Writers and creators that have inspired me and my work this year through their amazing work and attitudes. I hope to grow this list!
Not only is Nikki one of the most supportive people I know, Nikki’s writing is incredible, and I am in awe of how hard she works and how much time she dedicates to her work and the community. Three wonderful works came out by Nikki this year including Volta, Fanny B. mine, and I’d Better Let you Go. Nikki writes from her heart, with experimental touches, and creative freedom. Nikki is one of the best writers I know. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Nikki!
Astra’s work is just incredible, and Astra will always be one of my absolute favourite object poets. The work Astra produces is flawless. This year I’ve had the pleasure of reading Astropolis, and also Crescent Earth, and I can highly recommend these works. Next on my to-read list is Astra’s Inside Ocean Größt’s Time Capsule.
Every time I see something by James, I’m just blown away by the different layers in the work, and the creativity and energy within each piece. My favourite read from James this year has been Bloods Dream out with Beir Bua. This collection is vivid in every sense, and one of my top reads for this year. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what James does in 2022.
JP inspires me every day, and I am so thankful to have JP in my life. JP is a brilliant writer, and I so admire the confidence, drive, and passion for writing that they have. I loved JP’s Fragments from before the fall. This collection is so intelligently constructed, and tells a really interesting narrative across the collection. I look forward to reading more future releases from JP in 2022! JP has also been an inspiration working with me at FH. The way JP approaches situations with such careful consideration, thoughtfulness, and support, has been fundamental to FH and its success this year.
I first read Claire’s prose ‘Pink Cake’ last year, I knew she was incredible! This year I’ve had the chance to see more of Claire’s artwork, which is amazing, and I can’t wait for her to launch her shop. Everything that Claire produces is tight, beautiful, and engaging. Claire is so talented, and I am always inspired by her work, and the way she approaches her work. There is going to be great things to come from Claire’s future.
Kinneson is a brilliant writer, a great workshop leader, and a lovely person. Kinneson constantly inspires me with her determination to keep writing and willingness to try new ideas. She is incredibly impressive and always leaves me amazed by her bold writing, and innovative story ideas. I’m very much looking forward to continue working with Kinneson in 2022 and reading more wonderful words.
Visit Kinneson Lalor’s site here (Picture taken from Kinneson’s website)
I’m such a fan of Teo’s approach towards creating, and after chatting for the FH podcast, I can’t wait to read Teo’s release with Penteract Press, titled THE OX HOUSE. Teo has such a dedication to craft and I love the way Teo works to always try and produce something fresh and unique. THE OX HOUSE is certainly going to be an incredible collection.
Stuart is such a supportive member of the literary community, and I’m always in awe of how much time Stuart takes to support others and uplift them. I first got a taste of Stuart’s incredible writing through PALE MNEMONIC which was a legitimate snack published by Broken Sleep Books. Stuart also has a collection Waterbearer out soon which I’ve preordered and can’t wait to read.
Aaron Kent’s writing is everything. Angels the Size of Houses is a must-read, the writing never disappoints. Not only is Aaron a great writer, but also a fantastic member of the literary community, working extremely hard through Broken Sleep Books publishing wonderful writers and really important collections. Aaron is incredibly supportive of fellow writers and is certainly a shining star within the writing and literary community.
The thing I love most about Helen’s work is the relationship that Helen manages to create with readers. WORD/PLAY, Helen’s interactive poetry book, is a perfect example of this. I first came across Helen’s work through the piece ‘Evaporation’ published in FH. I love the way that Helen has ignited such creativity within this collection, and passes that forwards to readers. I’m looking forward to reading more from Helen in 2022!
I first came across Travis through FH, where I read one of the best titles I’ve ever come across, ‘A Chronological List, in Descending Order, of Some Memorable Punches I’ve Taken and Notes Concerning the Outcomes’. Travis writes tight, bold, and confident. I admire so much about Travis and his work, and I am always so impressed with the way Travis manipulates language to pack a powerful punch. This year ‘Manifold’, which was published by ELJ Editions. I’m looking forward to reading more from Travis next year!
Shiksha’s writing is wonderful, and what I really admire about Shiksha is the way she approaches writing with such fierce passion and determination. Shiksha has published Washed Away this year, and this is an excellent collection. I highly recommend it. Shiksha is not only a brilliant writer, but also a lovely, helpful and supportive member of the literary community. I am looking forward to Shiksha’s work in 2022!
