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Storytelling at Artista

Sussex Poetry Sampler

John McCullough (Headliner), Sonya Smith & Charlotte Gann, plus open mic (register on the day)

Sussex Poetry Sampler

John McCullough (Headliner), Sonya Smith & Charlotte Gann, plus open mic (register on the day)


Event starts at 2pm, introductions from Christopher Horton as host. Chris will then facilitate a short
open mic that will last about forty minutes (if open mic participants could register at 1:50pm that would
be useful/ no more than two poems).

£7 Entry + booking fee

There will be readings from four poets.

John McCullough 

John McCullough lives in Hove. His third book of poems, Reckless Paper Birds, was published with
Penned in the Margins and won the 2020 Hawthornden Prize for Literature as well as being
shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award. John’s previous collections have been Books of the Year for
publications including The Guardian and The Independent, and he also won the Polari First Book
Prize. His poem ‘Flower of Sulphur’ was shortlisted for the 2021 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem.
His fourth collection, Panic Response, explores personal and cultural anxiety, and the ways people
respond. It was published in March by Penned in the Margins.

Sonya Smith

Sonya Smith’s first collection, every robin I never quite saw, was published in 2021 by tall lighthouse.
From this collection, her poem Telharmonium 1906 was Poem of the Week in The Telegraph. She is
included in anthologies such as Poetry South East and Needlewriters and her 2009 pamphlet old
panic undressed was also published by tall lighthouse. Sonya has a daughter, partner and dog and
currently lives in Sussex.

Charlotte Gann

Charlotte Gann is an editor from Lewes. Her poetry pamphlet The Long Woman (Pighog) was
shortlisted for the 2012 Michael Marks Award, and her full collections are Noir (2016) and The Girl
Who Cried (2020) both from Happenstance. She writes and edits pamphlet reviews for Sphinx and
convenes The Understory Conversation, a new online hub for like-minded creatives.

Christopher Horton

Christopher Horton’s poems have appeared in Poetry London, Poetry Wales, Ambit, Iota, Magma,
Dreamcatcher, The Wolf, Stand, Other Poetry and anthologies with Penned in the Margins, tall-
lighthouse, Broken Sleep Books and Days of Roses. He has a been a prize winner in the National
Poetry Competition, Verve Poetry Competition and the Bridport Prize. He also won first prize in the
South Downs Poetry Festival Competition in 2021 and had another poem highly commended in the
same year of the competition.  His pamphlet, Perfect Timing, was released by tall-lighthouse press in

Shadows on Snow

Chilling Tales from the Far North


Come closer to the fire – the darkness isn’t far away… Storyteller Jon Mason spins spine-tingling folktales for a winter’s night from Finland and Scandinavia: vengeful ghosts, malign spirits and wild things of the woods and mountains… all of these might be waiting for you outside. Join us in person AND online for a night of old tales and older thrills.


“You really brought those stories to life… I want to go and visit those places now!” – Guesthouse Storytellers, Newhaven

“…great tales told with obvious love. It was an enthralling evening.” – Audience member, The Mabinogion, Feb 2021

“… became totally engrossed by the story telling session around the campfire… fantastic…” – https://minitravellers.co.uk/into-the-trees-festival/