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The people making poetry happen

Poetry School is run by a team of poets and arts administrators from our classrooms in London. Our work is further supported by our Board of Trustees. You can find out more about our administrative and governance teams and what we do, below.

Our teaching is handled by our ever-changing faculty of freelance poets. Information about our poetry tutors can be found on the courses they teach. For general enquiries please email [email protected].


Meet our team

Sally Carruthers

[email protected]

Sally is Executive Director of Poetry School, responsible for direction in areas such as funding, partnerships, alumni and other areas of strategic growth and delivery. She studied English at the University of Oxford and embarked on a career in magazine and newspaper publishing, moving into philanthropy with charities ranging from educational projects such as the Story Museum, The Poetry Archive and University of Oxford to large scale national charities targeting deprivation with OnSide Youth Zones. Sally writes fiction and is working on her first novel. Contact Sally to discuss all varieties of funding opportunities and other strategic partnerships.

Will Barrett

[email protected]

Will is the Senior Programme Manager at Poetry School. Will studied Art History and has worked for Quercus Publishing, Microsoft, Betfair, Serpentine Galleries, Bush Hall, Rose Theatre Kingston, the English Folk Dance and Song Society, Popbitch, and appeared in musicals and cabarets as an accordion/piano accompanist. He is a student of the Lagan Lutherie School and worked at The Boatyard Guitar Workshop in West London. In 2018, he helped to produce events and courses for the Song Collectors Collective. Contact Will if you’re interested in teaching opportunities, partnerships, projects, writing for the blog.

Chloë Crowther

[email protected]

Chloë is our Office Administrator. Chloë studied English with Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, where she first discovered her natural flare for using the VLOOKUP function in Microsoft Excel. Chloë’s interests extend beyond reading and writing poems to lounging decoratively across various furniture, and running an open mic and poetry night in Peckham called Fresh Lip. Send Chloë a question about virtually anything at all to [email protected] and she’ll be more than happy to help you out.

Andrew Parkes

[email protected]

Andy is our Core Programme Manager. He programmes all of our Face-to-Face courses and workshops around the UK and in London. Andy has a BA in Media & Modern Literature and an MA in Modern Literary Theory from Goldsmiths, University of London. He is Director and Editor of the independent poetry press clinic, has written and produced several works for the theatre and is currently developing a PhD proposal on the writing of Mark Z. Danielewski, Deleuzian metaphysics and the philosophy of time.

Maryam Tavakoli

[email protected]

Maryam is the Finance Officer at Poetry School. Maryam studied Accountancy at Edinburgh Napier University. She worked as treasurer at North Glasgow Community Food Initiative for 4 years and in various Finance Officer roles before joining the Poetry School in October 2013. Maryam’s main role is to manage and administrate the day-to-day finances of the organisation including payroll, bills, invoicing, deposits, banking and budget management. She also plays a key role in the financial planning for the organisation.

Ed Wall & Holly Farler – Caretakers

Ed and Holly are the people who will welcome you into our premises, help you find your classroom, and make sure there’s plenty of tea and coffee on hand. Save Save

Board of Trustees

Richard Forsdyke – Chair

Richard Forsdyke is a partner in the real estate group at international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, where he has 20 years’ experience in advising on major property developers, landlords and local authorities. He holds an M.A. in Philosophy & Law from Cambridge (Robinson College) and an M.Sc. in Politics from the LSE. His politics Master’s thesis was published as “After The Landslide” by the Centre for Policy Studies, where he served as a research fellow. He is a former trustee of The Pavement Poetry Trust and has undertaken courses at Poetry School. He plays rock drums to a low standard and is, so far, a failed novelist. He is married with four children and lives 100 metres from the Poetry School in Kennington.

Helen Taylor – Trustee

Helen Taylor (BA Hons Cantab) was Literature Officer for Cambridgeshire County Council for 9 years and is now a Literature Consultant and works for Carol Ann Duffy the Poet Laureate as PA and Laureate Project Coordinator. Helen taught in secondary schools for five years before becoming Head of Education at The Poetry Society. She has taught on the University of Cambridge’s MA in Children’s Literature and the PGCE course at the University of Cambridge. She has been a director of two Poetry Festivals and is now on the programming committee of the Cambridge Literary Festival. She has also worked for Cambridge City Council as Community Arts Liaison Officer and founded her own company The Voices Project, which developed and delivered creative projects in the community for local authorities and museums. Helen initiated and project managed the year long Poetry and Museums Project ‘Thresholds’ curated by the Poet Laureate which involved 10 poets in residence in 10 University of Cambridge museums and collections working with young people and writing new poems.

