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Sarah James

The first poem Sarah James can remember writing was when she was six years old. It was about a flea that liked shopping! She has been addicted to writing ever since, though her work has changed (and matured!) considerably.
    An Oxford modern languages graduate and prize-winning former journalist, Sarah was shortlisted in the Templar Poetry Pamphlet and Collection Competition 2009 and has seen her work widely published in anthologies and literary journals, as well as online.
    'Into the Yell', due to be published by Circaidy Gregory Press in summer 2010,  is Sarah's first full-length collection but her individual poems and short stories have achieved success in numerous competitions. She also has experience as a poetry competition adjudicator herself.
    She was poet in residence at Worcester's Oxfam Bookshop for National Poetry Day 2009 and is the Poetry Society's Worcester and Droitwich Stanza rep. She continues to take part in events, readings and festivals on a regular basis, and also runs writing workshops.

Here are a couple of extracts from her collection, 'Into the Yell'

Mandy Jones is Singing

5am buzzes. Tired fingers fumble size sixteen jeans,
pull ivory across her eyes' blue hollows,
brush and fluff the fuzzy refrain of her hair.

It's shift time: grey light, grey metal, grey mops
– plastic and spongy, not the string-wigged
wooden mop of her childhood microphone.

She looks in the mirror, sees orange 
street lamps blur the glass to a disco-light dazzle. 
The young woman who stares back 

has hair in long, silk crescendos 
and a size ten figure in a popstar dress.
If only Mandy knew how to step through...

© Sarah James  2007

My Mother’s Compact


It was a present for her twenty-first:
metal sheen still untarnished 
when she gave it to me. 
The lid's golden petals looked expensive.

I carried it but didn't use it. 
The mirror's smallness cut my face 
into pieces: nose, eye, mouth, eye.
My breath evaporated them all.

One night at a party, I watched some girl sniff 
at her reflection in a plain mirror 
laid flat enough to skate on, 
scuffed ice on its surface.

When I got home, my compact was gone.
I imagined it drowning in melted snow
or in some pawn shop abandoned open-mouthed:
an oyster mourning its pearl.


© Sarah James  2007

And when Sarah isn't busy with her own writing, she also reads stories with children at events around her town, and spreads the word about poetry-world at events. Here is a part of her poetic diary from National Poetry Day....

Being Poet in Residence at Worcester Oxfam Bookshop on National Poetry Day ( October 8, 2009) Theme: Heroes and Heroines  

Sarah James at Oxfam (dressed as Robin Hood)   Sarah James at Oxfam (dressed as Robin Hood)    Sarah James at Oxfam (dressed as Robin Hood)

  You can find out more about Sarah James's previous work at

You can see Sarah's events diary here...


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