Keele lecturer appointed poet-in-residence at Dorothy Clive Garden


James Sheard

Posted on 07 September 2012

Staffordshire-based poet and creative writing lecturer, James Sheard, has been appointed as the first poet-in-residence at the Dorothy Clive Garden for a period of 12 months.

The new role of poet-in-residence has been created to celebrate the sensory impression of the garden via the written word, attract a broader range of visitors to the garden and provide a platform for local community engagement via poetry recitals, workshops and events at the garden.

The residency will celebrate the garden, on the A51 between Stone and Nantwich as a place of evolving horticultural artistry and design, via the creative expression of poetry, and will commemorate the garden’s informality, diversity, tranquillity, peace and wonder.

Julia Roberts, marketing manager at the charitable garden trust, said: "We are thrilled about the creation of the new position of poet-in-residence at the Dorothy Clive Garden and delighted about James’s appointment as our resident poet. This is an exciting new venture which we hope will connect a wider cross section of the community with this beautiful garden."

During this residency, which will take place from September for a duration of 12 months, James will be capturing his thoughts and observations, as well as talking to staff and visitors around the garden to inspire his poetry. A booklet of the poetry will be written and published and placed for sale in the garden gift shop at the end of the residency.

James said: "I am excited by the challenge of writing for and about The Dorothy Clive Garden. For a poet, ideas which are represented by the establishment and maintenance of a garden - place, love, healing, memorial, permanence made of transient things - are natural subjects. I would like to write poems which strike the reader in the same ways that elements of the garden’s story and views strike us, to create a set of poems which are varied and integrated, like the parts of the garden itself. I am also excited to be journeying into an English poetic tradition of writing about gardens - and hope that through readings, talks, and eventually the collection of poems itself, I can involve old and new visitors in that journey."

James Sheard is a published poet and creative writing lecturer at Keele University. James’s work has been shortlisted for various poetry and literary prizes such as the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2005.


For further information about the appointment or the Dorothy Clive Garden, please contact, call 01630 647237 or visit the