Category Archives: Featured Poets

Featured Poet #4: Jim Bennett

Jim was born and still lives near Liverpool in England. He grew up in Liverpool during the years of the Liverpool Sound and the Liverpool Poets and it is from this tradition that he developed his own unique style and voice.

He is the author of 64 books including books of poetry, books for children, and technical training manuals. In addition his CD “Down in Liverpool” a selection of poetry and music has brought Jim to the notice of a much wider audience. In a career spanning 44 years Jim has won many accolades for his performances and writing. His poetry has been widely published in magazines and anthologies and he regularly performs at poetry events and festivals in the UK and USA.

Jim’s career as a performance poet has earned him many awards amongst which are three DADAFest awards, and a Silver Stake from the Manchester Slam. He has also won awards for his poetry including the 2006 Frost Award, and the Fante Award in 2002. In 2005 his book The Man Who Tried to Hug Clouds was voted Best Poetry Book in English at the Berlin Book Festival. He has been nominated five times for a Pushcart Award and has twice won the performance award the San Francisco Beat Festival and was Poetry Superhighway Favourite Poet of the Year 2000.

He is also, as of 2004, the Managing Editor of Poetry Kit, the extensive on-line poetry resource website.

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Featured Poet #3: Christine Webb

Christine Webb has worked in education all her life, and has been writing as long as she can remember. After Babel was published by Peterloo Poets in 2004, and in 2007 her poem ‘Seven Weeks’ won the Poetry London competition, while ‘Salt’ won second prize in Mslexia. In 2009 she was awarded a Distinction for her Creative Writing MA, and in 2011 her next collection, Catching Your Breath, was published by Cinnamon Press. It celebrates and mourns her partner of many years, who died in 2006.

See for more about Christine, and for details of her new collection.



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Featured Poet #2: Amy Key

Amy was born in Dover in 1978 and grew up in Kent and South Shields. Her pamphlet Instead of Stars was published by tall-lighthouse in 2009. She is a poet-in-residence for ethical lingerie brand Holloway Smith Noir. She co-runs The Shuffle, a monthly poetry reading series at London’s Poetry Café and is the co-editor of The Shuffle anthology series. Amy lives in London, working as a civil servant. You can find her poems, along with some photography and clutter on her tumblr Leopard-skin Pill-box Hat and her tweets @msamykey.

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Featured Poet #1: Jonathan Steffen

Jonathan Steffen is a modern troubadour, whose work encompasses poetry, short stories, novels, literary translations, songs and instrumental music.

He has just had a collection of poems, Colour of Love, published by Accumen Publishing.

His work has appeared in a wide range of anthologies and magazines, including the London Magazine, The Spectator, the New Statesman & Society, Signals, Firebird, BABEL, Outposts, Acumen, Orbis and Poem for the Day. He has also published full-length translations of novels and academic works from the German and the French. Jonathan has widely published poems, short stories, essays and literary translations. His poem Falcon to the Falconer has travelled world wide.

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Special Guests: Paul Askew and Tina Sederholm

As a special treat we have two extra poets coming to perform at the Royal Standard tomorrow, here’s a little taster of what you can expect:

Paul Askew writes and performs poetry, as well as editing Ferment zine. He has a BA(Hons) in English Studies, so he’s like, you know, totally legit and that. He’s inflicted his imagination upon people in Oxford, London, Edinburgh and at Truck Festival.

2010 Oxford Hammer and Tongue Slam Champion, Tina Sederholm is a poetry tart who loves both performance and the more literary side of poetry. Now the co-host of Oxford Hammer and Tongue, her favourite m.o. is to massage the status quo into a false sense of security and then deliver a deft kick to its testicles while it isn’t looking. If she had a philosophy it would be ‘Somehow, everything is okay.’

Featured Poet #4 Mark Waldron

Mark Waldron’s first book, The Brand New Dark was published by Salt in 2008, his second, The Itchy Sea in September of last year.

What others have said about Mark Waldron

‘This is urgent, thought-provoking poetry – one of the most important debuts for a long time.’ — Clare Pollard, Magma

‘Mark Waldron is the most striking and unusual new voice to have emerged in British poetry for some time.’ –John Stammers

The Itchy Sea is the abstract film caught on TV at 3am or the obscure album that rewards repeated listens or the beautiful, nightmarish art installation you can’t shake from your mind. It is, in short, my poetry highlight of the year.’ —Matthew Haigh

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Featured Poet #3: Lucy Ayrton

Lucy accidentally moved to Oxford a few years ago. She now runs the Oxford branch of Hammer and Tongue there with Tina [Sederholm, who is also reading on 11th!] She goes about performing poems at arts nights and festivals around the country, and is working on her first solo show, which will be touring later this year. Lucy blogs about her misadventures here ( You can also follow her on twitter at @lucyayrton

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Featured Poet #2: Lily Morris

Lily Morris, from Beaconsfield, was one of ten national winners in the Poetry Society’s ‘SLAMbassadors‘ competition in 2010 after her poem, ‘Passport’, which was written in a slam poetry workshop at school, was chosen by Adisa the Verbaliser and Joelle Taylor. She usually likes to write in free verse, and is according to Joelle Taylor ‘the world’s worst emcee’.
You can watch Lily Morris’ winning video here.

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Featured Poet #1: Mark Burnhope

Mark Burnhope was born in 1982 and currently lives in Bournemouth, Dorset. His poems and reviews have appeared in print and online publications including MagmaHorizon ReviewNth Position,Stride and The Best British Poetry 2011 (Salt). His debut pamphlet, The Snowboy is available from Salt Publishing.

He blogs here where you can find links to reviews, news and interviews.

What others have said of The Snowboy

‘I’m very rarely excited and interested by new books of poetry, being a curmudgeonly sort. But there’s something in Burnhope’s debut which makes me hope he isn’t easily satisfied by what he’s got here. Because if he is, he will have thrown away his chance to be a truly excellent poet.’ –Jane Holland, Raw Light

‘Burnhope’s poems are compressed and take a little work, but reward it. This is a poet who can make his local landscape sing, and who can express grief for a failed marriage, and a child lost to miscarriage, in ways that feel both personal and universal.’ –Marcia Menter, Sphinx

Next Poetry Reading Date

Put this down in your diaries, the next poetry night will take place on Wednesday 11th January from 7.30pm onwards!

Featured poets are: Lucy Ayrton, Mark Burnhope, our very own Lily Morris, and Mark Waldron.

The theme will be Shipwrecked Poetry and, as always, there will be an open mic section after the readings.

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