New Class: Writing Chance and Choice

Explore interesting, off-beat and diverse approaches to generating verse on this one-day course delivered via City Lit. Try out cut-ups, found lines, experiments in meter and rhyme, and much more.

The course will look at ways to generate raw material and ideas for new and existing poems through exercises, employing chance/experimental methods and choice –from flow-writing, cut-ups and found lines to syllabic meter and imagery. How do we choose what to do with raw material? What are some methods we can use to shape our experimental writing into poems?

Book now:

Free resource: writing a nature poem

Exam stress is all around at the moment. Last year, to help mitigate this, Homerton College at The University of Cambridge asked me to pull together a self-guided poem-writing podcast to help students get a bit of a break from revision.

While it was made for Homerton, the resource is open to all and if you fancy following along and writing a poem of your own, you can do so here:

Poem of the Month at Mist and Mountain Residency

Mist and Mountain is a Creative platform based in Aberdeen, Scotland. It offers residency opportunities for multidisciplinary creatives like writers, poets, photographers, painters etc. It provides creative residential opportunities with a focus on attracting creatives from ethnic minority and marginalized communities who are currently wider under-represented.

It’s absolutely brilliant to have my poem ‘Mapwork’ selected as the residency’s ‘Poem of the Month’. I’ll also be giving a reading and interview with the brilliant Nabin Chhetri on April 22nd.

You can read the poem here:

The NEW Poetry by Heart website is now live

The new Poetry By Heart website is live. Pop over there and you’ll see a new homepage and menus to help you find everything you need including how to download the 2023 competition kit straight to your desktop. Over the next few months other new features will go live too, including a Learn a Poem section for pupils; a Stories section for news and features about poetry out loud and by heart; plus extra content for teachers especially for GCSE anthology and unseen.

Back from Maternity Leave: Winter/Spring Teaching

Well, I am officially back from maternity leave after having my daughter back in January.

I’ve got a number of classes coming up so thought I’d list them here for you.

History of the Sonnet, Nov-Dec 2022

For almost 800 years the sonnet has been a mainstay of English-language poetry. In this 6-week course, we’ll trace its development from its earliest incarnations in English to contemporary examples of this flexible and diverse poetic form.

This is a 6-week lecture and seminar course. Numbers are limited.

The classes are held once a week, live, on Wednesdays at 2.00 to 4.00 pm British Time, from 2 November to 7 December 2022.

For more info head here:

Sylvia Plath: Poetry and Prose, Feb-March 2023

Join writer and lecturer Dr Mariah Whelan for a live online exploration of the life and writing of Sylvia Plath.

What is the relationship between biography and poetics in Plath’s work? What do we mean when we describe Plath as a Confessional poet? How has this description been used to limit and contain Plath’s literary reputation? How important are other themes in Plath’s work such as death, the occult and nature? 

Four x 2-hour sessions, weekly, from 9 February to 2 March 2023. Live online via Zoom.

For more info head here:

Online Poetry Workshop, April-June 2023

Join award-winning poet Dr Mariah Whelan to discover the art and pleasure of writing poetry. Over the course of the six sessions, we will consider key aspects of poetry such as imagery, sound devices and fixed forms like the sonnet. Together, we will explore how to implement these technical considerations into our own poems, experimenting and receiving feedback as we go. 

Join us for six weekly sessions from 27 April to 2 March 2023 to learn the art of writing poetry. Live online via Zoom.

For more info head here:

Writing Poetry for Beginners (in person), April-June 2023

Designed for those just starting out on their poetry-writing journey, this relaxed and fun class combines practical writing exercises, group discussion and close reading of poems by published poets to introduce students to the key elements of writing poetry.

A 10-week, in-person course delivered via the Department for Continuing Education, The University of Oxford.

For more details head here:

bath magg issue 8 goes live!

Delighted to let you all know that issue 8 of bath magg is now live!

In wonderful news the feature poet for the issue was the brilliant Seán Hewitt who I got to interview about all things poetry-related.

If you fancy a read, head over to

We will also have a launch for the issue on Tuesday 11th Jan at 7pm GMT. Tickets are free and you can get them here: