Calling the Elders: Writing Prompts


Calling the Elders:

A Queer and Trans Writing Workshop

WRITING PROMPTS


Using a model of poetry workshops, Calling the Elders creates opportunities for UC Berkeley’s QT students, faculty, and staff to use creative writing to build community, articulate needs, and collaboratively build an inclusive and ambitious vision of support. The writing workshops center around poems and prompts offered by queer and trans poets or inspired by work they have put out into the world. We will be posting the writing prompt after each meeting for those who might not have been able to attend.

The spring workshops will be held weekly on Thursdays from 5 – 7pm in Dwinelle Annex Rm 126. (Please note: Dwinelle Annex is located behind Dwinelle Hall, location link on our About page). While Berkeley is online due to the surge in the pandemic, the workshop will be held on Zoom at https://berkeley.zoom.us/j/93493088553

Calling the Elders is developed and run by Julia McKeown (they/them), Graduate Equity Director of the Queer Alliance Resource Center, and co-sponsored by the Arts Research Center and the Graduate Assembly’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Advocacy (SOGAGA) project. For more information, please contact Julia at julia_mckeown@berkeley.edu.

Happy writing!


WEEK 1: Ollie Schminkey

This prompt is from Ollie Schminkey’s #WritingPromptWednesday posting on their Instagram account, @ollieschminkey.

Prompt:

#1. Brainstorm (1 min, no stopping) a list of recent times you have crossed the street.

#2. Brainstorm (1 min) a list of thrift stores near you.

#3. Brainstorm (1 min) a list of emotions.

Title your poem, “I Buy My {insert Emotion} Secondhand at {insert Thrift Store}.” Let your title guide the content of your poem, and include at least 3 vignettes of you crossing the street.

Have fun, and don’t be afraid to be bad!


Ollie Schminkey is a non-binary transgender poet/musician/artist living in St. Paul, MN. They facilitate, direct, coach, and host many organizations, including a weekly writing workshop called Well-Placed Commas, which serves primarily queer and trans writers. They’ve performed poems in 18 states, and their work has been featured everywhere from THEM to Upworthy. When they’re not writing and performing poetry, they spend their time making creepy+cute pottery under the name Sick Kitty Ceramics. They are the author of three chapbooks, as well as the full-length collection Dead Dad Jokes (Button Poetry). You can find them touring nationally, making music, or playing with their cat Pete, who is always trying to eat things he shouldn’t. http://www.ollieschminkey.com/


WEEK 2: Fatimah Asghar

This prompt is inspired by Fatimah Ashgar’s work, Finding the Hamman, which can be found on the Poetry Foundation website here.

Prompt:

In her foreword to the book Halal If You Hear Me, Fatimah Asghar talks about “the Salon” as a space of both safety and magic and her own poetics as “haraam auntie poetics” which strive to recreate “the Hammam”; “where we can come in our real, naked skin, sit in the water, and talk openly”.

-Take 1 minute to brainstorm a list of physical spaces that feel like this kind of space for you

-Take 1 minute and under each of those physical spaces write down at least five objects contained within them

-Choose one of the physical spaces you brainstormed (whichever calls to you the most) and write a poem about that space making sure to include all the objects you listed

-Or pick one of those objects and write about the space from it’s perspective


Fatimah Asghar is a poet, filmmaker, educator and performer. Her work has appeared in many journals, including POETRY Magazine, Gulf Coast, BuzzFeed Reader, The Margins, The Offing, Academy of American Poets and many others. Her work has been featured on news outlets like PBS, NPR, Time, Teen Vogue, Huffington Post, and others. In 2011 she created a spoken word poetry group in Bosnia and Herzegovina called REFLEKS while on a Fulbright studying theater in post-genocidal countries. She is a member of the Dark Noise Collective, a 2017 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship recipient and a Kundiman Fellow. Her chapbook After came out on Yes Yes Books fall 2015. She is the writer and co-creator of Brown Girls, an Emmy-nominated web series that highlights friendships between women of color and the writer of If They Come For Us (One World, August 2018), a collection of poems that explores the legacy of Partition and orphan-hood. Along with Safia Elhillo, she is the editor of Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket 2019), an anthology that celebrates Muslim writers who are also women, queer, gender nonconforming and/or trans. https://www.fatimahasghar.com/home


WEEK 3: Xandria Phillips

This prompt is inspired by Xandria Phillips’s work Want Could Kill Me on the poets.org website, here.

