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San Diego virtual reading for Whale Road Review

On Saturday 6th Feb the staff of Whale Road Review, including me, gathered on Zoom from around the world (Nigeria, UK, US) to read poems and short prose together.

Readers included Michael Akuchie, Taylor Crawford, Allen Culpepper, Jen Stewart Fueston, Katie Hamblen, Ellen Huang, Monica Kopenhaver, Eve Linn, Katie Manning, Kyle Potvin, Tania Pryputniewicz, Kathryn H. Ross, Ki Russell, Jacob Stratman, and me.

It was a lot of fun, and wonderful to meet the poets and writers I’ve been working with recently to select fantastic pieces from the many hundreds of submissions we received in December.

We each read one piece and managed to keep the recorded event to just over half and hour. Then we switched off record and hung out together chatting. It was wonderful.

You can watch the video here:

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Jennifer Wong reviews ‘Return by Minor Road’ for Ambit

Poet Jennifer Wong reviewed ‘Return by Minor Road’ for the wonderful literary journal Ambit recently. I was very moved by her writing about the book, and by how she engaged with the collection. It’s heartening to have such a thoughtful reader who understands the connections between and behind the poems.

Continue reading Jennifer Wong reviews ‘Return by Minor Road’ for Ambit

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Joining Whale Road Review staff and reading

I’m really excited to have joined the staff of San Diego based journal Whale Road Review. As a peer reviewer I’ll be helping select top-notch poems from the very strong submissions sent in for each edition.

The name comes from an old kenning for the ocean – the whale road – and evokes these unique creatures ‘moving in patterns through the waters of the world’.  Whale Road Review publishes poetry, flash fiction, reviews and micro essays. Please see the submission guidelines for more details.

The editor Katie Manning is enthusiastic, knowledgeable and wonderfully supportive of fellow writers.

I’m looking forward to working with the international staff, and to meeting them at a reading on Saturday Feb 6th. It’s at 7pm UK time (11am Pacific Time) and will be for up to an hour. It’s totally free to come along, but please pre-register here:

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Limited edition MONK arts journal

This gorgeous limited edition print anthology from MONK Arts Journal includes 180 pages of interviews, poetry, art and fiction. It features Bloodaxe Books’ editor Neil Astley, Carmen Bugan, Rowan Williams, Paul Deaton, Nancy Campbell and a couple of poems from me, including the title poem from ‘Return by Minor Road‘. It’s available online here:…  and also from some independent bookshops. (The flower in the photo is courtesy of my son!)

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Interviewed by John Greening for the RLF podcast

Poet, critic and teacher John Greening asks me about how I became a poet, the process of writing my first and second books, and how I’m approaching my third. 

‘Heidi Williamson speaks with John Greening about inspirations including science and traditional print processes, the importance of pattern in writing poems, her need to surprise herself and her new collection drawing on a painful section of public and personal history.’

You can listen to the podcast here.

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An Out-Spoken Book of the Year

Poet Andrew McMillan selected ‘Return by Minor Road‘ as one of his Books of the Year for Out-Spoken London.

It’s a real honour to be included in this list. My book is in incredible company, alongside some of my poetic heroes and heroines.

McMillan says:

‘I’d like to mention one book which moved me to tears, Return by Minor Road, by Heidi Williamson (Bloodaxe): a stunning and heart-breaking look at the Dunblane massacre, the way grief can infuse a place, and what the aftermath (in the literal sense of the beginnings of a new growth) of such an event feels like in such a close-knit community.’

Out-Spoken London Books of the Year

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Review of Return by Minor Road by poet Martyn Crucefix

On the Side of Hope: Heidi Williamson’s ‘Return By Minor Road’

This considered and insightful review of my collection by poet and reviewer Martyn Crucefix moved me a great deal. I was so heartened that he responded to the quiet respectfulness of the poems, and understood the impetus behind the choices in the book.

Continue reading Review of Return by Minor Road by poet Martyn Crucefix

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First interview about my new collection, for MONK journal

This interview is the first time I’ve really talked about the process of writing my new Bloodaxe collection ‘Return by Minor Road’, about living in Dunblane.

Thanks to the poet Christopher James for insightful and sensitive questioning. And to MONK arts journal for publishing it.

Continue reading First interview about my new collection, for MONK journal