Elizabeth M. Castillo
Always supportive and friendly, Elizabeth does so much to help and promote writers and journals. I so admire the way Elizabeth supports all members of the literary community consistently, and with so much thought and consideration. Cajoncito is at the top of my reading list for 2022. This collection, which is Elizabeth’s debut, is a bilingual poetry book. Though I was saving the read for January, I have had a sneaky flick through and the writing is incredible.
Every time I come across one of Louise’s published pieces, I’m always impressed and enchanted by the writing. The way Louise uses imagery is unmatched and I am very excited to get reading The Dredging of Rituals published this year with Alien Buddha Press. Louise is a great person to follow, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing more from Louise in 2022!
Ever since I first found Sascha through Streetcake, and was then lucky enough to be mentored by her, I’ve been in awe of her energy and her work. At the start of this year, I read The Whimsy of Dank Ju-Ju, which is so incredibly written. Sascha has also published the book Of Necessity & Wanting, which is on my reading list for 2022! Sascha is one of the most wonderful writers, and truly an inspiration.
Discovering Raegen towards the end of 2021 as been an experience I am really grateful for. Raegen has such a wonderful energy and I really admire the way she engages with other writers and members of the literary community. Raegen’s poetry chapbook, An Animal I Can’t Name, won the 2015 Two of Cups Press competition, and Raegen’s debut poetry collection, Head of a Gorgon, is forthcoming with Vegetarian Alcoholic Press in 2022.
I love everything I ever read that’s Mandira’s. There is something so beautiful about the way Mandira writes, every piece has such life to it, and Mandira always hits the nail on the head when it comes to tone. I love Mandira’s work, and I also had the pleasure of working with her as guest editor for FH this year. I was so in awe of Mandira’s kindness, consideration and dedication as a reader. Mandira is wonderful and I’m looking forward to reading more pieces from her in 2022!
Sarah is a fantastic literary community member, and a wonderful writer. I discovered Sarah’s work this year and have so enjoyed what I’ve read. There is so much to admire from Sarah she always spreads such positivity. I’ve ordered The Shadows We Cast, and I can’t wait to get reading! To find out more about Sarah, you can listen to her interview with FH here.
Chris L Butler
Chris will always be one of the first people I think of when I’m asked about incredible writers and incredible people. I’m awaiting BLERD in the post and can’t wait to read for the first week of January 2022. Chris is a great person and such a vital member of the literary community. Also out now is Sacrilegious, published by Fahmidan Journal. You can listen to the FH interview with Chris here to hear him chat about kindness, his writing, and the literary community.
Michelle Moloney King
Michelle is a superstar. I don’t know how Michelle manages to do so much in only 7 days of the week. Not only is Michelle an incredible writer, producing innovative and exciting pieces, she also runs Beir Bua journal and press. Michelle’s complete love and passion for experimental work is so inspiring, and I love what Michelle, her writing, and her press stands for. Check out Womxn Heatwave Mama here.
Richard is one of the first people who made me feel like a writer, and I’ll be forever grateful for that. When Richard launched Babel, the world was a better place and the literary community was blessed with a wiiiide selection of fantastic experimental and avant-garde pieces. I discovered so much of the writing and art I enjoy today because of Richard. His book this year, ‘Dance! The Statue Has Fallen! Now His Head is Beneath Our Feet!‘, with Broken Sleep Books is exceptional. Richard has more exciting things to come with Babel and his writing in 2022, so keep a look out!
Creative, innovative, and unique, are the 3 words that I think best fit Chloë’s work. Chloë is incredible and I love everything she produces. Chloë creates pieces that are bold, confident, and intelligent. ‘Terra Forming’ is coming with Broken Sleep Books in 2023 and is sure to be incredible. A thank you to Chloë for always reminding me of the person I want to be and being such a great person to know.
JD edits Permeable Barrier, and produces some really exciting work. I’ve always been impressed with Permeable Barrier, which is an incredible hub of experimentation through writing, visuals, and sounds. I was able to pick up some really cool things from JD at the bookart community show and sell last weekend, and I’m really looking forward to reading JD’s ‘NOISES AGAIN’ from Osmosis press. JD’s commitment to having a space for experimentation is fantastic, and I love the way JD experiments with different forms to produce wonderful things.
