Sarah Leavesley (also published as Sarah James) is an award-winning poet, fiction writer, journalist and photographer, now living in Worcestershire but with family roots on the Gloucestershire/Wales border. Her poetry has featured in the Guardian, Financial Times, on the BBC and the Blackpool Illuminations, with work ranging across nature, place, the environment, family, relationships, disability and more. Her latest poetry books are How to Grow Matches (Against the Grain Press) and plenty-fish (Nine Arches Press) both shortlisted in the International Rubery Book Awards. She also runs V. Press poetry and flash fiction imprint.
David Ashbee has run the poetry and music group Holub for 40 years and he has been a member of The Cherington Poets for 25 years. His first collection, Perpetual Waterfalls was published by Enitharmon Press, followed by Loss Adjuster from Bluechrome. Philip Gross wrote that David has the knack of stepping back suddenly from a familiar scene to show it framed by questions and uncertainties. U.A. Fanthorpe called David an incisive poet, brilliant at conveying tactile sensations, the strangeness of the moment. There is something theatrical about such gifts. David’s poems have been broadcast on BBC TV and Radio 4, and have appeared in many magazines and anthologies – including The Oxford Book of Garden Verse.
Sharon Larkin’s Interned at the Food Factory, published by Indigo Dreams (2019) has been described by Brett Evans as “vulnerable and sassy, heartbreaking and funny, consistently insightful and readable” and by Anna Saunders as “an excellent collection … vivid and sparky and original. Beautifully written”. Sharon’s poems have appeared in Prole, Ink Sweat and Tears, Snakeskin, Atrium, Obsessed by Pipework, Rat’s Ass Review, Riggwelter, Clear Poetry, Amaryllis, Here Comes Everyone and elsewhere. Her poems have been anthologised by Cinnamon Press, Eyewear, Indigo Dreams, Smokestack, Fairacre Press, Mother’s Milk Books, Zoomorphic and more. She is Gloucestershire’s Stanza Rep, chairs Cheltenham Poetry Society and organizes Poetry Café Refreshed.
Roger Turner’s poetry has appeared in four volumes: The Summer Palace, Six Partitas, An Italian Notebook and Landscape with Flowers. A large number of his poems have been published in magazines, including The Interpreter’s House, Iota, Envoi, South, Staple, Candelabrum, Weyfarers, Israel Voices, Poetry Nottingham and Other Poetry.
U.A. Fanthorpe said of his poetry Turner is that not-often-found thing, a master of the sentence. His are like Hopkins’ weeds, ‘long, lovely and lush’. Roger is also the author of five non-fiction books – on landscape history and garden design, and plants. He is a former Chairman of Cheltenham Poetry Society and he hosts Poetry Café Refreshed.
‘Derek Dohren has been variously described as “quirky and surreal”; as “a shark basking in a sea of words”; and as a poet who enjoys rooting out “affectation and pomposity”. He can also be described more prosaically as a bus driver, the latest profession from which he currently draws artistic inspiration. His first poetry collection, ‘Everything Rhymes with Orange’ was recently published by Black Eyes Publishing UK. He is also an artist. You can view his work at www.derekdohren.com