JLM Morton 24th 2024 Red Handed Book Launch

JLM Morton is a writer and poet whose work explores contemporary rural experience and belonging, ancestry, place and practices of care, repair and solidarity across human and other-than-human worlds. Winner of the Laurie Lee, Geoffrey Dearmer, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Poetry and International Dylan Thomas Day prizes, her work is published widely including in The Poetry ReviewThe Rialto, Magma, Poetry Birmingham, Places of Poetry, Sunday Telegraph and in the ethnography Living With Water (Manchester University Press, 2023). In 2023 she was longlisted for the Nan Shepherd Prize. Her first full poetry collection Red Handed is forthcoming with Broken Sleep Books (May, 2024).  She’s poet in residence this year at Sladebank Woods near Stroud, a semi-urban woodland located between a housing estate and an AONB. Find her online at: jlmmorton.com

RED HANDED explores England’s rural textile heritage with a decolonising lens, picking apart the global threads and entanglements that were created and enforced by British colonial rule. JLM Morton explores ways of coming to terms with this legacy and how belonging might be found in the ruins. A long poem, ‘Sentient’ forms part two of the collection, cultivating close attention to the minutiae of the land, to the hedgerow as cultural memory and a preoccupation with the unnoticed and the overlooked. Sentient is a bearing witness, an observation of survival and an invocation to the world around us to persist in the face of climate catastrophe. In the final part of the collection, the poems explore an intimate attachment to place that reaches back to the deep time of an ancient Celtic past and finds forgotten indigenous women’s rites and rituals embodied in the hills, commons and waterways of home.

Praise for JLM’s work

Lalline Paul – ‘‘The literary daughter of Alan Garner – female psychogeography, a rallying call to protect not only the land, but our right to roam.’

Nan Shepherd Prize judging panel – ‘spot on nature writing.’

Red Handed – ‘a stunning debut’ (Monique Roffey), ‘an incredible book’ (Pascale Petit), ‘original, evocative and assured’ (Martha Sprackland).


JLM Morton has also selected two additional poets to perform at this event.

Caleb Parkin

Caleb Parkin, Bristol City Poet 2020 – 22, has poems are in The Guardian, The Rialto, The Poetry Review and was guest poet on BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Please. He has three pamphlets, his debut collection, This Fruiting Body (Nine Arches) was longlisted for the Laurel Prize and second collection, Mingle, is due October 2024. He tutors widely, holds an MSc Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes and is a practice-based PhD researcher at University of Exeter.

Sophie Dumont

Sophie is a Bristol-based poet and copywriter for two charities providing learning opportunities for young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Her poems have been published widely, including in The Rialto, Ink Sweat and Tears and Magma. Her poetry won the Brian Dempsey Memorial Prize and she’s working on her debut collection about her experience as a kayaker and the shitty state of UK rivers. Sophie’s held writing residencies on Bristol Harbourside with Boat Poets and at Exeter Custom House with Literature Works. Learn more over at sophiedumont.co.uk