2ND PLACE: Verve Poetry Competition 2023! 🥳 🎉

I am beyond thrilled to have won second place in the Verve Poetry Competition 2023, judged by the immensely talented and amazing Kim Moore. I will be reading my prize-winning poem this coming weekend at the Verve Poetry Festival in Birmingham, UK. The reading will be Sunday morning, and you can book to watch online here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-verve-poetry-festival-competition-event-protest-hosted-by-kim-moore-tickets-473329941597

Can’t wait to see you soon, Verve!


Formulations Launch: ICYMI

The new collaborative pamphlet from Dr Miranda Lynn Barnes and Dr Stephen Paul Wren is now officially out from Small Press! We launched Formulations in February online, with some lovely people joining us from around the world. Watch the launch now, and hear more about our collaborative process, how the forms were created, and listen to a few poems from the collection, read by both Stephen and Miranda.

The collection contains 14 new poetic forms created from 7 pairs of chemical molecules involved in the processes of biosynthesis. Each form considers elements such as number of atoms present for each chemical element, valence electrons, and single or double bonds within the molecule. The book has a brief summary of each form, along with poems written by both of the authors. Those who purchase a copy will also have access, via a QR code, to an additional PDF detailing the finer-grain representations present in each form!

Copies of Formulations can be purchased from Small Press on the Tangent Books website: https://www.tangentbooks.co.uk/shop/2776kug8yrjp24g4oycexrdxxo34ws

If you’re interested in having the authors come to speak about their poetry collaboration, please contact either of us via our websites! Or find us on social media: @LuminousJune or @Stephen34343631

p.s. If you’ve read Formulations and enjoyed it, please leave a brief review at Goodreads!

Announcing Formulations, a new collaborative chapbook with Small Press!

Thrilled to announce the launch of Formulations with Small Press! This chapbook is a collaboration between myself and chemist-poet Stephen Paul Wren. We have been collaborating since November 2020 on an exciting project, creating new poetic forms based on chemistry. The launch will take place online at 7 pm GMT (UK time), Thursday, 24th February 2022. You can book via eventbrite here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/book-launch-formulations-chemical-poems-tickets-250169843737

Formulations is a unique collaborative project that brings together poetry and chemistry. This extraordinary new collection features poems and an exploration of the original poetic form behind each one. Each poem is based on a molecule found in nature, with its poetic form and linguistic constraints developed and written from the original chemical molecule.

Small Press

Miranda Lynn Barnes is a poet, researcher, and educator from the US, now resident in the UK. Her poems have appeared in New Welsh Reader, Shearsman, Poetry Birmingham, Tears in the Fence, Under the Radar, The Interpreter’s House, and Lighthouse Journal, among other journals and anthologies Miranda taught creative writing for five years at Bath Spa University while undertaking her PhD. She now serves as Research Associate in Archiving & Preserving Open Access Books at Loughborough University, as part of the COPIM Project. Her debut pamphlet, Blue Dot Aubade, was published with V. Press in 2020.

Dr Stephen Paul Wren was educated at Cambridge and worked as a chemist in industry for many years. He transitioned back into academia at Oxford University (St Hilda’s College) before joining Kingston University in September 2018 where he works as a Senior lecturer. His ‘A celestial crown of Sonnets’ (co-written with Dr Sam Illingworth) was published by Penteract Press in March 2021. Stephen’s poetry has also appeared in 14 magazine, Marble Broadsheet, Consilience, Tears in the Fence (due January 2022) and Dreich magazine.

Almanac of Lunar Songs: a poem for The Museum of the Moon!

Caleb Parkin (dear poet friend and the current Bristol City Poet) and I were commissioned by the wonderful Bristol Cathedral to write a collaborative poetic work to be read during the launch of Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon, at the Bristol Cathedral from the 11th – 30th August 2021.

The 12-part poem, embracing the various cultural names for monthly full moons, as well as a plethora of human and non-human creatures impacted by lunar rhythms, is now in situ in the form of moon-stickers guiding visitors through the cathedral.

Caleb and I read the poem on the evening of the 11th August at a private launch, with wonderful attentive audience members and the artist himself present. You can read the full poem at the Bristol Ideas website, here: https://bristol-cathedral.co.uk/moon/almanac-of-lunar-songs

Lady Luna, you pull on our waters, our dreams. We rise 
to meet you.

Almanac of Lunar Songs

Announcing The Big Poetry Weekend! – Coming up October 2021

This year The Big Poetry Weekend (formerly known as Poetry Swindon), will he held online, after missing out a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. Events can be booked via Eventbrite, and there will be wonderful workshops, readings, open mics, and events. Though we’ll all miss the tent dancing and October deluges, I’m really pleased to be a part of the proceedings, both as a volunteer and a featured reader.

As always, the guests and poets are top-notch, and I woudn’t miss it for the world!

