Ysella Sims

Connecting to people and places through writing

Jacqueline Saphra: Poetry Workshop & Reading

Poetic Licence are delighted to present a workshop and reading with one of our all time favourite poets, Jacqueline Saphra, on October 29th.

Jacqueline is a poet, playwright and teacher. Clare Pollard said of All My Mad Mothers, shortlisted for the 2017 T.S. Eliot prize, ‘It’s a feminist book, unafraid to show all the messy contradictions of being a woman’, while Anna Freud said, ‘Saphra offers her readers a dazzling cornucopia of the postures of narcissism, sad comedies of lust, guilt and self-annihilation, excruciating bohemian domesticity and the harsh realities of female destiny and aspiration, sacrificed on the altars of love, sex and art’. Naomi Shihab Nye describes the poems as, ‘gutsy transfusions of wondrously vivid characters, described with painterly richness’. We would urge you to get yourself a copy.

Two other recent collections Dad, Remember You are Dead (2019) and One Hundred Lockdown Sonnets (2021) were published by Nine Arches Press. Her most recent play, The Noises, was nominated for a Standing Ovation Award. She’s a founder member of Poets for the Planet and teaches for The Poetry School. We’re still pinching ourselves that she’s coming to Crediton, so don’t miss out!

Event details


Friday October 29th 2021

3-5PM The White Room Creative Space, Crediton


Children and their Parents

‘Heart’s needle, hostage to fortune, freedom’s end.’

How much do we know about our parents? How much do they know about us? In this workshop we’ll read some poems about the hidden worlds of parents and their children, their secret and not-so-secret lives, exposing the joys and pains of this most primal of relationships. We’ll experiment using different points of view and voices and work with other fun strategies to open up new spaces for poetic discovery.

You’ll need a pen and paper and four or five family photos. Suitable for any level of experience.

Places are limited, booking essential on contact@ysellasims.com


Friday October 29th 2021

7.30PM-9PM The Lamb Inn Sandford


An opportunity to hear T.S Eliot prize shortlisted poet Jacqueline Saphra read from her work with support from Ysella Sims and readings from the workshop.

Workshop & reading combined

Workshop and reading £28/24*


** we will be following current government Covid guidelines to keep you safe, including ventilation, sanitising and social distancing. We will have limited capacity so make sure to book your tickets early to avoid disappointment. Please get in touch with any questions on contact@ysellasims.com.

During the first lockdown, in 2020, Jacqueline challenged herself to write a sonnet a day. I wrote Love in the time of Covid, in response to sonnet 8.

Sonnet 8
‘And suddenly it’s love, no matter who
I’m writing to. It used to be warm wishes,
kind regards or yours sincerely. Now
it’s lots of love to all with rows of kisses.
What’s going on? I only have to watch the news
to find I’m helplessly adoring half the world.
O holy humankind, I’m weak with gratitude.
I’m loose like laundry off the line and if I could
I’d hug the postman and the street sweeper,
I’d weep into the stiff neck of the woman
at the checkout, I’d smooch the doctor
and the nurse before I knew what I was doing.
O flamboyant faith, O trusting soul,
I am prostrate before you; keep me whole.

Jacqueline Saphra

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