Prompt:

This poem, although laid out with lots of space in between words and stanzas, is so rich. Inviting us to pause and luxuriate in the imagery it conjures up and the sensations it asks us to imagine. It is also an Address in both its dedication and the speaker’s reaching for the “you”. With this in mind…

-Take 1 minute to brainstorm a list of textures/materials. Feel free to branch out into colors and other adjectives as well, especially ones that involve a concrete sensation (aka something you can feel).

-Take 1 minute to brainstorm a list of nouns. Again it may be better to start with objects (things you can hold in your hand/touch) but it could also be fun to experiment with proper nouns.

-Now take a minute to mash these two lists together trying out different combinations of list one and list two until you find five combinations you really like/are excited about.

*Alternatively, hand your list to a partner and have them connect words from the two lists at random/in ways that seem interesting to them and then choose five combinations from the ones they’ve made for you.

-Now think about someone important to you, someone you would want to dedicate or give this poem to and with them in mind start writing! A good place to start might be…”I want to buy you or I want to give you…”


Xandria Phillips is a poet and visual artist from rural Ohio. The recipient of a Whiting Award, Lambda Literary Award, and the Judith A. Markowitz award for emerging writers, Xandria is the author of Hull (Nightboat Books 2019) and Reasons for Smoking, which won the 2016 Seattle Review chapbook contest judged by Claudia Rankine. They have received fellowships from Brown University, Callaloo, Cave Canem, the Conversation Literary Festival, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Sewanee Writers Conference, and most recently, the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics. Xandria’s poetry is featured in Berlin Quarterly Review, Bomb Magazine, Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, poets.org, and Virginia Quarterly Review. Their paintings have been featured in Kenyon Review, the Poetry Project, the cover of American Poets Magazine, and an amfm exhibition at the silver room in Chicago. https://www.xandriaphillips.com/about.html


WEEK 4: Paul Tran

This prompt is inspired by Paul Tran’s poem Bioluminescence, which can be found on The New Yorker website, here.

Prompt:

Similar to the bottom of the ocean, there are spaces in our world that seem mysterious, unfathomable, unknowable, or liminal/in between. Take 2 minutes and brainstorm a list of these such places (think about sensations, what places are too hot for you to explore, what things are too small for you to see, what is difficult to “prove”, what is one of your favorite mysteries…).

-Whether understandable or not, real or imaginary or somewhere in between, all of these spaces are populated by something(s). Take 2 minutes to jot down at least two/three creatures/beings/vibes that would live/be in each of these spaces.

-Now pick one of these “places” and one of these beings and write about that place from their/your perspective beginning with the line “I did what I had to do”. (Perhaps consider one of the questions the poem seems to be answering; in order to live in such a place what kind of a thing would you have to be? What would you have to do?).


Paul Tran is a Visiting Faculty in Poetry at Pacific University MFA in Writing and a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. A recipient of the Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and a Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize, their work appears in The New Yorker, The Nation, Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. Paul earned their B.A. in history from Brown University and M.F.A. in poetry from Washington University in St. Louis, where they won the Howard Nemerov Prize, Dorothy Negri Prize, and Norma Lowry Memorial Award. As the Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow (2017-19) and Senior Poetry Fellow (2019-20) in the Writing Program, and as Faculty in Poetry (2020-Present) in the Summer Writers Institute, Paul has taught the introductory, intermediate, and advanced poetry workshops at WashU. From 2013-18, Paul coached the poetry slam teams at Brown University, Barnard College & Columbia University, and Washington University in St. Louis. Paul was the first Asian American since 1993—and first transgender poet ever—to win the Nuyorican Poets Café Grand Slam, placing top 10 at the Individual World Poetry Slam and top 2 at the National Poetry Slam. A two-time winner of the Rustbelt Poetry Slam, Paul has served as Poet-in-Residence at Urban Word NYC and head poetry slam coach at Urban Arts Alliance in St. Louis, which won the Brave New Voices Grand Slam Championship in 2019.” For more of their bio, writings, and contact info visit https://iampaultran.com/about


WEEK 5: Franny Choi

This prompt is inspired by Franny Choi’s poem, To the Man Who Shouted “I Like Pork Fried Rice” at Me on the Street, from her brilliant book Floating, Brilliant, Gone, and the workshop Choi developed, A New Species of Beautiful.