Check out the full programme here: https://bigpoetryweekend.com/2021-full-programme/

I’ll be joining some amazing fellow poets Caleb Parkin, Chaucer Cameron, Vik Shirley, and Rachel Long for the Afternoon debut poets’ reading on Sunday, 24 October 2021, which is a free event (follow the above link for ticketing, all events through Eventbrite). Please come and join us! More about the poets below.

Miranda Lynn Barnes is a poet from the US, now resident in the UK. Her poems have appeared in New Welsh Reader, Shearsman, Tears in the Fence, Under the Radar, Marble Poetry, and Lighthouse Journal, among other journals. Miranda’s work has also appeared in a number of anthologies, including Bloody AmazingMaths Poems, and A Hatchery of Shadows: Poems about Plants, Brain and Imagination. Miranda taught creative writing for five years at Bath Spa University, where she now serves as Research Publications Librarian. Her debut pamphlet, Blue Dot Aubade, was published with V. Press in 2020.

Chaucer Cameron is the author of In an Ideal World I’d Not Be Murdered (Against the Grain, 2021) She has been published in magazines and anthologies, including Under the Radar, Poetry Salzburg and The North. She is also the creator of Wild Whispers, an international poetry film project, and curates and presents poetry film at events and festivals. She is co-editor of the online magazine, Poetry Film Live.

Rachel Long’s debut collection, My Darling from the Lions was published by Picador in 2020. It was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, The Costa Book Award, The Rathbones Folio Prize, and the Jhalak Prize Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour.  She is the founder of Octavia Poetry Collective for women of colour, housed at the Southbank Centre. 

Caleb Parkin, Bristol City Poet 2020-22, won second prize in the National Poetry Competition 2016, the Winchester Poetry Prize 2017, and has placed on other competition shortlists. His poems have appeared in The Rialto, Poetry Review, Under the Radar, Poetry Wales, Magma, Butcher’s Dog, Lighthouse, and elsewhereHe tutors for Poetry Society, Poetry School, Cheltenham Festivals, and First Story, and holds an MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes (CWTP). He previously worked in BBC TV and radio production, as a teacher, and as a Senior Inclusion Worker. He lives in a human-canine pack in suburban Bristol. His debut pamphlet, Wasted Rainbow, was published with tall-lighthouse and his debut collection This Fruiting Body with Nine Arches Press in October 2021. 

Vik Shirley’s chapbook, Corpses (Sublunary Editions), was published in 2020, and her collection, The Continued Closure of the Blue Door (HVTN Press), and her photo-poetry book, Disrupted Blue and Other Poems on Polaroid (Hesterglock), were published in 2021. Her work has appeared in such places as Poetry London, The Rialto, Magma, Shearsman and 3am Magazine. She is currently studying for a PhD in Dark Humour and the Surreal at the University of Birmingham.

La Ninfa Eco Podcast. Episode 3: Poetry & Science – A Talk with Part of the Consilience Journal Team

Excited and looking forward to being part of this podcast discussion, which will be broadcast live on the 26th May from 3:30 to 5:00 pm BST. Original post with all the details from La Ninfa Eco can be found here: https://laninfaeco.com/event/la-ninfa-eco-podcast-episode-3-poetry-science-a-talk-with-part-of-the-consilience-journal-team/?fbclid=IwAR0iZU0ROOcziOPQGZmQuU9gkyzKSO2g_VyH3EJn7q2WMzGmZjeV1dYX-m4

I will be joining others from the Consilience Journal Team, including Founding Editor, Sam Illingworth, talking with host Gaby Sambuccetti about Poetry & Science.

Special Guests: Sam Illingworth, Steve Smart, Stephen Paul Wren, Ruth Aylett, Angie Lo, Miranda L. Barnes, Clint Wastling & Kate Jenkinson.

Host: Gaby Sambuccetti

Day: 26th May 2021
Time: 3.30 pm (UK Time)

The event will be streaming live from La Ninfa Eco’s Social Media platforms:

YouTube ChannelMixcloud accountIvooxFacebook (UK)Facebook(US)TwitterInstagram or Telegram.

Edited to add: Video of the live broadcast.

Poetry & Chemistry as Form

Very pleased to presenting at a virtual event This event sponsored by the Indisciplinary Poetics Research Cluster at the University of Bristol. Please book via eventbrite here!: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/poetry-chemistry-as-form-tickets-151937716801?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

What emerges when poetic form is built from science? Poet Miranda Lynn Barnes and chemist/poet Stephen Paul Wren discuss their collaboration.

About this Event

What emerges when poetic form is built from science? In a current collaboration, Miranda Lynn Barnes has been working with medicinal chemist and poet Stephen Paul Wren to explore this question. Examining the form and structures of chemical compounds such as geranyl pyrophosphate and limonene, indole-3-acetic acid and tryptophan, and chemical processes such as those in photosynthesis, they have created new poetic forms inspired by chemistry. With a particular focus on plant chemistry, themes from the poets’ own engagement with the natural world have begun to transpire in the poems. Exploring this common ground has led to unexpected new insights and ideas around form and process. Join Miranda and Stephen for a brief presentation on their collaboration, a reading of some of the resulting poems, and an audience Q&A.

