I’ve always been a poet. I wrote my first poem at the age of five whilst on the way to school with my Mum. I can picture exactly which street we were walking along when I first recited it to her. Earlier in the walk we had scuffled through autumn leaves, and I spent the rest of the walk secretly composing a poem about autumn in my head. I still remember the poem now. The scansion needed work, but it did rhyme. And more than that, I remember my own, and my Mum’s, delight, when I shared it with her.

I still have a notebook full of poetry I wrote in early childhood, which I hold very dear. At secondary school I used to dash off silly rhymes to amuse my friends. Someone, somewhere still has copies of “I love my orange cardigan” and “Ode to a £3.99 bottle of whisky”.

But life has a way of getting in the way of our passions, and it wasn’t actually until I was in my forties that I realised that poetry was a thing grown-ups could do too. So I bought myself a notebook and started writing. And I haven’t stopped since. 

As well as on this blog, I’m proud that my poems have now featured in Light Magazine, Atrium Poetry, Honest Ulsterman, Allegro Poetry, Lighten Up Online, The New Verse News, Snakeskin Poetry, The Lyric, The Hypertexts and Ink, Sweat and Tears as well as many others. In 2021, I won the Hedgehog Poetry single poem competition for my poem “Clever Cauliflowers” (yes it really is called that!) and was nominated for the Forward Prizes for Poetry. That year, I also secured a commission from Indigo Dreams Publishing for my first collection “Split, Twist, Apocalypse” – you can see how to get your hands on this on the My Books page.

Despite all that, writing poetry is still my therapy, and I hope it provides a little therapy for you too.


Nina Parmenter