Browsing Tag

Vic Pickup Poet


BBC #shareyourstory

I was delighted to be invited to join the BBC 100 ‘Share your story’ tour as a panelist advocating the pursuit of a creative career.

Your first reaction is probably similar to mine. ‘Poetry? Is that a career?’ Well, actually being kept on your toes by an army of teenagers wanting to know details of how, where, when and what you’re paid is the perfect environment in which to take stock of one’s profession – the journey, the day to day, the goal.

‘No, unless you are VERY lucky, poetry doesn’t provide a means to supporting yourself financially.’ Oh, why are you here then, Vic? ‘BUT the very act of diversifying my offering into teaching, research, writing, editing, event organising, hosting and sticking my hand up for pretty much anything enables me to live a life in poetry – not only writing, but advocating it, furthering it, questioning it.’ Am I quoting myself, yes, I actually am (sorry).

All these other components to my ‘career’ bring people into my world, and the shared journeys and sheer variety of my life feeds my personal education and my poetry.

I looked at each room full of secondary school-aged children and nearly-adults (we presented to over 2000 in the two days I joined the tour), and I felt excited for their futures, but also trepidation. The world has changed significantly since I was in their place. Back in 2000, the advent of phones was the only distraction. Now, there is so much choice, so much expectation and possibility, so little time to think. And if you can’t think, how can you really discover who you are and (most importantly) who you want to be?

I hope that my own story of pursuing a passion alongside forming a bespoke role which supports it wasn’t a turn-off for the students we saw. I know that there are scores of writers within the hoards, and many to whom being published is a dream. Whatever their background and support available to them, I hope that they continue to write, despite the lack of glory or glamour (or payslips) because having the passion for words is a gift, and so long as there’s a notepad or a phone available, is freely available to anyone as a bolt-on to whatever career they end up following. Which in itself, is something priceless.

Bravo BBC. You are truly inspiring. Read more here: BBC100 Share Your Story in partnership with National Literacy Trust and Voice 21 – BBC Teach


debut collection: an indigo dream!

I am SO excited to announce that my debut poetry collection will be published in 2023 by the fantastic Indigo Dream Press.

I’ve long been an admirer of the poetry publisher and the work of those at the helm, Ronnie Goodyer and Dawn Bauling, so I cannot wait to work on this forthcoming book, The Omniscient Tooth Fairy and see it get its wings!

Already shortlisted and longlisted in several competitions, this collection has been five years in the making, and acts as a kind of poetic journal through the last decade of my life – motherhood, daughterhood, my understanding of the world being reshaped through a new perspective. Featuring competition winning poems and many new works fresh to the page, I hope that there is something for everyone enduring the process of life changes, and finding the glimmering jewels in all new situations.

Founded in 2009, Indigo Dreams is a much-loved and award-winning independent publisher who were voted ‘Most Innovative Publisher’ in the Saboteur Literary Awards 2021 and 2017, the only publisher in its history to have won the accolade twice.

Based in Cookworthy Forest in Devon, it is run by Ronnie Goodyer and Dawn Bauling, both published poets, and the first ever JOINT winners of the established Ted Slade Award for Services to Poetry.

For more information, visit Home (

Image courtesy of Alix Souissi – alixsouissi embroidery art (@alixsouissi) • Instagram photos and videos


Together we can

Life’s full of coincidences, and sometimes there’s beauty in that – the opportunity to observe connections which provide a mini-epiphany as we trundle through our everyday lives herding cats, dropping balls etc. (or maybe that’s just me…)

Today, I’ve crammed my heart in my mouth as the wonderful Charlotte Gann (editor of Nell Nelson’s Sphinx reviews and founder of The Understory Conversation) has published a lovely conversation between us. It truly bares my soul, and the article acts as an afterword to my journey back into poetry.

It’s timely then that myself and my Poets’ Café co-host Zannah Kearns will be speaking at ‘Together We Can’ at Reading University on International Women’s Day tomorrow. We’ll be talking about poetry as creative expression, the importance of having a voice and the revitalising experience of being part of a supportive community of writers. We’ll be reading a few of our poems, and the work of others who have inspired us.

I should probably have nerves jangling, but no, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to celebrate, to reflect, and to say a prayer for those most in need of resilience and humanity in today’s uncertain world.

For tickets to tomorrow’s symposium, please click here.