Miranda Lynn Barnes is a poet from the US, now resident in the UK. Miranda’s poems often engage with science, particularly astronomy and physics, and have appeared in New Welsh Reader, Shearsman, Tears in the Fence, Under the Radar, and Lighthouse, among other journals and anthologies. Miranda taught creative writing for five years at Bath Spa University, where she now serves as Research Publications Librarian. Her debut pamphlet, Blue Dot Aubade, was published in October 2020 with V. Press. Find Miranda on Twitter @LuminousJune, or read more about her work at https://mirandalynnbarnes.wordpress.com/.

Stephen Paul Wren was educated at Cambridge and worked as a chemist in industry for many years. He transitioned back into academia at Oxford University (St Hilda’s College) before joining Kingston University in September 2018 where he works as a Senior lecturer. Stephen recently co-authored a pamphlet of poems with Sam Illingworth entitled A Celestial Crown of Sonnets, out from Penteract Press in March 2021. Stephen’s poetry can be read on his website and you can find him on Twitter @Stephen34343631.

Connection at Newcombe – A new novel by Kayt Burgess

Newcombe is too small to qualify for a rail station. So begins a campaign against time and government to guarantee the survival of their community in post-war Northern Ontario.

It’s 1920. The Great War is over and the troops are on their way home to reclaim their old lives. But before he can return to his days as a lawyer, Major Callum Bannatyne has one more mission: to ensure The Canadian National Railway builds its newest expansion through his hometown of Newcombe.

The only problem? Newcombe’s population is too small for it to qualify for a station. And so begins a small town’s campaign against time and government to recruit their ringers and guarantee the survival of their community in post-war Northern Ontario.

But not everyone is on board with duping the government and Cal’s plan is undermined at every turn, whether due to the machinations of the local Reverend’s zealous son, or the bullying of belligerent furrier Randall Evershed. Even Fergus, Cal’s own father, who suffers with dementia, inadvertently jeopardizes the plan when he attacks one of Newcombe’s conspirators during one of his fogs.

But if living in the Canadian wilderness has taught the people of Newcombe anything, it’s how to be resourceful in the face of adversity.

I was honoured to be a part of the dramatised readings to introduce the characters of Newcombe for Kayt’s newest novel. Watch the video or click through to Kayt’s site below to find out more. You can purchase a copy online or through the publisher.


Launch for A Hatchery of Shadows, 9 November 2020

The launch for the 2019 SciPo Conference anthology, A Hatchery of Shadows: Poems About Plants, Brain and Imagination, was held on Monday, 9th November 2020. A number of poets included in the anthology read their poems, including the winner of the youth poetry contest, Isaiah Ambssa Robinson-Lewis, for his poem ‘Nereum oleander’.

I read my poem from the anthology, ‘The Pinecone’, and participated in a wonderfully interesting Q&A about Science and Poetry.

The video can also be found on the TORCH Oxford page here: https://www.torch.ox.ac.uk/a-hatchery-of-shadows-poetry-anthology-launch

Details about the launch and information on the readers can be found here: https://www.torch.ox.ac.uk/event/a-hatchery-of-shadows-poetry-anthology-launch

More about the anthology and how to purchase a copy can be found here: https://torch.ox.ac.uk/article/new-scipo-publication-a-hatchery-of-shadows-poems-about-plants-brain-and-imagination

‘I have read this anthology three times, with immense pleasure. Each reading has uncovered new meanings, new levels of enjoyment in the resources of free verse, handled with exceptional skill here by a bunch of fine poets. The anthology’s central themes — plants, the brain and imagination — are interwoven in a delightfully varied but unified verbal dance. The anthology is testimony to the unending capacity of the natural world to elicit wonder, curiosity, puzzlement and imaginative exploration.’

 Lucy Newlyn, Poet and Emeritus Fellow in English

Bloody Amazing Anthology Launch (17 & 18 October 2020)

The launch of the Bloody Amazing anthology was held over two nights in October (17th & 18th) 2020, with readers from all over the UK, and the world, joining in on Zoom. This was arranged by the two editors, Gill Lambert and Rebecca Bilkau. The anthology contains 123 unique poems, and aims to smash taboos around menstruation. The first run of copies is now out, but proceeds from the sale of the anthology went towards supporting the work of period poverty charities.

I read my poem in the anthology, ‘Eve’s Punishment’, on Sunday, the 18th October 2020. The poem is a dark rebuke of the many excuses for women’s suffering inbuilt in certain religious mythologies.

Cover image by poet and illustrator, Jane Burn.