Prompt:

This week we’re doing something a little different! This incredible poet has made an entire mini curriculum out of five of her poems from her book Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody Publishing). Today we’ll be looking specifically at the poem, “To the Man Who Shouted “I Like Pork Fried Rice” at Me on the Street” and the workshop Franny developed that goes along with it! For reference, the poem can be found on the Poetry Foundation site, here.

Franny has shared her workshop series, A New Species of Beautiful, in an online PDF, including all of the prompts, discussion and reflection questions. We will be focusing on her Workshop 4, Speaking Back (pg 5). If you can’t get enough of Franny Choi’s work or want to workshop on your own these are all great! (Some of the poems mentioned are available online where they were published in other sources but if possible BUY THE BOOK!)

We’re going to take 20 minutes or so to work on this prompt. In that time you can:

*write based on the prompt
*write something else entirely
*doodle
*contemplate existence
*do pretty much whatever creative thing you want!
*as long as you’re present and respectful of what your other workshopmates are doing you’re doing it right!


A seasoned performer, Franny has been a finalist in competitions including the National Poetry Slam, the Individual World Poetry Slam, and the Women of the World Poetry Slam. She is a two-time winner of the Rustbelt Poetry Slam and has performed her work in schools, conferences, theaters, and bars across the country. As a teaching artist, Franny has taught students of all ages and levels of experience, both in formal classroom settings and through organizations like Project VOICE and InsideOut Literary Arts Project. A Kundiman Fellow and graduate of the VONA Workshop, she founded Brew & Forge, a fundraising project that brings together readers and writers to build capacity in social justice community organizations. In 2019, she launched the Brew & Forge Lecture Series at Williams College, which puts poets and organizers in conversation with each other to discuss the intersections of activism and literary arts. As a curator, she has worked with organizations including Split This Rock and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, and she is particularly passionate about highlighting the voices of queer and trans poets of Asian/Pacific diasporas. For more of her bio, writings, and contact info visit https://www.frannychoi.com/about-1


WEEK 6: bell hooks

This prompt is inspired by bell hook’s poem, Appalachian Elegy (1-6), which can be found on the Poetry Foundation website, here.

bell hooks once said: “Poetry sustains life. Of this I am certain. There is no doubt in my mind that the pain of poverty, whether material or emotional lack, can be eased by the power of language. I know this intimately. For in that misunderstood childhood of mine, I found that sanctuary of poetry. It restored me, allowed me to come back from the space of woundedness and sadness to a recognition of beauty.” (citation here)

So in this culmination of difficult seasons, as we acknowledge and mourn her loss, perhaps in her poetry and in the poetry we create today inspired by hers we can experience this sustenance, this sanctuary, and this recognition of beauty that comes with creating alongside her.

Prompt:

We begin with a definition of an elegy: a meditative lyric poem lamenting the death of a public personage or of a friend or loved one; by extension, any reflective lyric on the broader theme of human mortality. … It usually contains a funeral procession, a description of sympathetic mourning throughout nature, and musings on the unkindness of death.

  • Take a moment to search the poem Appalachian Elegy for moments of hope, moments that seem to speak against the idea of mourning or unkindness, perhaps moments of wonder.
    -write down at least five of them
    -then pick one
  • Make the line, word, or phrase you picked the inspiration (maybe even the first line of the poem-citing bell hooks of course)
  • Then write your own elegy or, if you’re in a different sort of mood maybe try an ode! *difference being: The main difference between ode and elegy is that ode praises or glorifies someone or something whereas elegy laments over the loss of something or someone.

*There are other formal meter and/or structural distinctions between odes and elegies (depending on who you ask) but for the purposes of this workshop we’ll just focus on one being a poem about praise and one lamentation (and if there really is such a complete distinction between the two).

