‘Memorial’, a new poem for Birkenhead.

Eleanor has written a new poem for The Black Chair Eisteddfod Centenary Festival, Birkenhead Park 2017. She read her poem ‘Memorial’ as part of the Crowning ceremony, a children’s poetry competition held in Welsh and English and adjudicated by Professor Deryn Rees-Jones on 9th September at Wirral Hospital School.

In the Birkenhead Eisteddfod of 1917 Welsh language poet Hedd Wyn won the Eisteddfod Chair with his poem ‘The Hero’ but he had been killed in the Battle of Passchendaele.  On hearing of his death the chair was covered with a black shroud and returned to his birthplace in Snowdonia.

The centenary was marked by the restoration of the memorial stone and a public ceremony in Birkenhead Park led by Huw Edwards and attended by many dignitaries.

Also for this project, during the summer of 2017 Eleanor and artist Sian Bailey led poetry and illustration workshops with primary school children in Birkenhead on the theme of War and Peace.

The children’s poems will be published in an anthology which will include the full text of Eleanor’s poem.


Beautiful Eisteddfod Medallion designed by Sian Bailey




Spring Readings

Eleanor read her newly commissioned poem  ‘St James’s at 3 am’ and other new poems at ‘Tonight at Noon’: a celebration of fifty years of The Mersey Sound at the Bluecoat Arts Centre in June. The reading also included poets Andrew McMillan, Lizzie Nunnery, Deryn Rees-Jones, Paul Farley and Brian Patten. Tonight at Noon

Photo left to right: Eleanor Rees, Brian Patten, Lizzie Nunnery, Andrew McMillan.





Eleanor was also invited to read her poem ‘Bridie’s Tomb’ at the launch of the ‘Women on Brexit’ Special Issue of Poem Magazine. The launch was held in the House of Commons. Eleanor’s poem brings the voices of the female ghosts of St James’s Cemetery, Liverpool into the Brexit debate.  http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rpom20/current




New Collaboration with Steve Boyland

Eleanor collaborated with improvised voice artist, Steve Boyland for a performance at the Everyman Theatre 11th Feb, 2017.  This was part of The Enemies Project, North by North West Poetry Tour curated by Steven Fowler and Tom Jenks.

The performance sets a section from a new poem by Eleanor within an improvised soundscape.

View the full piece here

Recent Review Quotes

‘Rees has an outstanding ability to act as a conduit between past and present. It is as though she has tapped into an ancient reservoir ‘remarkable and unsung’, and stepped aside in order for the reader to experience the torrent of its mysterious element uninterrupted by poetic  ego or personal agenda. She slips like silt between and into different forms: seagull, mineral, light. A diver into – and retriever of –  other realms and substances, she is made of mud ‘ so otherly, otherly’.

Nicky Arscott, Poetry Wales Summer 2016

‘Rees’ poems are difficult to transcribe prosaically, moving as they do in a densely fairy-tale or dream-logical atmosphere. This aspect of her work in Blood Child and Riverine is hugely effective, creating a lush dreamscape full of mud, sludge, mulch and other fecundities, populated by eerie running children, unreliable parents, poet-birds and their panoramic perspectives’

Dave Coates, York Literary Review



Reviews of ‘Blood Child’

Poet Ruth Stacey writes

‘Rees moves from the dreamy, languid suggestion of flight to the simile and finally embodies it with the metaphor. The uncertain reality, slipping between a feeling of reverie to a definite embracing of the animal (in this case insect) gives power to the narrative. Border crossing allows a discarding of rules and expectations so the landscape can be inhabited and embodied. In the poem Rees slips between light and colour, drawing the light into the lungs, so the narrator sinks into the surrounding environment; ‘meld place to place./ I am shadow./ It is my skin./’

For more from this insightful review see https://ruthstacey.com/2016/03/16/blood-child-by-eleanor-rees/

New Pamphlet: Riverine

Eleanor is excited to announce the publication of a new long pamphlet published by Gatehouse Press, part of the Lighthouse Literary Journal Pamphlet series.   There is no stillness and there is no lack: in this evocative new pamphlet, internationally-recognised poet Eleanor Rees taps into the flow that runs through everyday acts of being. From […]

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Wordfest 2015, Altrincham FREE Poetry Workshop

Wordfest 2015

‘Reading and Writing Contemporary Poetry for Beginners’ Workshop

Thurs 4th June, 2-4pm at Altrincham Library

A free event. Book online: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/reading-and-writing-contempo…

Join award-winning poet and experienced creative writing tutor Eleanor Rees, poet to explore the world of contemporary poetry. From performance poetry to the experimental sonnet Eleanor will introduce you to some of the best contemporary poets writing today. She will also enable you to write your own poem using playful creative writing exercises. Poetry is for everyone and can offer riches – many joys and consolations. With a friendly manner and wide-knowledge of the art-form Eleanor will open the door to poetry.  No prior knowledge required

Versopolis: Promoting and translating emerging poets in partnership with 10 other European Festivals

logo-small-date ledbury

Eleanor has been selected to take part in an exciting exchange programme between Ledbury Festival, UK and ten European Poetry Festivals.

Ledbury Poetry Festival is part of Versopolis. This is a European poetry platform that creates new opportunities for emerging European poets and is supported by the European Commission’s Creative Europe programme and coordinated by Beletrina Academic Press, who also organises the Days of Poetry and Wine Festival.

Excellent poets write poems in every language but are often unknown beyond the boundaries of the language they write in. The aim of Versopolis is to change this, creating a unique, Europe-wide platform that gives emerging European poets the chance to reach an international audience and meet poets from other countries.

For 2015 Ledbury Poetry Festival selected five emerging poets: Eleanor Rees, Liz Berry, Kim Moore, Adam Horovitz and Meirion Jordan.

  • Liz Berry
  • Eleanor Rees
  • Adam Horovitz
  • Kim Moore
  • Meirion Jordan

In its first year the Versopolis project will promote 55 authors and their poetry, united under its motto ‘where poetry lives’, along with 11 festivals, which will act as literature promoters and publishers in the European literary space. The Versopolis platform involves the following literary/poetry festivals:
ARS POETICA, Slovakia;

Versopolis will help authors already established in their home countries spread their poetry across borders, its first and foremost aim being to promote European poets and their work and to create a close-knit poetic community.

Beletrina says it wants to see “not only canonised and widely recognisable poets reach the consciousness of European literature lovers”, but the voices of younger generations “also gain their place”. It added that the selected poets “will receive attention through performances and translations of their works on a digital platform”.

John Moores Foundation Reading

maritime musuem

Eleanor is honoured to be reading a selection of her Liverpool poems at the 50th Celebration Symposium of the John Moores Foundation at the Maritime Museum.

maritime musuemAlso on the bill are a wide variety of workshops and discussions, performance poetry from Levi Tafari and keynote address by Ken Livingstone.

26th November, 9.30 – 4 pm, FREE More here