About the Advisory Board

The Young Poets’ Stories Advisory Board supports the research by challenging, advising and ensuring that the project is appropriately conducted and always has the best interests of future young poets at the heart of its work. The board includes nine experts with varied work and life experiences We are delighted to be able draw on their guidance in this project. Some are writers (including a previous Foyle Award winner). Some lead writing workshops and groups or work for arts organisations. Some are teachers and researchers. We will be consulting with them at key stages in our work and are very grateful for their time.

Advisory Board Members

Joe Bibby is Arvon’s Head of Learning, overseeing an annual programme of residential creative writing courses for schools, groups and individuals at three dedicated writing houses in Yorkshire, Devon and Shropshire. www.arvon.org/learning 

Jane Bluett (Dr) is a Poet, Teacher and Researcher. She has worked in Sixth Form Colleges for over 20 years. She is Poetry Editor for English in Education and represents schools on the Management Committee of the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE). She is committed to the practice of poetry in Education for the benefit of all students and teachers.

Keith Jarrett is a writer and poetry slam champion, and one of the Foyle Young Poets judges. As part of the pioneering Spoken Word Educators programme, he was a school poet-educator while undertaking an MA at Goldsmiths. His debut play was aired on BBC Four and he is writing his first novel. 

Annie Katchinska was a Foyle Young Poet in 2006 and 2007. Her Faber New Poets pamphlet was published in 2010. In 2018 she won an Eric Gregory Award and her second pamphlet, Natto, was published by If A Leaf Falls Press. She works as a child counsellor and in the SEN department of a secondary school.

Vicky Macleroy is a Reader in Education and Head of the Research Centre for Language, Culture and Learning at Goldsmiths, University of London. She co-ordinates the MA Children’s Literature: Creative Writing Pathway and is co-director of an international literacy project ‘Critical Connections: Multilingual Digital Storytelling’ (2012-present).

Kayleigh Meller is an English teacher and middle leader in a secondary school, which received a Poetry Society award. She has recently completed her MA in Education and is passionate about raising aspirations and providing cultural opportunities to young people from non-academic backgrounds. She is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Poetry.

Becky Swain is the Director of the Manchester Poetry Library, the North West’s first public poetry library, opening in 2020. With experience of leading a wide range of arts learning programmes with organisations including Arvon and Creative Partnerships, she is an experienced youth worker, English and Drama teacher, coach and facilitator.

Alice Watson is the Education Officer for The Poetry Society, which runs the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award. She has previously worked in arts education since 2010 and completed an MA in Education in Arts and Cultural Settings from King’s College, London. The Poetry Society, is also repre​sented on the advisory board by Natasha Ryan (Education Officer Maternity Cover) and Julia Bird (Learning & Participation Manager). Julia has worked as a poetry programmer and community builder for more than 20 years. She has an MA in Creative Writing, Arts & Education from Sussex University and has published three collections of poetry.

Simon Wrigley taught English (1973-1994) before becoming an adviser (1994-2013).  He chaired NATE 2004-2006. In 2009, he and Jeni Smith co-founded NWP (UK). They co-authored Introducing Teachers’ Writing Groups (Routledge 2015). Simon launched 35 groups around the UK and edited the website www.nationalwritingprojectuk.com​​. He now runs a community writing group in Bedford.