Deptford Literature Festival:
Poetry London x Goldsmiths

Discover routes into poetry and publishing success with editors of Poetry London and Goldsmiths lecturers. Includes a poetry reading.

A frank and informal chat about the challenges and opportunities of starting a career in poetry, with Poetry London editors Martha Sprackland and Dai George and Jack Underwood, a lecturer in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, where Poetry London is based. Joining them will be Sarala Estruch, a rising star on the British poetry scene and an alumnus of Goldsmiths.

Taking part will be a selection of alumni success stories from the Goldsmiths poetry programme. The aim of this discussion will be to have a lively chat about embarking upon a career in poetry. We will provide insight and perspective from two sides of the publishing business: first, from the editors who are in the position of ‘gatekeeping’, and then from the new poets who have had to put their work out there and break through the gates. What are the dos and don’ts? What are the battle stories that others might learn from? How might creative writing programmes fit into this picture? How best to grab someone’s attention and get a foot in the door? This event will bolster confidence and illuminate routes into getting published.

Afterwards, Jack Underwood will host a reading showcasing the work of some exceptional alumni including Memoona Zahid, Eve Denney, Daisy Thomas, Steph Gorman and Mariam Varsimashvili.

Free but ticketed, what we’d like you to know
This event works on a first come, first served basis. Any ticket uncollected 5 mins prior to the start time may be subject to reallocation. If you’ve booked a ticket and know in advance of the event day that you can no longer attend, please let us know so we can offer your ticket to someone else.

About Deptford Literature Festival

Deptford Literature Festival celebrates the creativity and diversity of South East London through stories, words and performance. Most events are free. It is funded by Arts Council England and run as a collaboration between independent producer Tom MacAndrew and Spread the Word. You can read more about the festival at


Dai George

See More

Dai George is a poet, critic and editor from Cardiff. His first collection, The Claims Office (Seren, 2013), was an Evening Standard book of the year, and his poetry has been widely published in magazines and anthologies such as Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Guardian Online, The White Review and The Salt Book of Younger Poets. Since 2014 he has edited the online poetry journal Prac Crit with its founding editor Sarah Howe and Vidyan Ravinthiran. He is currently completing a PhD on twentieth-century poetry and syntax at University College London, where he also teaches

Jack Underwood

See More

Dr Jack Underwood is a poet and critic. A winner of the Eric Gregory Award in 2007, his debut pamphlet was published by Faber as part of the first Faber New Poets series in 2009. He has taught courses for the Arvon Foundation, Ideas Tap, The Poetry School and the Poetry Society’s Young Poets Network. Jack was awarded a Jerwood Opera Writing Fellowship in 2009 and wrote the libretto for the opera The Commission, (comp. Elspeth Brooke) which was performed at The Royal Opera House, Aldeburgh Music and Opera North in 2014.

He was co-founder of the leading anthology series Stop Sharpening Your Knives and has published work widely in UK magazines, and internationally, having been translated into seven languages. As a critic he has been a regular reviewer for both Poetry Review, and Poetry London, and has also published essays with Five Dials (Hamish Hamilton) and Prac Crit. He has been commissioned to produce new work for Tate magazine, the Centre for Contemporary Art, Derry and Sprüth Magers gallery among others. His debut collection Happiness was published by Faber in 2015 and is winner of the 2016 Somerset Maugham prize.

Martha Sprackland

See More

Martha Sprackland is editor at Offord Road Books and a founding editor of multilingual arts zine La Errante. She was previously assistant poetry editor at Faber, and before that was co-founder of Cake poetry magazine. Her own poetry has appeared in the London Review of Books, Poetry London, Poetry Review and many other places, and she writes a regular poetry and fiction review column for Five Dials. A pamphlet, Glass As Broken Glass, was published by Rack Press in 2017, and a non-fiction book on sharks is forthcoming. She is a poet-in-residence for Caught by the River.

Sarala Estruch

See More

Sarala Estruch is a freelance writer, poet and critic based in London. Her creative work has been short- and long-listed for several prizes, including the Wasafiri New Writing Prize and the National Poetry Competition, and she was a winner of the Poetry School/Nine Arches Press Primers competition in 2017. Also in 2017, Sarala was selected for the first round of the Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critics scheme. Her literary criticism has appeared in newspapers and journals including The Poetry Review, Poetry London, and The Guardian, and has been featured on BBC Radio 3. Sarala also works part-time as the MA and Editorial Manager at the Poetry School.

Deptford Lounge (Main Hall)