E. J. Coates
I first came across E. J.’s work through Streetcake Magazine and was so impressed with the level of creativity in the pieces E. J. produced. I really enjoyed reading E.J.’s collection out with Broken Sleep Books, ‘Point Sublime‘, and love the fact that the endpapers can be planted. E. J. is a very considerate creator, and also a very supportive fellow writer. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what comes from E. J. in 2022!
Kathryn’s work is honest, open, and incredibly human. Kathryn is a UK Slam Champion, and Kathryn has an incredible way of connecting with her audiences. There is so so much to be inspired by when it comes to Kathryn. I’ve pre-ordered Cliff Notes, Kathryn’s poetry collection released in 2022, and I am really looking forward to reading it.
Tennis ball palindromes and periodic table poems are just a few elements of Chris Kerr’s phenomenal work. The way Chris plays around with science, numbers, and patterns is just incredible. I remember first seeing Chris Kerr’s work in Perverse Magazine and being really impressed by the methods and creativity that Chris used within his pieces. His first collection ‘Nam Gal Sips Clark‘ is out with Hesterglock Press, and Chris has a collection with Penteract Press to come in 2022.
Though I only came across Hannah’s work towards the end of this year, when her wonderful collection Speculum came out with Broken Sleep Books, I am so thankful to have found her work. Hannah writes so openly and I really admire the way she approaches the themes in her writing. Hannah is such an inspiration and this collection is truly incredible. I’m looking forward to following Hannah’s future writing.
Ollie will always be one of my absolute favourite writers. The piece ‘How to Fall in Love: An Ode to Dating in the 21st Century’ published in Streetcake Magazine’s 2020 prize anthology, will forever be one of the best pieces I’ve read. Ollie’s approach to form and language in this poem is fantastic and I love the way Ollie crafts such a powerful narrative so tightly. Not only am I grateful to know Ollie’s writing, Ollie is also a central part of the literary community through co-running the incredible Untitled Writing, a platform for underrepresented writers.
Arden Hunter is incredibly cool. I love the creativity in all of Arden’s work and I especially love Arden’s sound and mixed media pieces. Arden is absolutely one of the creators I most admire, they are very talented. Arden’s debut experimental chapbook ‘Drifting Bottles’ comes out in 2022 published by Gutslut Press. This is sure to be an amazing collection and I will be very excited to get my hands on it!
I’ve found everything that I’ve ever seen from Amanda to be pure excellence. One of those things was the anthology Judith: Women Making Visual Poetry, which Amanda edited. Amanda also has a really interesting project, called The Vispo Bible, which you can hear more about in a FH interview, and buy a version of here. I’m constantly impressed and inspired by all that Amanda produces.
Anna’s love of writing, and work for the literary community (as founder and CEO of the Cheltenham Poetry Festival), is how I best know of her and admire her. Anna is also an incredible poet. I have ordered Feverfew and I am very excited to read it, and see what else comes from Anna in 2022! Anna is absolutely one of the brightest stars in the community.
I first came across Shontay’s work through FH, and I’m so glad I did. Shontay is a wonderful writer, with a beautiful and strong command over language. Shontay has also published a poetry book called ‘To James & Sarah with Love: Poetry based on slang of 1920’s through 1940’s’. You can find out more about Shontay’s fantastic writing by listening to her interview with FH.
Shine is incredibly fun to read. In my experience reading Shine’s work, there is always at least some layer of discovery and interaction for readers to engage with, and that’s what I love most about Shine’s work. I most enjoy Shine’s work through repeat readings as each time I see or read, I uncover something new that I didn’t get before. I first came across Shine’s work in Anamorphoseis Magazine, and since then have really enjoyed discovering Shine’s work and experimentation. I’m looking forward to seeing more from Shine in 2022.
Discovering Kate’s work in the second half of 2021 has been fantastic. I first found Kate’s work through FH’s 24-hour festival, and I had the pleasure of speaking to her for a FH podcast recently. Kate’s confidence, passion, and determination for her writing left me feeling incredibly inspired, and I’m so looking forward to seeing more pieces from Kate in 2022!
More writers and creators to come…