Poetry Mentoring Scheme 2019
This year has been full of surprises, from being shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year, the inspiration that comes from collaboration to the revelations that came from my time at Hay Festival, and I’ve surprised myself most of all.
When Matthew Smith of Black Bough Poetry (seriously, check it out if you like minimalist poetry and beautiful design) put out a call for mentees and was inundated with talent, I decided to step up and offer myself as a mentor also. In all honesty, I was apprehensive, uncertain as to what qualified me to mentor someone else, and unsure of my ability as a poet, but as Matthew reminded me, advice, feedback and a sounding board is never something to be scoffed at. I know peer support has been invaluable to me on my journey so far, so why not pass it on?
I’m receiving my own mentorship at the moment under Gwen Davies, editor of New Welsh Review, (through a Literature Wales scheme) and I love the idea of a cyclical support system within the writing world ❤
Anyway, the two writers I chose to work with were Laura Wainwright & Lizzie Kemball. Their poetry was insistent and too difficult to ignore – I predict great things to come from these two, so follow them both on Twitter and keep an eye! More on them both below:
Elizabeth Kemball was born and raised in Stoke-on-Trent and graduated last year from the University of Warwick with a BA(hons) in English Literature and Creative Writing.She writes both poetry and fiction, and is currently working on her debut poetry collection and first novel. Her work often centres around nature, cities, bodies and myths. Some of her poetry is going to be published in the upcoming issue of Black Bough. @LizzieKemball
Laura Wainwright was born in Cardiff and lives in Newport, south Wales. She is author of a book of literary criticism, New Territories in Modernism: Anglophone Welsh Writing 1939-1945 (University of Wales Press, 2018). She was shortlisted in the Bridport Prize poetry competition in 2013 and her poetry has been published in Black Bough Poetry and Wales Haiku Journal. An interview with Laura can be found online via Black Bough.