The day-to-day life of a writer or performance poet can vary greatly. A “quiet” week indoors might be composed of days typing new poems or working on a novel, time going over proofs of a latest book ready to send edits to the publisher, or hours compiling letters to colleagues inviting contributions for a new poetry anthology. (Or reading through their submissions!)
A week spent largely on the go might include performances and writing workshops in schools, either single day visits or as part of a longer residency; workshops for adults or teachers; appearances at festivals and shows or recording for a television or radio programme. Sometimes my work takes me to more far-flung destinations, for example on British Council or Authors Abroad visits to writers groups and schools overseas.
I enjoy my work immensely; it allows me to meet many different people and experience life in places I wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to visit. It’s always humbling to have something you’ve worked at recognised, and it was an honour to receive an MBE for services to poetry, an area that’s meant so much to me, in 2007. Before that were An Honorary Degree from the University of Kent, awards such as The Voice Community award for literature, and a Smarties Award bronze prize for my children’s book, Fruits.
My writing is heavily influenced by my Jamaican background – I even begin most performances with a crash course in Jamaican Patois, so that non-speakers can enjoy the Patois poems in my set even more!
Find out how I started writing under bio.