With a background (and degrees) in literature and art history, Jenny was the inspiration behind the first Tate Gallery poetry competition for children in the 1980s, and has since run poetry workshops for children at the Manchester Art Gallery, Nottingham Castle Museum and the Leicester New Walk Gallery, as well as lectures for adults 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 newly-founded licensing programme. She worked as an Information Officer for Tate and has published a number of articles on art history, including contributions to the Macmillan Dictionary of Art. Her poetry has appeared in three collections(see Reviews). She has been a winner in a number of poetry competitions and was Highly Commended in the Forward Poetry Prize. Jenny has received Arts Council England funding for her poetry, a ‘Cultivate’ award for her publishing work (2009) while her poems have been performed on national television (BBC2), BBC Radio 4 and elsewhere. She has also appeared on ‘Woman’s Hour’ and ‘The Message’ on BBC Radio 4 discussing different aspects of poetry.
After moving to Nottingham, Jenny set up the successful poetry imprint Candlestick Press in 2008 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, which proved popular amongst readers for its unique way of delivering poetry, as well as being a commercially successful venture. Candlestick Press continues under different ownership and remains true to Jenny’s original vision, which Carol Ann Duffy described as “…the most original way of delivering poetry since Poems on the Underground”.
One Plum Poem
Since 2018, Jenny has concentrated on work as a freelance poetry consultant and in particular is exploring the potential of the single poem and its impact. One Plum Poem produces greetings cards, each featuring a single poem, and acts also as an umbrella organisation for exploring the possibilities of single poems in other media.
Assisting Jenny with the admin, sales and marketing is Jade Moore. She joined the team after interviewing Jenny about One Plum Poem for the poetry section of local magazine The Beestonian. Jade's poems have been published in Small Acts of Kindness by Nottingham Peacebuilders, Please Hear What I'm Not Saying by Fly on the Wall Press and others. She also worked as the production assistant for the Life in Lifes series of poetry podcasts.
They can both be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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” and which the poet remembers “…every day for the rest of her life.”
The One Plum Poem office overlooks an old plum tree that annually provides us with jams, autumnal crumbles and spring blossom. And now poetry cards too.