Kent and Sussex Poetry Showcase:
Sarah Barnsley, Karen Smith and Christopher Horton
Fifteen Minute readings from…
Sarah Barnsley grew up in the Midlands where her dad was a firefighter. Her work has appeared widely in magazines including Poetry Wales, The Rialto and The White Review. Her first full collection, The Thoughts (Smith|Doorstop, 2022), explores different manifestations of intrusive thoughts as part of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) before navigating through the twists and turns of recovery and love. Other publications include a pamphlet, The Fire Station (Telltale Press, 2015), co-editorship of Truths: A Telltale Press Anthology (2018), and literary criticism. Sarah is Senior Lecturer in English and American Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London and lives in Hove.
Karen Smith is a wild swimming enthusiast, librarian and poet from Uckfield, East Sussex. She loves working at the National Poetry Library, on London’s South Bank. Since 2018, she’s been collaborating with Kin’d & Kin’d, an Ecopoetry collective of writers and artists. Her pamphlet Schist was published in 2019 as part of the Laureate’s Choice Series and she is currently working on a first collection inspired by water.
Christopher Horton lives in Kent. His poems have appeared, or are appearing, in The North, Poetry London, Poetry Wales, Ambit, Iota, Magma, The Spectator, The Wolf, Stand, and in anthologies with Penned in the Margins, Verve Press, Ver Poets, Broken Sleep Books, tall-lighthouse and Days of Roses. He has a been a prize winner in the National Poetry Competition and the Bridport Prize. He won first prize in the South Downs Poetry Festival Competition in 2021 and had another poem highly commended in the same year of the competition. He was also commended in the Verve Poetry Festival Competition in 2022 (judged by Caroline Bird) and in 2023 (judged by Kim Moore). He was shortlisted in the Canterbury Poet of the Year Award in 2022.