locally and I'm proud to have been instrumental in supporting whole new buildings and research projects, through enhancements like supporting complementary therapists and specialist nursing posts. I’m also an inaugural trustee of the Association of NHS Charities nationally. I am honoured and thrilled to be a trustee of the Nottingham City of Literature in my adopted home, due to a newfound pride of place, coupled with a lifelong love of reading (including a modicum of successes in writing poetry). Strangely, I’ve read many of DH Lawrence’s works as a teenager while in Canada thousands of miles away, with no expectation that one day in the future, I would share in the culture, geography and history featured in his novels and poetry.

Trevor Wright

Trevor was born and went to school in Nottingham and was fortunate to be taught English Literature by one of our finest writers, Stanley Middleton. His main career has been in health and social care focussing first on community development then on developing strategies to improve support for older and disabled people. During this work, Trevor was late diagnosed as autistic and now specialises in training and consultancy on neurodiversity. He is an NHS Autism Champion and the Co- Chair of the Department of Health and Social Care Autism Strategy Board. He is a regular contributor to many poetry events in Nottingham, a member of DIY Poets and has been a commissioned writer on the Writing East Midlands Elder Tree older peoples, Local: Vocal coalfields, and Beyond the Spectrum projects. Trevor is currently the Director of the annual Derby Poetry Festival has several contributions to poetry anthologies including Nottingham (Dostoyevsky Wannabe) and Over Land Over Sea (Five Leaves Press) He has two poetry collections, Outsider Heart and Salt Flow published by Nottingham’s Big White Shed. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. “I came late to writing having been told that I wasn’t cut out to be a writer by the school careers master at fifteen so feel lucky to be able to experience the positive effects on daily life that writing and being part of writing groups can have. It will be a privilege to be able to contribute to the development of writer opportunities in my home city as a Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature Writers Trustee.”

Helen Lawrenson