Chrissie Gittins

Chrissie reading from one of her collections of poetry for children

With her gentle but economical, unsentimental and often surprising language, her humour, irony and acute power of observation (and memorable titles) Chrissie has rightly gained a high profile in the literary world, especially for her poems for children. The audience at West Greenwich Library were enchanted and entertained – and also moved when in the second half Chrissie read from her semi-autobiographical short-story collection Between Here and Knitwear about her father’s dementia. Her books were snatched up by the parents and grandparents in the audience. And if you missed out, they are available in bookshops and, of course, on Amazon.

A big thank you to Chrissie, the audience and, as always, to Debra and staff at the Library for making us so welcome and comfortable.


Thursday 24 June at 7.30 on Zoom

‘Family, Animals and Other Things’ (with apologies to Gerald Durrell)

Join me to hear the very different voices of Neetha Kunaratnam, Gordon Meade, Gillie Robic and Sarah Westcott.

Please email if you wish to book. The event is FREE by invitation.

Neetha Kunaratnam was born in the UK, son of Sri Lankan Tamil parents, and has had work published in Acumen, Agenda Broadsheets Online, Magma, Poetry Review, Stand, The Interpreter’s House, Poetry Wales, Orbis, The North and The Rialto. Recent work has appeared in Poetry London, Bath Magg and Rabbit (Australia). He was awarded the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize for 2007 (adjudicated by Alan Brownjohn) by Poetry Review, gained his MA in Creative Writing in 2008 from Royal Holloway University of London and studied under Andrew Motion and Jo Shapcott. He appeared in Off the Shelf (2016) published by Picador UK and edited by Carol Ann Duffy. Neetha’s first collection Just Because was published by Smokestack Books in 2018, and highly commended in the 2019 Forward Prize.

Gordon Meade is a Scottish poet based in the East Neuk of Fife. In the past, he has been the creative writing fellow at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, the writer in residence for Dundee District Libraries, and the Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of Dundee. He has read from his work in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg. His ten collections of poems include, Les Animots : A Human Bestiary (Cultured Llama 2015), The Year of the Crab (2017) and, more recently, Zoospeak (Enthusiastic Press 2020).

Gillie Robic was born in India and lives in London.  She attended the Sorbonne and l’Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and the Central School of Art (Theatre Design) in London.  She is a poet, voice artist and puppeteer, designer and director.  Her poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the UK and the US.  Her two collections, Swimming Through Marble and Lightfalls, were published by Live Canon 2016 and 2019 respectively and can be bought from More about Gillie on

Sarah Westcott was a news journalist for twenty years and now teaches poetry at London’s City Lit and elsewhere. Her poems have appeared in magazines including Poetry Review, POEM, Magma and Butcher’s Dog, on beermats, billboards and buses, and in anthologies including Best British Poetry and The Forward Book of Poetry. Last year her poems were installed in jukeboxes in Belfast and Paris and baked into sourdough bread. Sarah’s collections, Slant Light and Bloom, have been published by Pavilion Poetry. Her debut pamphlet, Inklings (Flipped Eye), and her poetry in general have won her several awards and residencies. For signed copies of her books, you can contact her directly (free p&p) or you can order them from the publisher

Monday 8 November at 7.30pm on Zoom

Memorial Event: ‘A Celebration of the Life and Work of Richard Stoker (1938-2021), British composer’

Many of you will have attended past in-words events held in cooperation with Gill Stoker. I am deeply touched that she has asked me to host a memorial event to remember and celebrate her husband Richard on what would have been his next birthday.

This event is by invitation only.
If you knew Richard, or know his music, and would like to attend, please email for further details.