Writing for Our Lives (readings)

Four local poets, four stunning new collections

Four Kent and Sussex poets read from their new collections published during lockdown:

  • Mara Bergman reads from ‘In The Night We Were Dylan Thomas’ (Arc Publications)
  • Sue Wicks reads from ‘Dear Crane’ (Bloodaxe Books)
  • Louisa Campbell reads from ‘Beautiful Nowhere’ (Boatwhistle Books)
  • Jess Mookherjee reads from ‘Play Lists’ (Broken Sleep Books)

Friday 20th August 7:30 – 9:30pm
The Hub, Grosvenor & Hilbert Park, TN1 2LN
Free Event: Get Tickets


Mara Bergman: was born on leap-year day and grew up on Long Island, New York.  The Tailor’s Three Sons and Other New York Poems won the Mslexia Poetry Pamphlet Competition and Crossing Into Tamil Nadu won a Templar Pamphlet Award. The Disappearing Room, her first full collection, was published by Arc Publications in 2018. Mara has also written more than twenty-five books for young children.

Susan Wicks: has published seven collections of poetry, four of them with Bloodaxe: The Months (2016), House of Tongues (2011), Deiced (2007) and Night Toad: New & Selected Poems (2003), which includes a selection from three earlier books published by Faber: Singing Underwater, Open Diagnosis, which was (one of the Poetry Society’s New Generation Poets titles), and The Clever Daughter, a Poetry Book Society Choice which was shortlisted for both T.S. Eliot and Forward Prizes. House of Tongues, Night Toad and Singing Underwater were all Poetry Book Society Recommendations. Her eighth collection, Dear Crane, is published by Bloodaxe in 2021. She lives in Tunbridge Wells.

Louisa Campbell: previously a registered mental health nurse, Louisa Campbell is now a mental health poet. Published in a variety of literary magazines and anthologies, Louisa won the Poetry and Psychoanalysis Competition in 2018, The Royal College of Psychiatrists Poetry Competition in 2019, and has just had a poem commended in the International Hippocrates Prizes for Poetry and Medicine. She has two published poetry pamphlets: The Happy Bus (Picaroon Poetry, 2017), and The Ward (Paper Swans Press, 2018).  Her first full collection of poems, Beautiful Nowhere, has been published this summer by Boatwhistle Books.

Jess Mookherjee: Jessica is of Bengali origin, grew up in Wales and now lives in Kent. Her work appears in many journals including Agenda, Poetry Wales, The North, Rialto, Under the Radar, Birmingham Literary Review and in various anthologies including the  Bloodaxe’s Staying Human. Her pamphlets are The Swell (TellTale Press 2016) and Joyride (BLER Press 2017).  She was highly commended in the 2017 Forward Prize. Her first collection, Flood, was published by Cultured Llama in 2018 and her second, Tigress, by Nine Arches Press in 2019. She is a joined editor of Against the Grain Poetry Press. Her new pamphlet Play Lists is published by Broken Sleep Books in June 2021 and she is working on her third full collection.

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