Maggie Sawkins grew up in Leigh Park, a large housing estate north of Portsmouth, where she began writing poetry as a child. After returning to education at the age of thirty-five, she gained an MA with distinction in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester. She has facilitated creative writing projects in community and health care settings, including with prisoners, those affected by psychoactive substances and the refugee and asylum seeker community in Portsmouth. Her previous collections include Charcot’s Pet (Flarestack), The Zig Zag Woman (Two Ravens), Many Skies Have Fallen (Wild Mouse) and Zones of Avoidance (Cinnamon). Her live literature production Zones of Avoidance, described as ‘beautifully written and uncompromising’ by the judges, won the 2013 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry.
Currently residing in Ventnor, his new collection of poems has a strong voice, a deep rooting in nature, a narrative of departure and return, and an engagement with the world via social critique. Written on the Isle of Wight and in Southern France, mostly during the coronavirus pandemic, these poems are abundant with wildflowers and trees, visual and auditory beauty, reflection and mourning, prophetic awareness and botanical precision.
A well respected luthier and instrument repairer from Seaview, it was his friend the accordionist Karen Tweed who suggested that he should have a go at writing some songs. The result is Roads To The Sea, a collection of songs inspired by boats, the sea, and our wonderful local surroundings. Born close to where he now lives, the sea has played a major part in almost everything he does, it is a never-ending source of inspiration and this is clearly reflected in many of these songs