A poetry performance dedicated to the sensual power of anticipated intimacy. Mildly erotic poetry, with its understated longing, sly allusions and downplayed passions can be more romantic, potent and downright sexier than full-blooded verse, more concerned with the emotional side of affairs of the heart than the brute mechanics of sex itself.

Our poets will read from and discuss their own work, as well as performing classics from writers such as lovelorn Roman Catullus, perhaps the greatest love poet of them all, to explore the joy, doubt, hilarity and innate humanity of sex and sexuality.

The event will be introduced by Emma Wright, editor of ‘The Emma Press Anthology of Mildly Erotic Verse’, with readings from poets Sophia Blackwell, Jo Brandon, Sudeep Sen, Victoria Gatehouse and Steve Nash. Why not bring a date?

Unfortunately, Mona Arshi will be unable to attend this event due to personal reasons.


Mona Arshi

Mona Arshi worked as a human rights lawyer for a decade before she received a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and won the inaugural Magma Poetry competition in 2011. Mona was a prize winner in the 2013 Troubadour International Competition and joint winner of the Manchester Creative Writing Poetry Prize in 2014. Her debut collection ‘Small Hands’ won the Forward Prize for best first collection in 2015.

Sophia Blackwell

Sophia Blackwell was born in Newcastle. Her poetry has been anthologised by Bloodaxe, Nine Arches and Sidekick Books. She is the author of one poetry collection, ‘Into Temptation’ (2009), and a novel, ‘After My Own Heart’ (2012). Her second collection is due out in 2016 with Burning Eye Books.

Jo Brandon

Jo Brandon was born in Essex in 1986 and is now based in West Yorkshire. She graduated with a degree in creative writing from Bretton Hall in 2007. Jo has a pamphlet, Phobia, and two full-length collections: The Learned Goose (2015) and Cures (2021) all with Valley Press. Jo is also a librettist, collaborating frequently with composer Ella Jarman-Pinto. Their commissioned libretto marking International Women’s Day 2021 aired on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune. Jo is a former editor of Cadaverine and was Bradford Literature Festival’s first Digital Poet in Residence.

Victoria Gatehouse

Victoria Gatehouse was born in Leeds and currently lives in Yorkshire. Her poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies including ‘Mslexia’, ‘Magma’, ‘The Rialto’, ‘The North’, ‘Poetry News’, ‘Furies’, ‘The Emma Press Anthology of Mildly Erotic Verse’ and the ‘Telegraph’. Competition wins/placements include Ilkley, Poetry Society Members’ Competition and Mslexia.

Steven Nash

Steve Nash is a writer, lecturer and terrible musician based in Yorkshire. He won the 2014 Saboteur Award for Spoken Word Performer of the Year and his first collection, ‘Taking the Long Way Home’, is available now from Stairwell Books.

Sudeep Sen

Sudeep Sen is a poet, translator, artist and editor, recognised as one of India’s finest younger poets. He has published more than a dozen collections of poetry including ‘Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems’, ‘Distracted Geographies’, ‘Lines of Desire’ and ‘Aria’ which won the A.K. Ramanujan Translation Award. His new collection ‘Erotext: Desire, Disease, Delusion, Dream, Downpour’ is out now.

Emma Wright

Emma Wright founded the Emma Press in 2012, having previously worked in ebook production at Orion Publishing Group. She is a keen illustrator and lives in Birmingham.