Mark Goodwin

poetry mentor

As a mentor I specialise in helping poets, be they experienced or novice, to meet and explore their unique, personal creative drives … and to find ways of making poetries that best fulfil those drives …

I began learning to write and speak poetry nearly thirty years ago, and I continue to do so, eagerly. Along my way, I have learned from various seasoned writers and poets, but equally I’ve learned about poetry and creativity from novices … from people of all ages and various backgrounds, as they have experienced making poetry for the first time. (I’ve worked as a community poet, encouraging others to experience through poetry, since 1996.)

My intention as a mentor is to learn from the person I’m mentoring, and in so doing actually best serve their creativity, talent and development. I try to give my years of experience as a resource through which to gain new perspectives … I like to offer a gentle challenge to face creative possibilities … I can give criticism and advice on printed-text poems or audio poems via email … but I much prefer to relate in person with those that I mentor, through meetings at suitable cafes or pubs, or by sharing a stroll or walk …

What I can help with:

Making poetries

starting to write and speak creatively … recognising one’s unique spoken creativity …  humans generally begin practicing verbal creativity within months of arriving on planet Earth! …

poetry form and ‘playing’ with the material of words

exploring so-called ‘experimental poetry’ and ‘linguistic innovation’ … both terms are rather contentious, and thus open for wide and interesting discussion …

using conventions, pushing against conventions, breaking conventions … working with ‘tradition’ whilst treating it as soil, rather than museum cabinet

putting together pamphlet or full-length collections … I specialise in helping poets find the collection that is waiting in their work … in making pamphlets or books that are not simply poems gathered … making books where the book is the poem and the poems the stanzas …

The joys and horrors of publishing  

… trying to get published, and being published … exploring and understanding motives for publishing versus motives for making poetry … do you need to be published? … what in fact is ‘published’? … do you actually really want to be published?

Reading and performing poetry

in various situations to various audiences for various reasons … I often relate to poetry through the following expression: poetry is someone saying something about something in some way to someone … the word somewhere can also be inserted into this ‘code of practice’

making sound-enhanced poetry, and digitally produced sound-&-poetry (I am also a developing sound-artist: I record, edit and digitally produce audio)

audio recording poetry … indoors, in make-shift domestic studios (or so-called ‘bedroom recording studios’) … or outdoors during field-recording

improvising spoken poetry in the moment … especially to microphone in response to a location


 I have collaborated with various writers and poets, visual artists, a sculptor, a singer, a dance & movement artist, a performance artist,  photographers, musicians, digital artists

making film-poems – I collaborate with a video-artist

Community arts and community poetry

facilitating creative workshops and projects

Doing & poetics & being

making use of and engaging with museum objects and artworks, and ‘things’ in the world

poetry and poetics of landscape and place

poetics of walking and doing and being – I used to be a climbing instructor, and I now consider rock-climbing, balancing, slack-lining, strolling, mountaineering, dance, and walking, and making poetry to be activities and aspects of one practice …


My fee is relatively low, and is also negotiable …