Ellen Storm

Writing the White and Purple Coats

January 15, 2018
by Ellen

Poetic Celibacy, and the Hippocrates Book of the Heart

Well, after a long period of poetic celibacy, my poem ‘Stoning Cherries’ has been published in the Hippocrates Book of the Heart… and it feels good!

Edited by my old friends Wendy French, Michael Hulse and Donald Singer, the Hippocrates Book of the Heart brings together “what the poets say about the heart” and “what the medical professionals say about the heart”. Continue Reading →

May 27, 2015
by Ellen

6th International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine – Morning Session

Friday 22nd May saw the 6th International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine come and go, and with it the launch of my first collection of poetry: Rupture.

I might write about Rupture in a separate post later, but for now I would like to concentrate on the symposium itself, which was fascinating as always.

After working the night shift in Liverpool on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, it was an operation of near-military precision to arrive at the venue in central London at 9am on Friday morning rested and alert, coffee in hand, lipstick in situ, and not having had a panic attack on the Jubilee Line at rush hour or having twisted my ankle in wholly unsuitable shoes. Continue Reading →

May 13, 2015
by Ellen

Rupture: Launch at the 6th International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine

The launch of my first full collection of poetry – “Rupture” – will take place at the 6th International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine in London on Friday 22nd May 2015.


For more information on the event or to register to attend, please follow the links below:

6th International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine and 2015 Hippocrates Awards Ceremony: Programme

6th International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine and 2015 Hippocrates Awards Ceremony: Register


May 6, 2015
by Ellen

Dannie Abse’s ‘Cats’

This morning I picked up Dannie Abse‘s last collection, Speak Old Parrot, published when he was ninety years old, and read ‘Cats’. It made me want to cry. If he was still with us* I would want to throw my arms around him and give him a big hug for this poem. The reasons are complex. Perhaps I’m just tired. I stayed up too late last night.

I’ve been busy updating this website over the last few days. It’s been a bit neglected to tell the truth. I’ve been working hard to put the finishing touches on the manuscript for my first collection, and we are finally done. More on that very shortly, but in the meantime, ‘Cats’. Continue Reading →

April 11, 2015
by Ellen

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit

by Jeanette Winterson, Vintage Books 2014

[First published in Great Britain in 1985 by Pandora Press]

ISBN 9780099598183


I’ve just finished reading this modern classic, which resonates in several ways with the piece I am writing for my MA course. Here are a few thoughts:

In her introduction to the 2014 Edition, Winterson comments on the placing of her book first in the cookery (preserves) section and later in the Gay and Lesbian section of bookshops, remarking that “had I been a straight white male the confidence of the writing and the experiment with form and material would have put it there [in the Literature section] to begin with”. Continue Reading →

March 17, 2015
by Ellen

What I’m Really Thinking: The Creative Writing MA Tutor

Any thoughts on this short anonymous article from last week’s Guardian newspaper?

I see maybe two or three students a year who have what it takes. There are others who can barely string a sentence together, and I think, “We shouldn’t even be taking your money.” But that’s how the books are balanced. I hope I respect each writer’s ambition and sincerity, even if I despair of their work […] I’m teaching evening classes to make ends meet. You think I’d be here if I was JK Rowling?”

Originally I wrote quite a few adjectives to describe this piece, and all of them were negative. Thinking about it, my main sadness comes as someone who values education and genuinely loves teaching. I don’t get to do it that much, but when I do I always really enjoy it. I look forward to it, I volunteer for it, I do it for no extra fee. It’s always the best and most rewarding part of my day. Also, teaching isn’t easy: it is its own specialty, with its own underpinning theory and requisite competencies. Continue Reading →

February 7, 2015
by Ellen

Writers and Personality

I’ve been thinking a bit about this recently, as I’ve had to revisit my Myers-Briggs personality type for some leadership and management stuff at work. I’m an INTJ (I’ve known this for about ten years), in case you know what that means. If you don’t The Myers & Briggs Foundation is a good place to start. Also 16 Personalities, Personality Page, and TeamTechnology.

I’m interested in how my personality might affect my writing, so I Googled a few websites to see if anyone else is having similar thoughts. Apparently they are. Continue Reading →

November 17, 2014
by Ellen

The Serving Library

Today I went to see the exhibition The Serving Library at the Tate Liverpool. For those in the north-west, I recommend it. For those elsewhere, they have an interesting website.

A reflection on the future of libraries, this is a mixed media installation that considers the demise of printed media, and the opportunities presented by new technologies.

The Serving Library, Tate Liverpool

As my mother works for a printing company, I grew up with talk of typefaces and the smell of ink. I am interested in the visual aspect of poetry – not simply the arrangement of words on a page but also the decisions (or lack thereof) that are made regarding how those words are presented to the reader – the making of a tangible thing. Continue Reading →