Creative Writing Reading Series

Hosted by the University of Worcester, these free drop-in events invite established writers to read and discuss their work in a relaxed and informal setting.  Suitable for anyone interested in creative writing, they offer excess to exciting, contemporary literary voices.   For further information on the series, contact series host, Ruth Stacey for more information

Liz Berry 

27th March - 6:30pm-7:30pm 

Liz Berry was born in the Black Country and now lives in Birmingham. Her first book of poems, Black Country (Chatto 2014), a ‘sooty, soaring hymn to her native West Midlands’ (Guardian) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, received a Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award and Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Liz's pamphlet The Republic of Motherhood (Chatto, 2018) was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice and the title poem won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. In 2021 she collaborated with artist Tom Hicks on The Dereliction (Hercules Editions) a chapbook of poems and photographs of the Black Country. Liz's new book, The Home Child, a novel in verse, will be published by Chatto in March 2023.  

The Home Child  - Poetry Book Society Recommendation 

​ 'Home's not a place, you must believe this, 
but one who names you and means beloved.' 
In 1908, Eliza Showell, twelve years old and newly orphaned, boards a ship that will carry her from the slums of the Black Country to rural Nova Scotia. She will never return to Britain or see her family again. She is a Home Child, one of thousands of British children sent to Canada to work as indentured farm labourers and domestic servants. 
In Nova Scotia, Eliza discovers a place where ordinary things are transfigured into treasures - a red ribbon, the feel of a foal's mane, the sound of her name on someone's lips. With nothing to call her own, the wild beauty of Cape Breton is the only solace Eliza has - until another Home Child, a boy, comes to the farm and changes everything. 
Inspired by the true story of Liz Berry's great aunt, this spellbinding novel in verse is an exquisite portrait of a girl far from home. 

Jemima Hughes 
17th April – 6:30pm-7:30pm 

Sit back and don't relax! Multi slam winner Jemima Hughes will drag you through the “mindfield” of the unorthodox. Always a gripping performance, she will leave you questioning whether she meant to do that, or whether she needs to go and have a lie down. Not for the faint hearted, but definitely from the heart.  

Her debut poetry collection ‘Unorthodox’ is published with Verve Poetry Press and her follow up collection is due for publication in July 2023. Jemima’s work emphasises mental health awareness and covers taboo subjects such as sexual violence, mental illness and suicide. 

“Storm Jemima is a surge of intensity gathering on your horizon. It is a tumbling of sentiments and sincerity of message, getting harder to ignore, always ready to drop. Nothing looks quite the same after it hits.” 

- Jasmine Gardosi 

"Jemima is one of the most exciting young performance poets to hit the scene. Her poetry grabs the audience by the throat and shakes them in the best possible way! Jemima's performances will take you on a journey you will never forget... But buckle in tight because it can be a bumpy ride!" 

  - Nick Lovell