Maggie Sawkins is the founder of Portsmouth poetry and music club, Tongues&Grooves. The club was set up in 2003 with the aim of empowering people to express themselves through writing and performance.
Her poetry collections include Charcot’s Pet (Flarestack) and The Zig Zag Woman (Two Ravens Press). Her work has been frequently anthologised and her articles on poetry and well-being are included in Writing Your Self (Continuum) and Writing Routes (Jessica Kingsley Publishers). In 2013 she was chosen by the Poetry Book Society to represent Portsmouth on the T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize Tour. The book, Zones of Avoidance – featuring poetry from the production – was published in Spring 2015 by Cinnamon Press as part of their 10th anniversary celebrations.
Zones of Avoidance grew out of a sequence of poems inspired by the writer’s personal and professional involvement with people in recovery.
‘I’d been reading about walls searching for a metaphor for what I’d become. The largest known superstructure in the universe, I discovered, is the Coma Wall, situated 200 million light years away and stretching beyond The Zone of Avoidance. When you’re affected by someone in the grip of addiction there seems to be only two options – one, the most natural is to try and rescue; the other is to cut yourself off, demonise the person you love, transform yourself into a wall.’
Maggie runs creative writing projects in community and health care settings and was keynote speaker at the University of Southampton’s Health and Wellbeing Conference 2014.
She lives in Southsea.
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