Paper Roses…

I’m not really into crafts.

But for my poetry exhibition at Storyhouse, Chester, this weekend, I have made 100 paper roses from the old manuscripts from Plum.

They will be on display from Friday – Sunday as part of my residency, for you to take and give to a loved one if you wish. Paper flowers take a lot fucking longer than I had imagined when I thought of this idea. Please treat them well and apologies if there are swear words showing on any xxxxx

It is unlikely I will ever make any more ever again so grab while you can!!!!!


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Poems in the Toilets please xxx

This November, from 17-19th I will be covering Storyhouse, Chester in my poems as Artist in Residence for the Literature Festival.
Floors, walls, videos, toilets, screens and speakers, and then a gig on the Saturday night.
Some old poems, some new and never seen or heard, some thoughts, some hopes, some advice my brother gave me
If you have any favourite poems of mine (suitable for public display in a huge three storey library, theatre, cinema) or any favourite lines from my poems, feel free to let me know and I’ll maybe put them up for thousands of folks to read!
Also…if you are free that weekend, come along. Chester is a lovely city, but moreso The Storehouse is one of the only places in the country that combines theatre, cinema and library and it is really really great. A lovely kids library too with crafts and colouring and books.
Today I am sitting staring at walls and wondering what poems to put in the men’s toilets.
Then I will watch Bladerunner if I finish this plan in time.
Have a lovely weekend x


I put this poem up earlier and have had a lot of responses. And quite rightly, some criticism. It was a quick scribble, and praps I shouldn’t share those, but they also open me up to being questioned and criticised and I need that. So thanks for all the feedback.
And for those who say it’s too harsh on the girls who are writing the mean poems, I get that and have tried to edit the point much better cos its not how I meant it and I’m totally aware that anyone can be bullied and whichever way you look, it’s bloody hard…hope this is better. It is really just out of tiredness at all the hate directed from girls and women at other girls and women for things that aren’t at all helpful. And I don’t wanna add to that. So…edited better I hope x
…A scribbled poem I wrote after too many workshops with girls and women where the ‘top set’ or ‘higher achieving’ girls write scathing poems about the ‘popular (mainly those popular with boys)’ or ‘made up’ or ‘vain’ girls in their schools. I am very bored of this divide and the idea that girls and women genuinely fit into any sort of categories lime this x
She is taking pictures of her face
made up with paints and pencils
you are mocking girls like her
as vain, inane and wasteful
Yes, she has angled every photo
arm outstretched, top left side
her mouth is in a practised pout
her eyes are looking up and wide
Yes, she has posted this same picture
on her timeline every day for weeks
the caption changes underneath
essentially, the only tweak
Her followers are rising
her ‘likes’ are rising too
and you are criticising her in words
showing me she’s not like you
That you are not inane like that
you’ve better things to show
your photos are of art and books
of travelling, unposed
as if you are something better
because you do not pose, pout your lips
but she’s just taking pictures
whereas you’re taking the piss
out of a another female, likely young
also pressurised to look the best
receiving ‘love’ with every post
unsure how to view herself
and you do not take selfies, great
and perhaps she can be mean to you
but maybe she is insecure
the same way you are too.

What have the Conservatives done for Women?

For anyone who fancies a watch. Share this if you want. Young women are the least likely to vote in this election because apparently they feel that politics isn’t for them, or doesn’t apply to them as much.
I know this is all the bad policies of the Conservatives, but I think it makes a fucking good point. I fundamentally disagree with the basis of most Conservative policies, which is why I am not voting for them. Not because I think they’re ‘too rich’ or ‘greedy’ or that I don’t ‘like’ Theresa May. None of that. I don’t know the woman. I am not voting Conservative because I disagree with their central arguments, mainly the idea that with hard work and determination anyone can ‘make it’. I think that’s bollocks and doesn’t work as an economic system.
Anyone who’s ever had a sudden illness, needed paid time off work, had an awful boss or job and wanted desperately to look for a new one but couldn’t afford to do it without a benefit system; anyone who’s had to juggle childcare and school runs, especially on shit contract or low wages; anyone who’s relied on any public services really.
Anyway, I just don’t think the Conservative’s economic ideas are realistic or workeable. So I’m not voting for them. As a person and a woman and a mother I’m not voting for them.

Casting call….three month olds

Trying to avoid the very white media bias of baby images…please read / share:
Calling babies based in London (or willing to travel) for £50-£100:
Ok…so not sure how to say this really but I’m making a new film / poem with the brilliant director Jake Dypka who did Embarrassed and we’ve almost cast everyone they need for it. It is a highly diverse mix of people and images in all senses of the word.
BUT…the film starts with two babies. It is the focus of the poem really, the way babies are born naked and then dressed as we see fit for a boy / girl – the directors would love to find two 3 month olds (roughly).
All of the people who have replied to the casting call (and we are very bloody grateful for this) have very very pale skinned babies. As the mother of a light brown-skinned little girl I constantly notice that of all the lack of skin tones that exists in advertising and media, babies are perhaps one of the worst white-washed areas of this. Motherhood / pregnancy / babies . family is such a white dominated arena in most UK media.
I love all babies. But I don’t want to add to this
So, if anyone thinks that perhaps they’d be ok with their baby being in a new very short two minute poetry film which is solely to do with gender bias and the whole blue / pink categorisations of little kids (and adults) then please feel free to email:
to find out more…

