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PSWG @ Home: Industry Insider – The Role of Agents in Poetry

10 May @ 15:00 - 16:00 BST

Virtual Event Virtual Event

Do poets need an agent? Why and when should they get one? What is an agent’s role in poetry publishing?

Poet Carole Bromley will be in conversation with poet and performer Vanessa Kisuule and literary agent Becky Thomas to discuss the role of agents in poetry, how best to work with them and how to manage without an agent.

This session will be aimed at poets and spoken word artists but is open to all types of authors who would like to know more about literary agents and how to manage without an agent.

This event is part of the PSWG @ Home, organised by the SoA’s Poetry & Spoken Word Group (PSWG) – a week-long celebration of poetry and spoken word. It will take place online via Zoom Webinar. The link will be sent to registered attendees.

What will this session cover?

  • Why and when poets need an agent
  • What agents can do for poets
  • How the role of agents is different in poetry
  • How to manage your work and time if you do not have an agent

Who is this session for?

This session is aimed at poets and spoken word artists, as well as other authors, artists, and performers.


  • 40 minutes – Q&A chaired by Carole Bromley with Vanessa Kisuule and Becky Thomas
  • 15 minutes – Live questions from the audience and sent in advance
  • 5 minutes – Closing comments

Send your questions in advance

If you would like to send questions in advance, email nbonini@societyofauthors.org with ‘Agents in poetry – 10 May’ in the subject header. We will prioritise questions sent in advance and try to answer as many as we can on the day.

PSWG @ Home Fundraising Bookshop

Browse our Blackwell’s virtual store featuring books by poets and speakers taking part in the PSWG @ Home. 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.

The line-up

Carole Bromley – Poet

Carole Bromley is a York-based poet who writes for both adults and children. A retired teacher and lecturer, she now teaches for the Poetry Society, The Poetry School and the Arvon Foundation as well as running the York Stanza group. Winner of a number of prizes including the Bridport and the Hamish Canham Award, she has three collections with Smith/Doorstop (including a children’s book, Blast Off!) a pamphlet, Sodium 136, from Calder Valley (2019) and a fourth collection, The Peregrine Falcons of York Minster (Valley Press, 2020). Carole joined the SoA’s Poetry and Spoken Word Group Committee in 2021.

Twitter: @CaroleBromley1 | www.carolebromleypoetry.co.uk


Becky Thomas – Literary agent

Starting her career in the Rights Department at Faber in 2005, Becky Thomas moved into agenting at Abner Stein, WME and Fox Mason before joining Johnson & Alcock in 2015. In April 2021, she launched her own agency, Lewinsohn Literary Agency (LLA), with a focus on literary and reading group fiction, memoir, pop culture, narrative non-fiction and essays, but always genre and format-defying. The agency specialises in live work, crossing over with the poetry and theatre scenes, podcasts and broadcast, music and film adaptation. Becky’s authors include Kae Tempest, Hollie McNish, Dean Atta, Sabrina Mahfouz, Justin Myers, Gemma Cairney and Vanessa Kisuule. 

Twitter: @IAmBeckish | www.lewinsohnliterary.com


Vanessa Kisuule – Poet and performer

Vanessa Kisuule is a writer and performer based in Bristol. She has won more than 10 slam titles including The Roundhouse Slam 2014, Hammer and Tongue National Slam 2014 and the Nuoryican Poetry Slam. She has been featured on BBC iPlayer, Radio 1, and Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Blue Peter, Don’t Flop and TEDx in Vienna. She has appeared at an array of festivals and was Glastonbury Festival’s Resident Poet in 2019. She has been invited to perform all over the world, from Belgium to Brazil to Bangladesh. Her poem on the historic toppling of Edward Colston’s statue, ‘Hollow’, gained over 600,000 views on Twitter in three days. She has two poetry collections published by Burning Eye Books and her work was Highly Commended in the Forward Poetry Prize Anthology 2019. She has written for publications including the Guardian, NME and Lonely Planet and is the co-tutor for the Southbank New Poets Collective for 2021/2022. She was the Bristol City Poet for 2018 – 2020.

Twitter: @Vanessa_Kisuule | www.vanessakisuule.com


About the Poetry & Spoken Word Group

The SoA’s Poetry and Spoken Word Group (PSWG) is a professional community for poets and spoken word artists. The Group comes together to discuss issues affecting poets and the spoken word community, offer advice and support, and raise the profile of poetry and performance. Find out more



Book your place using the registration form below.

All SoA @ Home Industry Insider online events are 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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20% off your first year with discount code SOAFESTIVAL20

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:

  • Access to all our SoA @ Home Festival events for free
  • Unlimited one-to-one professional advice
  • Membership of our online and real-world professional networks
  • A range of member-only discounts, including books, insurance and travel
  • And much more.



Who's Attending

80 people are attending PSWG @ Home: Industry Insider – The Role of Agents in Poetry

  • Simon Maddrell
  • Bebe Ashley
  • Katrina Naomi
  • Rosie Sandler
  • Hermione
  • Cynthia Rodríguez Juárez
  • Anthony Wilson
  • Sabìnah Adewole
  • Rob Walton
  • Jo Clement


10 May
15:00 - 16:00 BST
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