Guest Poets: November 1st, 2018

We welcome Julie Sampson and Chrissy Banks for this evening’s event. Both poets have current or past affiliations with Fire River Poets. Their biographies are given below:

Julie lives in Somerset, but her early years were spent in Devon. Nowadays she works as an independent writer and poet, but previously was a music (piano) teacher, then tutor of creative writing and literature in South-West England. She has a PhD on the writer H.D. Julie’s poems have been published in a variety of magazines, anthologies and online, as well as short-listed or placed in several competitions, Her work was included in Making Worlds; One Hundred Contemporary Women Poets, 2003 (Headland/Second Light Publications) and Fanfare, 2015 (Second Light Publications).  She edited Lady Mary Chudleigh’s Selected Poems, 2009 (Shearsman Books) and a full poetry collection, Tessitura, was also published by Shearsman Books, in 2014. A non-fiction manuscript on the subject of the history of Devon Women Writers was short-listed for The Impress Prize, in 2015. A pamphlet It Was When It Was When It Was was published by Dempsey & Windle, in 2018:

This sequence is a journey into Julie Sampson’s childhood and her family’s past. Through her own recollections of her parents and grandparents together with memories handed down to her, she re-creates a lost rural way of life as well as her own childhood. The details are telling, the writing elegiac as she shares with the reader the closeness she feels with her family’s past and the world they lived in: its stone walls, churchyards, rooks, badgers, cows and farm kitchens.” (Myra Schneider).  Julie’s main website at

Chrissy lives in Exeter and is a former member of Taunton’s Fire River Poets.  Her poems have been published widely in magazines and anthologies including Agenda, Orbis, the North, the Rialto, the Lake, Antiphon and Ink, Sweat and Tears.  A full collection ‘Days of Fire and Flood’ came out from Original Plus in 2005.  Sandra Tappenden in Stride magazine said: ‘She displays huge compassion for women at all stages of their lives and poses many uncomfortable questions.’

In 2017 Chrissy won second prize in the inaugural Wordsworth Trust Single Poem competition.  She was recently highly commended in the Indigo Dreams Geoffrey Stevens Memorial Prize and longlisted in the Erbacce prize for poetry.   Indigo Dreams will be publishing Chrissy’s new poetry collection in the near future.

Other highlights of Chrissy’s poetry career include being longlisted for the 2012 National Poetry Contest, being nominated by Smith Knoll editor Michael Laskey for the Forward Best Single Poem Prize and two of her poems were selected by Bloodaxe’s Neil Astley as prize winners in the Yeovil Literary competition.

Her website is at