Poems to Make Life Better

Desert Island Poems

A panel discussion with Sarah Salway, Victoria Field and Jon Sayers

Where are the poems that make us laugh, help us vent when needed, inspire us to try a new thing, or just sit with us when we need a friend? Sarah, Victoria and Jon will share and read a wide selection of their desert island poems, as well as offering suggestions for where to find new poets and new ways of reading.


Sarah Salway: is a novelist, tutor and poet based in Kent. Her latest collection of very small poems, Let’s Dance, was published by Coast to Coast to Coast in Spring 2021, and her book of short fictions, Not Sorry, will come out with Valley Press in October 2021. She is a former Canterbury Laureate and RLF Fellow at the London School of Economics.

Victoria Field: is a writer, poetry therapist and researcher. Her recent books are a poetry collection, A Speech of Birds and a memoir of pilgrimage and marriage, Baggage: A Book of Leavings, both from Francis Boutle. She was named in Poetry Review as a pioneer in the use of poetry and healing and has a particular interest in public libraries and people living with dementia. Her doctoral research at Canterbury Christ Church University is on narratives of transformation and pilgrimage.

Jon Sayers: is a writer and teacher. He has led writing for wellbeing groups for HMP Pentonville, Barnardo’s and Open Age. His poems and translations have been published in leading UK journals and his radio play, A World Full of Weeping, a supernatural thriller featuring the poetry of WB Yeats, was twice broadcast on Radio 4 and was a Radio Times pick of the week. Jon has served as chair of Magma poetry, vice chair of the Poetry Society and is currently on the board of the Winchester Poetry Festival.

All three panellists are practising poets as well as experienced facilitators and co-cordinators of the Kent and Sussex Writing and Wellbeing Network.  

Sunday 22nd August 4:15pm (approx.)
The Forum, TN4 8YU
This free event is part of Wordplay Fun Day

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