Mona Arshi – Trustee

Mona Arshi worked as a human rights lawyer at Liberty before she started writing poetry. She completed her Masters in poetry in 2011 at the University of East Anglia with a distinction. Her debut collection ‘Small Hands’ won the Forward Prize for best first collection in 2015. She has also been a prizewinner in the Magma, Troubadour and Manchester creative writing competitions. Mona was the 2016-2017 Arvon/Jerwood poetry mentor and teaches and mentors regularly at schools and colleges. She has curated poetry events at the House of Commons with EVAW (End Violence Against Women) on International Woman’s Day and co-edited a special issue of POEM magazine on the theme of Brexit in June 2017. Mona has performed her work at over 40 Festivals both here and abroad. She has read at the Royal Society of Literature, Poetry School, the Southbank Centre and in 2017 she was on the judging panel for the Forward Prize and co-hosted the awards at the Royal Festival Hall. Mona makes regular appearances on the radio including Front Row and was commissioned to write a programme on The Odyssey for ‘Book of the week’ for Radio 4, which was broadcast in March 2017. Her poems and interviews have been published in many magazines but also in The Times, The Guardian, in the US and The Times of India as well as on the London Underground. Mona has recently been working with ‘Dancing Words’ and collaborated with composer Tom Szirtes and dancer Ella Mesma to develop a film poem – ‘Ballad of the Small Boned Daughter’ which was screened at the BFI in January 2018. Mona’s second collection is due to be published in early 2019 by Liverpool University Press.

Robin Boyd – Trustee

Robin Boyd is director of the Poetry in Aldeburgh Festival that was revived in 2016, as well as a director of the Aldeburgh Library Foundation. Before retirement he worked in the finance sector as an investment analyst in New York, London and Zurich and then in technology, designing systems to support and automate company financial analysis. In 1990 with his wife Caroline, he also set up ARC Software Consultancy, a company that continues to specialise in, amongst other things, digital rights and repertoire data systems for the Music, Publishing, and Visual Media worlds. Robin was educated in New York, England and at Oxford (History and Economics). He is married with two grown up children.

Sean McDonagh – Trustee

Sean McDonagh is Head of Academic Engagement at Rowman & Littlefield International, an independent publisher of interdisciplinary books on Politics, Philosophy and Cultural Studies. With experience across a range of departments at various publishers including Bloomsbury Publishing and Quarto Press, he has developed broad publishing insights, specialising in marketing, communications and community engagement. Originally from Birmingham, he now lives in London, where he enjoys writing and reading poetry, the vast array of events and the opportunity to learn through courses taken at the Poetry School. He has also lived in Italy, where he specialised in Irish and American Literature at the University of Turin, during his time studying English at the University of Leicester. He has since continued to learn Italian, completing the C1 Advanced course at the Italian Cultural Institute and is pursuing his interest in language and culture by participating in poetry translation workshops and the Warwick Translates Summer School.

Andrew Hewish – Trustee

A profile for Andrew Hewish is forthcoming… Save


Want to work for us?

We are currently looking for an enthusiastic arts or business graduate who wants to join our friendly team in Canada Water as our new Digital Programming and Marketing Assistant, and an exceptional Finance and Operations Officer to work closely with the executive director to ensure the growth and development of the School at this exciting time.

Digital Programming and Marketing Assistant

Starting salary is £22,000. The role is full-time and ideal for someone with:

• Excellent IT skills including working knowledge of Office Suite applications, especially Excel, Word and Outlook as well as design and editing programmes.
• Fluency in WordPress, Buddypress, CMS &CRM Systems
• Understanding of website accessibility and usability
• Knowledge of and familiarity with current marketing and sales technologies and social media platforms.
• Excellent understanding of website creation and maintenance.
• Project and time management skills.
• Excellent interpersonal skills and experience of public facing roles
• Experience working in a digital administrative role.
• A knowledge of and interest in contemporary poetry.
• Knowledge of web development processes, and digital content management systems
• Basic design skills such as sourcing, editing and putting together visuals and images
• Familiarity with graphics editor such as Photoshop or alternative
• Copy editing and proofing experience
• Google Analytics / Adwords
• Maintaining listings
• Maintaining social and Google business pages
• E-commerce (as we’re going to have to change payment gateway / our ticketing system)
• UX design
• Configuring CRM

For more information and a full job description email [email protected] by Monday December 16th. Interviews will be held 18th & 19th December.

Finance and Operations Officer

The purpose of the role is to provide financial accounting and administrative support for the organisation and to ensure the accounting system (QuickBooks) is up-to-date and accurate and that transactions are recorded correctly and in a timely manner. You will play an important part in maintaining strong financial controls and helping staff across the organisation with day to day support regarding finance related issues.

Key Financial Tasks

  • Process invoices received and other transactions including credit card and other expenses into the finance system
  • Process BACS and Cheque payments
  • Undertake all bookkeeping, prepare and produce and present quarterly management accounts and cash flow projections for the board of trustees.
  • Create/check payments to suppliers/staff/other organisations as required
  • Raise sales invoices for various activities including room hire and other bespoke services
  • Prepare reconciliations for bank accounts and other control accounts as required
  • Produce and manage monthly payroll and related matters e.g. liabilities, pension contributions.
  • Assist with audit and full statutory year end accounts and being the main point of contact with external auditors
  • Production of annual budget, reviewing and monitoring budget  and forecasting reports
  • Support and guide staff in the operation of financial procedures, monitor compliance with those procedures and raise any concerns with the executive director
  • Maintain an effective filing system for all financial records
  • Provide assistance to other members of the team as required
  • Assist the executive director in preparation of business plan
  • Assist the executive director in preparation of funding applications and annual returns to major funders

Key Operational Tasks

  • Managing and maintaining staff annual leave
  • Managing and liaising with various suppliers ie phone & internet, energy, water and waste
  • Arrange for required maintenance in the office

Starting salary is £26k – £28k p/a – pro rota – depending on qualifications & experience.

For more information and a full job description email [email protected] by Friday December 20th. Interviews will be held January 2020.