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Virtual Event

Poetry and Spoken Word Group Panel 2021: Building Resilience as a Poet

19 March @ 15:00 - 16:00 GMT

Virtual Event

How can we cultivate resilience? How can poets support each other? How can we cope with rejection, and overcome our fear of it, as authors?

Join us for a session on resilience and mental health for poets, spoken word artists and other authors. Deborah Alma will be in conversation with Amy Acre, Jaspreet Kaur, and Hannah Hodgson. They will share their experience of coping with setbacks and offer practical tips and advice.

The session will be aimed at poets and spoken word artists but is open to all types of authors who would like to participate in a conversation around resilience.

What will this session cover?

  • Coping with literary rejections
  • Writing in lockdown
  • Poetry and mental health
  • Creating a support network
  • Finding new coping strategies in everyday life and as writers


  • 40 minutes: Q&A chaired by Deborah Alma with Amy Acre, Jaspreet Kaur, and Hannah Hodgson, including questions sent in advance
  • 5 minutes: Poetry reading
  • 10 minutes: Live questions from the audience
  • 5 minutes: Summary and closing comments

If you would like to send questions in advance, email Nadia Bonini with ‘Resilience – 19 March’ in the subject header. We will prioritise questions sent in advance and try to answer as many as we can from the audience on the day.


The line-up

Deborah Alma – Poet and teacher

Deborah Alma is a UK poet and teacher, who has worked for years as a writer in the community. As Emergency Poet she administered poetry on prescription from her vintage ambulance. She is editor of Emergency Poet-an anti-stress poetry anthology, #Me Too – rallying against sexual harassment- a women’s poetry anthology, Ten Poems of Happiness and co-edited with Dr Katie Amiel These Are the Hands-Poems from the Heart of the NHS. Her first full collection Dirty Laundry is published by Nine Arches Press. She now runs the Poetry Pharmacy in Shropshire.
Twitter: @emergencypoet


Amy Acre – Poet and editor

Amy Acre is a poet and freelance writer from London, and the editor of Bad Betty Press. Her poem, ‘every girl knows’ won the 2019 Verve Poetry Prize. Her pamphlets And They Are Covered in Gold Light (Bad Betty, 2019) and Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads (flipped eye, 2015) were each chosen as a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice. Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads was one of The Poetry School’s Books of 2015. Amy co-edited anthologies Alter Egos, Field Notes on Survival and The Dizziness of Freedom (Bad Betty) and the Anti-Hate Anthology (Spoken Word London). Her work has appeared in The Poetry Review, Poetry London, Magma, The Scores, Bath Magg and 3:AM Magazine, and is forthcoming in The White Review.
Twitter: @amyacrepoet


Jaspreet Kaur – Spoken word poet

Jaspreet Kaur, better known as Behind the Netra for her poetry, is an award-winning Spoken Word Poet from East London with an academic background in History BA and Gender Studies MA. She has spent the last five years teaching History and Sociology in secondary schools across London. Her poetic works focus on themes such as gender inequality, mental health stigma and the postcolonial immigrant experience. Jaspreet actively works with national governments, corporations and charities alike, such as TED, the UN and women’s networks across the UK, using her poetry and writing to inspire and drive social change. Her TED talk, “How Poetry Saved My Life” is one of many examples of this. She is also an avid humanitarian and is an ambassador for Binti International and Time to Change. In 2020, Jaspreet has been awarded the Ben Pimlott Writer in Residency at Birkbeck University as a Research Fellow with the Politics Department. She is currently working on her first book, Brown Girl Like Me, a narrative non-fiction exploring what it means to be a Brown, British Feminist in this new decade, set the release in Autumn 2021.   
Twitter: @behindthenetra

Hannah Hodgson – Poet

Hannah Hodgson is a 22 year old poet living with life limiting illness. Her work has been published by the Poetry Society, Teen Vogue and The North amongst other outlets. She received a Northern Writers Award for Poetry in 2020. Her first pamphlet ‘Dear Body’ was published in 2018, and her second ‘Where I’d Watch Plastic Trees Not Grow’ is due to be published by Verve Poetry Press in February 2021.
Twitter: @HodgsonWrites

SoA @ Home Fundraising Bookshop

Browse our Blackwell’s virtual store featuring books by authors and speakers taking part in the SoA @ Home Festival. When you make a purchase using our affiliate link a percentage will go to the Authors’ Contingency Fund, providing hardship grants to authors in financial difficulty.


Book your place using the registration form below.

This event is free to everyone but, if you can afford it, we recommend a minimum £5 donation to the Authors’ Contingency Fund to help us support authors facing financial hardship during the health crisis. DONATE HERE

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Financial support for authors in need through the health crisis and beyond

Since March 2020, the Authors’ Contingency Fund has distributed over £1 million in small grants to authors facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

With at least 57% of authors facing financial losses during the pandemic, we have helped people struggling financially due to contractual, employment and event cancellations, others who have lost income due to illness, and others prevented from working because of caring responsibilities.

As the health crisis continues, applications for grants continue to come in, and our emergency funds are running low.

So, if you are in a position to help, please donate via the link below. If you are an author facing financial hardship, please click here to see if we can help.


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The Society of Authors is the UK’s biggest trade union for authors – representing more than 11,300 writers, illustrators, translators and other creative practitioners.

Our standard subscription rate is just £26.25 per quarter (£18.50 for students).

As an SoA member, you’ll get:

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119 Going


19 March
15:00 - 16:00 GMT
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