Genista Lewes

Genista Lewes

I began my working life as an actress and later trained as a teacher and lectured in Art History at the Somerset College of Art. A parallel career connected to my poetry writing began in the early 1990s working as a Creative Writing Tutor at Bridgwater College and The Bridgwater Arts Centre.

Advanced Writing Workshops with Selima Hill in the 1990s encouraged my writing and I gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Writing and Art History from Plymouth University in 2000.

During this time I began to read my poetry at a variety of venues, mostly in the West Country. They include: The Bridgwater Arts Centre; The Phoenix, Exeter; The David Hall, South Petherton; The Dartington Literary Festival; The Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton.

In 1988, I joined Fire River Poets, which remains a thriving group, promoting and encouraging both writing and appreciation of poetry. I continue to read my work and collaborate with other group members in organising readings from both well-established and up-and-coming poets at the CIC (Creative Innovation Centre) in Taunton. From time to time, as guest poet I lead the regular ‘Poetry Cafe’ held there.

My work has been heard on BBC Radio 4, and many times on Local Radio and I have published work in several anthologies and poetry magazines and had poems placed in competitions. Most recently, in 2014, I won second prize in the Tacchi-Morris Centre Writing Competition and was also selected for the Ver Poets Open Competition anthology.

My first full collection, Cat’s Cradle was published by Oversteps Books in 2007 and can be purchased for £6 plus £1.50 postage from

Some examples of Genista’s work:

She knows
a reckoning
Alice’s door
Beneath the Bridge
Original Skin
Poetry Reading
The Sisters