Leave a Comment · Posted on April 8, 2022
I’m delighted to have just stepped in as a last-minute poetry judge (in the face of a poet down with bad covid!) for the Hive Young Writers Competition 21/22. What a joy it was to read through the shortlist and make my choices. Such wonderful writing and so much talent developing in young poets, I know we’ll be hearing many of these young voices again in the not so distant future. I enjoyed getting to comment on the pieces too. I’ve huge admiration for what Hive does for young writers in the north and I’ll be looking forward to the coming anthology.
Leave a Comment · Posted on March 3, 2022
I ran three workshops for pupils of Larkmead School, Abingdon. I was impressed by the enthusiasm with which they entered into writing from the prompts offered, and look forward to reading their finished poems.
— Larkmead School (@larkmeadschool) March 3, 2022
Leave a Comment · Posted on November 7, 2021
Greetings from a bright and chilly Aldeburgh, where I am visiting for the annual poetry festival.
Yesterday I enjoyed presenting a workshop titled ‘Light about the Darkness’. I feel fortunate to have been chosen as a workshop leader and also to have read at the festival’s launch event.
I recently won first prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition for my poem ‘Likes You’.
Leave a Comment · Posted on July 20, 2021
I have just enjoyed running a workshop for Hive South Yorkshire Young Writers Network. It is an excellent project for emerging writers, with former winners of the New Poets Prize among its members. It was a privilege to work with talented young poets, some of whom kindly sent me feedback.
Vanessa Lampert’s workshop was such an incredible experience. All exercises were varied in their topic and form, and Vanessa gave such detailed and helpful feedback. I left with some promising drafts feeling more confident, with an awareness of how to make my poems stronger and more alive. It was as if they were budding off the page! Also was very lucky to hear some of Lampert’s own, beautiful poetry. A was a space where we could be vulnerable and honest through our words. Luke Worthy
Ness is a fantastically experienced and approachable poet whose choice of poetry and theme for our workshop was unique and thoroughly interesting. I loved learning some simple but innovative writing ideas, such as not worrying about writing everything down first and then ‘sculpting out’ a poem from the hunk of ideas. I also loved the idea of poetry being like compost, the good stuff is underneath the pile of peelings that have been dwelled on over time. As a poet novice that tends to wait for the creative flow to hit me (which is never often enough!), these two thoughts are already helping me to be braver at putting pen to paper, and enjoying the process of writing. These gems show what a great studier of poetry Ness is and her quick and tailored feedback was much appreciated – thank you Ness! Ivy Knapp
Thanks, Ness, great session. I enjoyed the exercises, and two of them sparked off a piece that I want to develop further into a poem, especially the Love Letter to a place. Also great to hear a poem by Ness at the end.
Leave a Comment · Posted on June 15, 2021
I am pleased to be running a workshop with the Poetry School on 27th July titled ‘Light about the Darkness: Develop rapport with your readers and welcome them into poems where light and dark can co-exist’. What’s more, it will be face-to-face. Exciting! If you are interested, please click the link to find out more and book.
Leave a Comment · Posted on June 14, 2021
I’m looking forward to running a poetry workshop for young writers with the Hive South Yorkshire network run by fellow poet, Vicky Morris. Some wonderful young poets are emerging from the network, and having met some of them previously, I’m excited to work with them! The Snow Grows Whiter: Painting the World Anew Through Poetry will explore poetic techniques and approaches across a range of poems. If you are a young writer (aged 15 to 30) in the Yorkshire area, I’d love you to join me!
Leave a Comment · Posted on May 23, 2021
In April, I was awarded second prize in The Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Open Competition 2021 for my poem ‘Elegy for two placentas’.
Here are judge Rishi Dastidar’s comments:
The second prize goes to ‘Elegy for two placentas’ by Vanessa Lampert, attention-grabbing from its title – I can’t ever recall seeing a hymn to the body part. The poem makes its case elegantly, with grace (“Made to be lost / when your work was done”), wit (“I should have said thank you, / though you could not have pleased me then.”) and a keen sense of the humdrum strangeness that bodies are: “Oh unlovely fate of the unlovely. Oh strange trees / of purple flesh and red.”, before resolving to an image that is a prayer of a quiet, intense loveliness, the ‘humble female servants.” This is poem-as-magic spell, efficient in conveying wonder and rapture, reminding you that the everyday is actually quite special.