Cropped image from Hydra's Heads cover

Hydra’s Heads

I’ve been a huge fan of the German/Swiss poet Nora Gomringer ever since seeing her perform back in 2014. So I was ecstatic when – via a combination of serendipidous taxi rides and hopeful emails – I got the go ahead to translate a selection of her poetry to be published with Burning Eye Books. […]

Row of books, all by female authors in translation

Women in Translation book club

It’s no secret that books by female authors are proportionally undertranslated (a consequence of the fact that books by women tend to be reviewed less than by those by men and shortlisted for fewer prizes). There have been a number of moves both to address and to redress this imbalance, from Kamila Shamsie’s call for […]

What do we do now?

Brewed Awakening

Together with the glorious illustrator Beth Barnett, I’ve been working on the webcomic Brewed Awakening. The comic launched in March 2017 and offers slice-of-life comedy against an uncertain political backdrop (sound familiar?). Beth was the person who drew me in (no pun intended!) to the world of graphic novels and webcomics, so it feels fitting […]

Found in Translation

Found in Translation

Together with translator extraordinaire Rebecca DeWald, I organise events which put translation and translators centre stage. (So far, we’ve held events at the Forest Cafe and the Hidden Door Festival.) Why? Well… Manifesto “Translators are fakers. Pretenders. Imposters.” So says Douglas Robinson, in his handbook to Becoming a Translator “To translate is to take hostage.” […]

Festival: StAnza 2016

Hard to believe that it is now six weeks since StAnza, Scotland’s international poetry festival, took place this year. It is the second year I’ve been involved in working with StAnza, and I wonder whether, in coming years, I will ever feel the festival to be quite so much “mine” as I did this time […]

Far Off Places

Together with Beth Barnett, Trevor Fountain and Ceris Aston, I co-founded the literary magazine Far Off Places three years ago. Far Off Places, of which I am editor-in-chief, was founded with two aims in mind: to create a stage for emerging writers to strut their stuff and to reach, enchant and grip readers who wouldn’t […]


In my spare time I’m the sidekick to a literary vigilante. Or at least, my alterego is. Together with the illustrator Beth Barnett, I’m currently working on a graphic novel, Samizdat. The title is borrowed from Russian and refers to the means of circulating underground literature during the USSR, from political pamphlets to blacklisted novels […]

Teaching: Midsummer Lyriklesung

In the summer semester of 2015 I was asked to devise and teach a vocational course on working in the literary industry at the Georg-August-Universität in Germany, and was granted that rare thing: complete and utter creative license. I devised the course around the organisation and management of a reading. The wonderful poet JL Williams […]


Festival: Poetree 2015

There is always a certain amount of constructive uncertainty when you move away from the known. This was very much the driving force behind Poetree, Göttingen’s first ever outdoors poetry festival, which I co-founded. We wanted to create a space for the enjoyment of poetry outwith existing institutions and structures. We wanted to offer poetry […]

Twitter project: once upon a tweet

Once upon a time in the autumn of 2014 I developed and managed a twitter project aimed at children and young people in which fairy tales were to be retold in one tweet. The project was the contribution of the Literarisches Zentrum Göttingen to Germany’s National ReadingAloud Day (Bundesweiter Nationaler Vorlesetag) and found happily ever afters […]