*If you aren’t feeling like you want to create your own work tonight try rearranging and re-emphasizing the poem we read to potentially transform it from an elegy to an ode, or more generally to make the “hope” a little louder.


Activist and writer bell hooks was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky as Gloria Jean Watkins. As a child, hooks performed poetry readings of work by Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. She earned a BA from Stanford University, an MA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a PhD from the University of California-Santa Cruz. Throughout her life, hooks explored the relationship between sexism, racism, and economic disparity in books aimed at scholars and at the public. In an interview with Bomb Magazine, she said, “To think of certain ways of writing as activism is crucial. What does it matter if we write eloquently about decolonization if it’s just white privileged kids reading our eloquent theory about it? Masses of black people suffer from internalized racism, our intellectual work will never impact on their lives if we do not move it out of the academy. That’s why I think mass media is so important.”

hooks explained more in a 2014 discussion: “I came up with this (queer-pas-gay) with one of my colleagues where we were saying that all of our lives we’ve experienced ourselves as queer.” She went on to say: “As the essence of queer, I think of Tim Dean’s work on being queer and queer not as being about who you’re having sex with – that can be a dimension of it – but queer as being about the self that is at odds with everything around it and it has to invent and create and find a place to speak and to thrive and to live.”

This information compiled from the Poetry Foundation website, The Focus, and BlackPast.org.


WEEK 7: Natalie Diaz

This prompt is inspired by Natalie Diaz’s poem Skin-Light, which can be found on the Poets.org website, here.

One of my absolutely favorite things about this poet is that she doesn’t seem to decide where poetry ends but rather where it could begin. On her website the poems included play with so many forms, so many ways of poeming that it’s impossible not to get excited about what poetry could be! In a PBS interview, she spoke of the connection between writing and experience: “for me writing is kind of a way for me to explore why I want things and why I’m afraid of things and why I worry about things. And for me, all of those things represent a kind of hunger that comes with being raised in a place like this.”

About the poem Skin-Light, Diaz says: “This poem is about the body at play, at ache, at peak brightness—the labor of flesh. It is also about an ancient and ceremonial indigenous basketball game played across South America. Probably most importantly, I am asking what it can mean to enact light again and again from one dark body toward another dark body—to pull light, give light, sing light, wage light, beg light, eat light, through those same dark bodies. To build and then move these bodies with light…light…light… loosing them into a contest and playing field of pleasure, forever, like light sometimes moves.”

Prompt:

This poem is all about sound and while the repetition of the word (and the concept) “light” is very present (as are the repeated “L” sounds) there are other moments of significant sonic repetitions too. 

1. Take a moment and write down five other sounds that repeat:
-these can be consonants, vowels, or groupings of letters, or even words that do not have matching letters but do have matching sounds (rough, cuff, etc)
-try reading it out loud as you do this and see which sounds or moments really stand out 
-slant rhymed sounds/words are great too!

2. Now pick one of those sounds or letters and start brainstorming other words that have that sound or letter, just free associate for a bit and try to get at least 10 words down
-If you want to separate your list into words that are spelled the same/similarly and words that sound the same but are spelled different feel free and then see which one you are more drawn to. An example list (based on the words above-rough, cuff) might look like: tough, slough, muff, gruff and then cough, though, bough (not gonna lie this is a particularly tricky example). 

3. Now take that list of words and make them into a poem! (Easier said than done, right?). 
-If you’re looking for some inspiration topic-wise return to the world of the poem, it’s all about bodies so pick a body, any body and start there

Bonus!: You may have noticed (if you are like me) that though this poem is full of repetitions it doesn’t (to me at least) feel repetitive or in any way bogged down. Part of the reason for that may be it’s sparse and enjambed lineation and relatedly quick pacing. Consider these elements as you work on your own piece, where do you want to hold us, where do you want to run us through? 

 Time to write!

-We’re going to take 20 minutes or so to work on this prompt. In that time you can:
*write based on the prompt
*write something else entirely 
*doodle
*enjoy a few minutes to yourself to take some deep breaths
*research more about the poem/poet
*check out this other amazing piece of collaborative work that puts Natalie Diaz in conversation with poet Ada Limón and illustrator Rachel Levit Ruiz (New Yorker, here)
*as long as you’re present and respectful of what your other workshopmates are doing you’re doing it right! 


