2 December: Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Helen Mort is visiting the Museum to give a poetry reading around ideas of neuroscience and false memories (click for details)

23 October: University of Reading


14 July: Poetry reading, Waterloo Food Festival

6pm, £7, reading food and market-themed poetry with Rowena Knight.

24 June: Poetry Tour

11am: Tour of Oxford’s Museum of Natural History for Oxford Lindy Exchange

17 June: The poetry of science

Poetry reading for Oxfordshire Science Festival
1pm, Oxford Town Hall, Old Library.
Free: please register using above link.

19 May: Closing date for:
Oxfordshire Science Festival schools poetry competition.

I’m delighted to be on the judging panel!
Winners visit Diamond Light Source: a synchrotron, aka giant microscope. (Wow!)

8 April:



16 December: Savoy Bookshop signing, Westerly RI, 6-8pm.

12th Dec: Guests of Time launch, Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Free, but you must register.

8th Dec: Heythrop College, London: Guest speech on Women in Leadership.

5 Dec: Reading with the OUMNH poets-in-residence at:

Oxford Brookes, 12pm, free.

The Albion Beatnik Bookstore, 7pm, £2.

14 – 30 Nov: Artist-in-residence at Duke University’s Health Humanities Laboratory.
I taught four workshops for students, leading to a student artwork exhibition on 30th.

Click here for the full Health Humanities Lab launch on 30th!

30 November: “HIV/AIDS and the Health Humanities” with Dr Kearsley Stewart, Rachel Ingold, Curator of the History of Medicine Collections, and Dr Maria de Bruyn, from 3pm, Rubenstein Room 153, Duke.

25 November: Global health humanities: defining an emerging field’, co-authored with Professor Kearsley Stewart at Duke University, published in The Lancet.

17th November: ‘How I Write’ at Duke University, 12 – 1pm, Perkins room 218:
Medical education in the U.S. has increasingly found the humanities relevant to training more effective and empathetic doctors. Narrative medicine and creative writing expand physicians’ writing skills and invite them to explore the humanity in their practice. Is there a similar value for introducing the humanities to Global Health? Join us for a conversation with Kelley Swain, award-winning writer/poet and contributing writer to the Lancet, as she talks about her work at the crossroads of poetry and science.

October: I’ll be staying in Oxford, as part of my year-long residency with Visions of Nature at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. I’m helping to curate several activities at the Museum for the week of 3rd Oct, for National Poetry Day on the 6th, including a ‘Poetry Tree’ and ‘Poetry Trail’ – visit the Museum to learn more!

4 Oct: It’s also an honour to be the ‘Poet in focus’ at Blackwell’s Oxford for October. I’m reading with Oliver Zarandi and Richard Scott on Tuesday, 4th October.

29 September: I’m reading at the Swindon Poetry Festival in a trio of Valley Press poets, with Malene Engelund and Jonathan Davidson.

18 August: I’m reading with an impressive line-up of writers,
for Funhouse Magazine Issue 2, at Review Books in Peckham. 7:30pm.

1 June: The Naked Muse book launch! 7 – 9pm at The Peckham Pelican.

Late May: I’m going to be on a wide variety of radio stations! Read here for more.

19 May: Vanguard Readings: I’m reading with other contributing poets in a special Vanguard “North American poets” evening, to go with the launch of Vanguard’s No.2 Poetry Anthology.

11th May: I’m speaking about The Naked Muse on Radio London’s Jo Good Show.

2nd May: I’m on BBC Radio 4 Start the Week with Grayson Perry and Emma Rice, talking about The Naked Muse and related themes.

19 April: I’m chairing In Patients: An Evening of Conversation about Patient Experience, an event run by Clod Ensemble’s Performing Medicine programme.

10 Feb: I’m reading with other contributing poets to launch the second Emma Press anthology of Mildly Erotic Verse, at the Betsy Trotwood, 7:30pm.