Call out for people to be in new poetry film

Please share xxx
Call out for babies and toddlers and teenagers and adults to be in a short poetry film. This is not a model thing, it’s a normal people from all and any shapes, sizes and backgrounds thing. In fact, especially so. You do not have to be in this industry to do this, might just be fun to try x
Email: with the header: Hollie Poetry Film Call Out if you’re at all interested or know anyone who might be. Details below
I’m doing another poetry video with the lovely director Jake Dypka who did Embarrassed:
and he needs people to be in it. It’s being filmed in about two weeks and there is a thank you stipend of between £50-£100 for the filming. I know it’s nothing so apologies they can’t give more.
The poem is only about 2 mins long and is about gender; about the kind of blue / pink division I think we heap on babies from birth and then all the division that comes afterwards. Like baby boys being wrapped in blue and girls in pink; like baby boys being hugged less than baby girls if they fall, apparently, or like the fact that most girls shoes have no grip and boys shoes have no glitter, and then teenage years, like boys being given blood-covered ‘macho’ images in action flicks and games, while girls blood is deemed dirty and unfeminine and they are giving lots of squeaky clean style images. Et etc. And on and on into older age.
The film has been set up and the film crew is now looking for the following people to be in it (some quite open with other more specific asks!!).
If you feel you might fancy it, you do not have to be in any way a professional actor / model / film person
I would also love it, like in Embarrassed, to showcase a world of babies and children and pregnancy and adults other than the purely caucasian straight middle class one we see in most of the media, especially in advertising and images of babies and young children, pregnancy and family life. Well, everywhere really.
Have a look and see if you might, maybe, think about doing it. I’m sure it’ll  be pretty fun to be in, I’d love it if you were x
Call out:
  • 1 x baby boy and baby girl (6 months old)
  • 1 x boy and girl (5-7 yrs old) 
  • 1 x boy and girl (13-15 yrs old) – girl must be able to do keep ups with football
  • 1 x boy (16-18 yrs old) – muscular physique 
  • 1 x androgynous boy with long hair (early 20s) – happy to shave legs
  • 1 x androgynous girl with shaved head / very short hair (early 20s)
  • 1 x boy & girl (18-20 yrs old), healthy / fit
  • 2 x male wrestlers with good physiques (20s-30s) – happy to dress up as S&M slaves for a dominatrix
  • 2 x men kissing (any age) – happy to show underwear
  • 2 x women kissing (any age) – happy to show underwear
  • 1 x man & woman (any age) – confident, happy to be almost naked, posing as dominatrix, man in woman’s dress etc.
  • 1 x male businessman (40s-50s)
  • 1 x female business-woman (40s-50s) 
  • 1 x older man (70s)
  • 1 x older woman (70s)
  • 1 x pregnant woman (30s) – happy to show belly or even pose topless covering her own breasts
And the email again is
Thanks so much, have a lovely day xxx

2017 Tour: Tickets now up for Durham, Bristol, Norwich, Portmeiron, Iona….

From June to November 2017 I’ll be on tour across the UK, reading from my new book, plus a little from my other books, supported by some brilliants poets. I really hope you can make one of the dates, I’d love to see you and your friends there xxx
Many dates to be confirmed, but get your tickets now for:
support Vanessa Kisuule

Mother’s Day Offer!

To celebrate this Mother’s Day (and because I’ve been told this book makes a good gift), I have 50 copies of Nobody Told Me that I will sign and write a message on for yourself (a present to yourself is allowed ey!) / your mother / the mother of your children (pretending it’s from your children) etc! / a helpful grandma / grandad / a carer / your child’s childminder you really like etc!
I’ll be selling these signed and messaged copies via my band camp page. The book is £10 plus postage, I can write whatever message you like, just let me know (and don’t forget to tell me the person’s name!).
For each book sold there, I’ll donate all profits (everything over £5) to homestart: So that’s £5 for each £10 book. If you pay more, I’ll donate that too.
Happy Mother’s Day in advance x

Open for Tour Bookings

I’m currently open for a few more weeks to take tour bookings from theatres, festivals, record shops, book shops, gin bars, sweetie factories, castle dungeons or any other venue / event / organisation that might want me to come and read some poems from my new collection and has capacity / capability to run the event and get a bookseller in.
I like venues with a roof best and the ability for people to buy alcohol. The tour is appropriate for 16+ or younger if from liberal families that don’t mind their children hearing the words vagina / sex / plum. Accessibility is very important, as is being okay with parents bringing small babies attached to bottles or arms or boobs who are too little to leave at home.
The new collection is called Plum and it comes out on the 15th June with Picador. I’ll be touring it from June – end October and am taking bookings for another few weeks now x
Places already covered on the tour (and that I therefore can’t do and am very very excited about) are:
London (all of it)
and then some lovely festivals in rural fields I’m not allowed to announce yet.
Any enquiries about the book / tour and to find out fees / capacity / rider (one pint of tap water and maybe a glass of wine please) etc, please get in touch with
Thanks so so much xxx
Here’s a tiny bit about it in the Guardian (but with the wrong title!):
(photo of my face, copyright Amy Gwatkin)