Natalie Diaz was born in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian community. She earned a BA from Old Dominion University, where she received a full athletic scholarship. Diaz played professional basketball in Europe and Asia before returning to Old Dominion to earn an MFA. Diaz lives in Mohave Valley, Arizona, where she has worked with the last speakers of Mojave and directed a language revitalization program. Natalie Diaz’s most recent book is Postcolonial Love Poem (Graywolf Press, 2020). She is Director of the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands and is the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry at Arizona State University. More at https://www.nataliegermainediaz.com


WEEK 8: Danez Smith

This prompt is inspired by Danez Smith’s poem Dinosaurs in the Hood, which can be found on the Poetry Foundation website, here.

This week we’re doing something a little different! While the text for the poem can be found at the Poetry Foundation (here), we are first going to watch the poet perform the poem and listen to it (available here) then we’ll go back and look over the text. But before that, I wanted to share a quote from poet Patricia Smith: “Danez Smith is the crown prince of innovation and ferocity, a stunningly original voice that chooses not to recognize or respect those vexing artistic boundaries. Here is forte unleashed, an elicit glimpse of poetry’s yet-to-be-turned page, a reason to stomp and romp in your church shoes. Hallelujah is an understatement.”

Discussion & Prompt:

After we have watched the poem but before you look at the text, take a minute to jot down any lines or specific moments that you really enjoyed, that really stuck out/stuck with you. 

Now, have the poem in front of you – read it over and jot down some of the moments that you really enjoyed, that really stuck out/with you.

Are these lists the same? Why or why not? 

This poem works a lot with negation and the refrain “I want” while presenting very specific visual images. Take a minute to jot down at least five instances of negation and five instances of affirmation/reimagination (i.e. a negation followed by an instruction of what will happen instead).

Now think about a story you want to tell, a movie you want to make and write a list of five things  it will not be and five things it will be. 

Give your story/movie a title and then build your poem around elaborating those lists into negations and affirmations/reimaginations. 

(The time to write section is the same as previous weeks!)


Danez Smith is a Black, Queer, Poz writer & performer from St. Paul, MN. Danez is the author of “Homie” (Graywolf Press, 2020), “Don’t Call Us Dead” (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award, and “[insert] boy” (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Montalvo Arts Center, Cave Canem, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Danez’s work has been featured widely including on Buzzfeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Danez has been featured as part of Forbes’ annual 30 Under 30 list and is the winner of a Pushcart Prize. They are a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness. http://www.danezsmithpoet.com


WEEK 9: Ross Gay

This prompt is inspired by Ross Gay’s poem Patience, which can be found on the Solstice journal website, here.

Discussion & Prompt:

This week’s poet is Ross Gay! The bio on his website says:

“Ross Gay is interested in joy.
Ross Gay wants to understand joy.
Ross Gay is curious about joy.
Ross Gay studies joy.
Something like that.”

We are going to look at Ross’s poem Patience. The actual lived moment of this poem is very short but the poem makes it seem longer, holds us there in it. How do we think the poem accomplishes this? 

-Take a moment and close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Think back to some moments of your own “supine congress”, laziness, luxury, decisions not to act (maybe the one you used for an ice breaker). Make a list of a few of them and then pick one.

-Pause that moment and try to make it as large and as long as possible, what other images can you bring into it, what other senses can you think to activate? How can you create a stillness in motion while also populating it with so many wonderful things?

-And just like that you’re already writing the poem! 


Ross Gay was born in Youngstown, Ohio. He earned a BA from Lafayette College, an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, and a PhD in English from Temple University. He is the author of Be Holding (2020); Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (2015), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Award and a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Books Critics Circle Award; Bringing the Shovel Down (2011); and Against Which (2006). He has also published an essay collection, The Book of Delights (2019). Gay is the co-author, with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, of the chapbook Lace and Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens (2014), and with Richard Wehrenberg, Jr., River (2014). His honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Cave Canem, and the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. He is an editor with the chapbook presses Q Avenue and Ledge Mule Press and is a founding editor, with Karissa Chen and Patrick Rosal, of the online sports magazine Some Call it Ballin’. He teaches at Indiana University and in Drew University’s low-residency MFA program.