22 October, 7pm: Fabricating flesh, fabricating stories: the history, poetry and practice of waxworks: King’s College London Anatomy Lecture Theatre & Museum, with historian of medicine Dr Anna Maerker, and sculptor Eleanor Crook. I’ll be talking on and reading from Opera di Cera.

A full video of my presentation “Fabricating Flesh,” for the 2015 KCL Arts & Humanities Festival, with Dr Anna Maerker and sculptor Eleanor Crook, is available online. The first 22 minutes show Dr Maerker speaking on the history of the waxworks; 22 – 47 minutes to see Eleanor at work doing a marvellous wax modelling demonstration, and 47 minutes to the end show my reading from the book.

24 July: Day-long workshop for The Poetry School on ‘using the past in poetry,’ inspired by London’s Frost Fairs, including a walk along the Thames. More details from this Poetry School interview.

Every Tuesday in June & the first two Tuesdays of July15:00 – 16:30: “Word Surgery” in the Wellcome Reading RoomI’ll be running creative writing workshops dealing with different genres, from poetry to fiction to creative non-fiction, and from themes ranging from health and illness, medicine and surgery, to exotic diseases. Free, just drop in!

6 June: ‘Pop Forensics’ at The Wellcome: I’ll be running two free creative writing workshops over the course of the afternoon, as part of this day of ‘popular’ murder, mystery, and discovery. Drop in!

23 May: Keat’s House poetry workshop: 1816 was a formative year for 21-year-old John Keats. Though receiving his apothecary’s license and qualifying to practice as a surgeon, Keats decided to become a poet. Using the exhibition of his medical life, this poetry workshop will take a scientific approach to writing Keats’s preferred verse form, the sonnet. Drawing on observation and interpretation of medical objects that Keats would have worked with as a student at Guy’s Hospital, such as bloodletting equipment, leech jars, bone saws and forceps, participants will build sonnets in a most unusual way. 11am – 1.30pm. £10/£8 concessions, book here.

19 – 28 April: Keynote Speaker at Randolph College Symposium of Artists and Scholars, and guest lecturer for the week. It’ll be a joy to return to my alma mater in this role!



10 December, 7:30pm: Made In Greenwich reading with my poetry group, the Nevada Street Poets. £4.


13 November, 6pm: Did you miss the launch of Double the Stars? I’ll be reading from the novel and speaking about writing historical fiction for “Clocking Off Late” at the National Maritime Museum.


1 October, 8pmI Am Become WordsI’m delighted to be one of three ‘science poets’ invited to talk on their work, and look forward to sharing the stage with Simon Barraclough and Dorothy Lehane. All welcome. Free, but must be booked: see link for details.

I’m delighted to have been invited to participate in the Lichfield Literature Festival:

11 October, 6pm, Samuel Johnson Museum: ‘A treasure-trove of outrageous pretexts’: Poems of Science and History: I’ll be reading from Darwin’s Microscope and Pocket Horizon.

12 October, 6:30pm, Swinfen Hall Hotel I’ll be reading from Double the Stars  as a companion event to ‘Stargazing for Dummies’.

Mid-October: I’ve earned a Distinction on my dissertation for the MSc Medical Humanities at King’s College London: Making Monsters: Hybrids in the Work of Francis Bacon and Eleanor Crook. I’m especially grateful to sculptor Eleanor Crook for her support, and delighted to say that the Wellcome Library has taken a copy.


17 & 18 September: We launch Double the Stars at the Herschel Museum of Astronomy, Bath, as part of the Jane Austen Festival! On the following day I will run a workshop on writing historical fiction, and give a reading. All welcome. Free, but must be booked: see link for details.

28 September, 2pm: We launch Double the Stars in the Octagon Room of Flamsteed House at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, London! All welcome. Free. (Event from 2 – 3pm. Meet at The Greenwich Tavern for drinks afterwards!)

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