I’m interested in observation - both the actual process of looking hard but also the effect observation can have on the observer and the observed.
Perhaps some of the most interesting artistic and scientific gazes or observations can be compared to light entering a space at an angle or through a boundary, illuminating unusual or less-seen things and perspectives.
Sarah Westcott’s first poetry collection Slant Light was published by Pavilion Poetry, an imprint of Liverpool University Press, in 2016. A poem from the book was Highly Commended in the 2017 Forward Prizes. Her debut pamphlet Inklings, published by Flipped Eye, was a winner of the Venture Poetry Award and the Poetry Book Society’s Pamphlet Choice for Winter 2013. In 2019, she was awarded an Authors’ Foundation award from the Society of Authors to help with the writing of her next book.
“Fierce with intelligence, compassion and the sheer exuberance of attending to what Hopkins called ‘the dearest freshness deep down things’. - Jacob Polley
Sarah’s poems have appeared in magazines including Poetry Review, POEM, Magma and Butcher's Dog, on beermats, billboards and the side of buses, and in anthologies including Best British Poetry and The Forward Book of Poetry.
She was a poet-in-residence at the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve in London in 2015 and Manchester Cathedral poet of the year in 2016. She won first place in The London Magazine poetry prize in 2017 and the Poets and Players competition in 2018. Sarah grew up on the edge of Exmoor, lives on the London/Kent borders with her family and works as a freelance writer after twenty years as a Fleet Street news reporter. She has a science degree and an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London.
Sarah has run poetry workshops at schools and for the Second Light Network for women poets, and in 2019 starts work as a poetry tutor for City Lit in Covent Garden. She is an experienced and sensitive editor and offers a professional manuscript critique service for writers ranging from their first pamphlet to a full collection. Please get in touch for more details.
“Sarah’s reading of my poems was careful and detailed, and her comments were intelligent, perceptive, and constructive. Her critique was rigorous but sensitive, and I was left feeling encouraged and inspired after our meeting.”
S.D., Poet working towards full first collection.
"Sarah Westcott ran a great workshop, she made us feel welcome and very supportive of our ideas” Velvet, Millie and Holly, year 7 students.
"Sarah's workshop boosted our literacy skills in poetry and it taught us to be creative.” Phenicia, year 9 student.