WEEK 10: Ocean Vuong

This prompt is inspired by Ocean Vuong’s poem Not Even This, which can be found on the Poetry Foundation website, here.

This week’s poet is Ocean Vuong! (@ocean_vuong) Rather than just reading about the poet we are also going to take a moment to watch the poet talk about himself on this clip from Late Night with Seth Myers. The link is featured in the resources area of Ocean’s website (top link to the right) along with other great information: https://www.oceanvuong.com/press-media

Discussion and Prompt:

After the interview, spend some time with Ocean’s poem Not Even This.

-This poem is very much a prose poem in some ways but doesn’t always feel like it. What is the poet doing to disrupt/interrogate our potential instincts to read it as prose?

-Take a minute to think of your own story, something you want to tell about yourself/your identity (it can be as small or large, as personal or tangential as you like) and start to write about it stream of consciousness style for about 5 minutes.

-Return to the poet’s work. How does this poem (like the novel the poet discusses in the interview) balance truth and art?

-Now return to your own work and start sorting things into sentences beginning with some declarative ones (much like the poem does) and think about your own aims of negotiation between truth and art in how you want to tell this story.  


Born in Saigon, poet and editor Ocean Vuong was raised in Hartford, Connecticut, and earned a BA at Brooklyn College (CUNY). In his poems, he often explores transformation, desire, and violent loss. In a 2013 interview with Edward J. Rathke, Vuong discussed the relationship between form and content in his work, noting that “Besides being a vehicle for the poem’s movement, I see form as … an extension of the poem’s content, a space where tensions can be investigated even further. The way the poem moves through space, its enjambment or end-stopped line breaks, its utterances and stutters, all work in tangent with the poem’s conceit.” Acknowledging the ever-increasing number of possible directions each new turn in a poem creates, Vuong continued, “I think the strongest poems allow themselves to collapse completely before even suggesting resurrection or closure, and a manipulation of form can add another dimension to that collapse.” (The rest of the bio can be found at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/ocean-vuong)


WEEK 11: Rosamund Taylor

This prompt is inspired by Rosamund Taylor’s poem We Lose Our Edges, which can be found on Lambda Literary, here.

This week’s poet is Rosamund Taylor and their poem We Lose Our Edges!

Discussion and Prompt:

-What pieces of this poem really stand out to you? If you had to pick a favorite word, image, line, what would it be and why?

-What moments in this poem feel unexpected? What can be said about the way that the five senses are present in this poem?

-This poem functions as a kind of address, it speaks to a “you”. For today’s prompt, write an address to someone or something using the line “and we give ourselves to salt” as either the first or last line of the poem.

-If you’re looking for inspiration, think about how the author animates the inanimate and turns things into body parts, could you do something similar? What would you transform? 


Rosamund Taylor is a poet and critic. Her first collection, In Her Jaws, is published by Banshee Press in May 2022. A selection of her poetry won the Mairtín Crawford Award at the Belfast Book Festival in 2017, and her poem The Proof won the London Magazine Poetry Competition in 2020. Her poem, Pride 2017, was chosen by Poetry Ireland as one of twelve “Pocket Poems” to be widely distributed in celebration of National Poetry Day 2020. She has published over fifty poems in Ireland, Canada, the US and the UK. Recently, her poems have appeared in Fourteen Poems, The Rialto, Poetry Ireland Review and Poetry Salzburg, as well as numerous anthologies, including Queering the Green and Out of Time: Poems from the Climate Emergency. Lyrical and inventive, Rosamund’s work looks at marginalised identities, such as being queer and neurodiverse, and how being marginalised in one way can lend insight into the destruction and dismissal of the natural world. She has been inspired to look to historical figures to understand what it means to challenge expectation and tradition. Her attention is drawn to women in science, such as Caroline Herschel, the 18th-century astronomer, who was told reading was almost as bad for her as witchcraft, and to Joan of Arc, who was killed because she was so far outside of accepted norms. (https://www.rosamundtaylor.com/about)