We were delighted to receive three nominations for the two vacancies on our Poetry and Spoken Word Group (PSWG) Committee.
The candidates up for nomination are:
Amanda B Holiday
Read the election statements below.
The successful candidates will be announced at the Group's Annual General Meeting on Thursday 10 March and will join our current committee starting from the first meeting following the AGM.
Please note: Only Full Members can vote. The closing date for voting is Thursday 17 February at 5pm.
For validation purposes, you will be required to give your membership number in order to vote. You can find your SoA ID on your membership card or you can email the Membership Team.
Any questions? Contact PSWG Administrator Johanna Clarke.
Amanda B Holiday
‘What do we want?’ Poetry. When do we want it? Now’
I believe there is room for more poetry in every aspect of our lives.
I am a keen advocate for the benefits of poetry in education – particularly communal poetry recital – in fact I think communal poetry recital is great for everyone. I am working with the Ministry of Stories/Mercury Theatre on their 2 year ‘Story of Me’ project - using poetry and storytelling to explore ways to diversify the primary curriculum.
I also have a strong interest in the crossover between poetry and art and film as well as in non-traditional ways of disseminating poetry.
I am an artist and poet, founder of Black Sunflowers – a small poetry press focussed on publishing the work of women and black poets. I am also a doctoral student in Poetry Race and Art at the University of Brighton.
The SoA has been informative and a source of help to my journey as a poet and a writer. I’m indebted to the grants and contingency funds as well as ongoing news in the world of writing. An organisation that enables writers to explore beyond their comfort zones and move into other genres. Joining the PSWG would be an opportunity to support other poets on their journey. I’m hoping I can give back as a poet with twenty years’ experience from the grass roots of performance poetry to an established published poet. I presently hold the position of Canal Poet Laureate as well as holding other posts going back to Birmingham Poet Laureate. As a poet from a diverse background and the West Midlands I want to encourage and empower individuals to write their story, hidden stories and be a witness to our times. Also, contribute to building and keeping those unique spaces where people can flourish, where there are no borders to good writing, whether on the stage or on the page. I hope I can bring views and ideas that will enhance and bolster a prolific and successful working group.
Roy McFarlane is a Poet, Playwright and former Youth & Community Worker born in Birmingham of Jamaican parentage spending most of his years living in Wolverhampton and the Black Country, now residing in Brighton.
Canal Laureate for Britain and Birmingham & Midlands Institute Poet in Residence as well as being the former Birmingham Poet Laureate. From Amsterdam to Philadelphia, Roy has shared his passion for social justice, equality, identity, love and the healing power of poetry as a witness to our times.
His debut collection, Beginning With Your Last Breath, was followed by The Healing Next Time, (Nine Arches Press 2018) nominated for the Ted Hughes award and Jhalak Prize. He has an MA in Writing Poetry from Newcastle University and the Poetry School. A lover of Jazz and Herons.
I would like to join the PSWG as a next step in my own development as a professional writer and poet. I am keen to support the sub-sector which I feel needs celebrating more and would like to support poets through a network that understands and addresses their needs. I am particularly interested in how good poetry books ‘take a village’ to produce through peer workshops, mentoring, guidance, encouragement and support and I’d like to be involved in strengthening these kinds of networks. I also think there could be work to be done to lobby for poets to be paid more fairly and to develop benchmarks that demonstrate the real (realistic) costs of workshops, courses, festival appearances etc. In addition to being a poet myself, I run Dialect, a development platform for rural writers and through this I have come to understand more about the challenges and weaknesses of business models that underpin the sector. I have worked as a researcher, technical writer, programme designer, advocate, campaigner and copy editor in the global education sector for more than 17 years and hope that I can bring some of that strategic thinking and working to the PSWG. I am also used to working with very diverse groups of stakeholders from grassroots community groups in the global south to UN agencies and heads of state which could be helpful background for bringing different poets together under a common goal.
JLM Morton is an emerging poet based in Gloucestershire. Her pamphlets Lake 32 and Sentient are published by Yew Tree Press and her poems have featured in various publications, including The Rialto, Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal, Ink Sweat & Tears, Places of Poetry, The Sunday Telegraph and on BBC Upload. In 2021-22 Juliette is funded by an Arts Council DYCP grant to work on a collection exploring the role of trade cloth in colonial expansion. She has held residencies at a lake in the Cotswold Water Park and at Stroudwater Textile Trust. In 2022 she will be poet in residence at the Corinium Museum, Cirencester. For more info, see: www.jlmmorton.com