Jenny Swann - background
With a background in literature and art history, Jenny has run poetry workshops for children at the Manchester Art Gallery, Nottingham Castle Museum and the Leicester New Walk Gallery, as well as lectures (for adult students) at the National Gallery, Courtauld Institute and the V & A. She was a researcher at the V & A and subsequently ran the V & A’s licensing programme. Her poetry has appeared in three collections. Jenny has received Arts Council England funding for her poetry, a ‘Cultivate’ award for her publishing work (Candlestick Press, 2009) while her poems have been performed on BBC Radio 4 and elsewhere.
Candlestick Press (2008 - 2016)
In 2008, Jenny set up Candlestick Press and ran it until 2016, when she stood down for family reasons. She received many accolades – and an award – for the originality of the Press. Candlestick Press continues under the ownership of Jenny's former business partner, Di Slaney.
One Plum Poem
Jenny set up One Plum Poem in 2018 to explore the possibilities of poetry in podcasts, workshops and poetry cards. She is a workshop leader, publishing mentor and poetry consultant, and a trustee of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature.
Jam, crumble and inspiration
Plums and poetry have been friends for centuries – John Keats wrote ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ while sitting under a plum tree in his garden in Hampstead. William Carlos Williams’ poem ‘This Is Just To Say’ placed plums at the very heart of twentieth-century modernism. Meanwhile, plums seem to double as poems in the title poem of Annie Freud’s collection, The Mirabelles, in which “…a plum tree has scattered/ its golden fruit all over the pavement” - a sight the poet remembers “…every day for the rest of her life.”