Writing

Publications

Cover design by Adam Craig

EMPIRES OF CLAY, Becky’s first full poetry collection was published by Cinnamon Press in November 2016.  Order here.

‘These vividly imagined, lexically startling and ambitious poems range widely – from the personal and domestic to the philosophical and cosmic, incorporating Nietszche, Barbara Hepworth and ‘the bins at Waitrose’. Cherriman’s earthy erotic, mythmaking imagination is at work on every page – these poems flash with magic and are lit with subversive carnality.’ (Steve Ely).

‘Becky  Cherriman portrays, in precise detail and with vivid imagery, the daily challenges faced by women. These poems deal with love, loss and redemption. They draw on fairy tales and contemporary art for inspiration and provide unexpected glimpses of people’s lives, from the girl who ‘had lived with the wolves’ to the mother trying to do her best by serving a ‘Eucharist of grain and fruit’ (Caroline Davies).

Cover by Teika Bellamy. Photograph by Jane Cardie

Poetry pamphlet ECHOLOCATION was released on 17th February 2016 with Mother’s Milk Books and was longlisted
in the 2016 Saboteur Awards.

‘Becky Cherriman’s ECHOLOCATION is a stridently assured body of work that negotiates the tethers binding mother and child. Infertility, fostering and single motherhood are encountered and marked by those elements of love that exist within the interstices of domestic spaces and everyday life. (Carolyn Jess-Cooke)

‘An impressive first pamphlet which does not succumb to mawkish sentimentality, ECHOLOCATION displays
some startling and original imagery.’ (Michael Brown)

Order your copy here or purchase the PDF.

Current Writing Projects

  • Corseted – a one act show that weaves together the story of women’s rights campaigner Alice Cliff Scatcherd (1842-1906) with the testimonies of refugee women living in the UK.  The research and development phase, which took place last winter, was funded by the Arts Council and Leeds Inspired in 2016-17.
  • Collaborating with lead writer Steve Toase and other artists on Haunt, a site specific theatre project exploring vulnerable housing and homelessness in spa towns. The show incorporates material from Becky’s yet-to-be-published first novel. 

Magazines, Anthologies and Web Publications

  • 2010 – poems ‘Wolves’ and ‘Paisley Quilt’ published by Michelle McGrane at Peony Moon
  • 2011 – poem ‘Behind His Eye’ shortlisted for Grist competition and poems ‘Behind His Eye’ and ‘Every Bone’ published in the anthology ‘A Complicated Way of Being Ignored’
  • 2013 – poems ‘Eucharist’ and ‘That Room’ published in ‘Versions of the North – Contemporary Yorkshire Poetry’ edited by Ian Parks and published by Five Leaves Publications
  • 2013 – poems ‘That Room’ and ‘Paisley Quilt’ published as part of the award-winning Against Rape campaign
  • 2014 – extract of ‘Namesake’ published in One that Won section of Mslexia Issue 61
  • 2014 – poem ‘The Secret of Perfect Wine’ published in Heavenly Bodies, an anthology about the constellations by Beautiful Dragons, ed. Rebecca Bilkau
  • 2014 – Grief flash fiction trilogy published in book of adult fairy tales, The Forgotten and The Fantastical by Mother’s Milk, ed. Teika Bellamy
  • 2014 – poem ‘Lullabies’ published on Carolyn Jess-Cooke’s guest spot Writing Motherhood for the Mslexia blog
  • 2014 – poems ‘Shadow’ and ‘Namesake’ published on Carolyn Jess-Cooke’s 7 day blog about depression
  • 2014 – ‘Urchin’ commended in Mother’s Milk Books Writing Prize 2014 and published in The Story of Us, ed. Teika Bellamy
  • 2015 – ‘Wolves’ published by Bloodaxe in their Raving Beauties Anthology, Hallelujah For Fifty Feet Women
  • 2015 – ‘Austerity’ published at Well Versed and in Berfrois’ free-to-download Poets For Corbyn.  Translated by Francesca Spinelli for Internazionale 1123, 9.10.15
  • 2015 – ‘Christchurch Ilkley’ published in Envoi Issue 170, ed. Kay Syrad
  • 2015 – ‘Eucharist’ published at Voice In Journal 
  • 2015 – ‘Secondary School Art’ published in Blueshift, Book of Sand project, ed. Karen Dennison
  • 2015 – ‘The Basement’ published in New Walk Issue 10, ed. Rory Waterman
  • 2015 – ‘Chlorine Attack, Idlib’ in Beautiful Dragons anthology My Dear Watson , ed. Rebecca Bilkau
  • 2015 – ‘Pillion’ published with A Firm of Poets in The People’s Republic of Poetry, ed. The Ossett Observer
  • 2015 – Poem ‘Our Harrogate’ and ‘Crashing The Party’, an extract from Yellow Brick Roads published in anthology Haunt, produced by Imove.  The project was shortlisted by The Saboteur Awards 2016
  • 2016 – ‘Urbanite’ published in Eyewear’s The Best New British and Irish Poets 2016 
  • 2016 – ‘Hypermnestra’s Tale’ in Leeds Trinity University Anthology
  • 2016 – ‘Meteor Shower’ and ‘Vaginal Repair’ published in Wordlife Anthology
  • 2016 – Beam commission Our Treasures – bespoke poems written for Altofts Festival In A Day in conjunction with the Altofts community is available on audio or PDF with an accompanying map so you can follow the trail yourself
  • 2017 – ‘The Foster Mother’s Blanket’ published in Writing Motherhood – A Creative Anthology, ed. Carolyn Jess Cooke
  • 2017 – ‘Christchurch Ilkley’ published in The Valley Press Anthology Of Yorkshire Poetry, ed. Miles Salter and Oz Hardwick

Word On The Street, photo by Maria Spadafora

Sample Poem

Jibber 

‘Never let it be said your mother bred a jibber.’
He hears the phrase on a hill in Spain,
a Barnsley lass calling his laughter back home,
a jibber being a lazy man –

‘I don’t like the cut of your jib’ – mining lingo.

Colin’s dad tried for the Navy three times
but they needed all the colliers they could get.
‘One more go and we’ll lock you up,’ they said.

Colin’s origins are in baronry, in knighthoods,
Vikings and Egyptian queens,
one ancestor photographed with Buffalo Bill, another named
for saving a conqueror – Fortesque; strong shield.

Then miners – Tom Albert Sharp
the only one who never went down.
At fourteen, his mother dead, left to take care of the kids.
1939 he signs up. You know what happens next.

After armistice, bivouacking in the fields,
a German takes him in, uses his wife’s diamond ring
to inscribe a glass – name, date and unit,
thanks for getting rid of Hitler.

Decades on, a small village in France with forgotten name,
his nephew finds a photo amongst a pile of relics:
Uncle Tom kneels – flower in one hand held out
to a little girl: gun in the other,

that glass on an Altofts fireplace now.

Composed with the Altofts community for Beam’s Our Treasures project.