“Words govern me

They writhe, spew & rage

They bash at my teeth like beasts in a cage

They squirm in my mouth

Potent & full

Nibble at my fingertips, where the heart strings pull.”

HOLLY DAFFURN (extract from ‘Hackney Writer’)


I am a passionate artist on the spoken word scene with a loyalty to Birmingham (my poetic home if not my literal one). My work includes political pieces such as ‘For Russia with Love’ a performance poem that addresses sexuality and the situation in Russia. This piece was commissioned to be made into a film poem by CAGED Arts as part of The React Poetry Project (An O2 Think Big Project). As well as attracting international attention (including support and acclaim from a number of Russian LGBT groups) this film poem was also shown at We’re Here a queer film screening and art exhibition as part of Brighton Pride.

I was commissioned by the UK’s leading spoken word organisation Apples & Snakes to write and record a podcast on the theme of ‘Heritage’. I chose to explore inherited mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. After six months of research, listening, scribbling and shaping Both Sides of the Sky was born. It has been very well-received including commendation from Ruby Wax‘s mental health organisation SANE and the renowned manic depression charity BipolarUK.

I am also immensely passionate about giving young people the confidence, skills and incentive to use words to break down barriers, dissolve stigma, express themselves and as a cathartic practice. I run workshops that offer young people the space, opportunity and support to get their voices heard. I have been both moved and inspired by the response from young people from disadvantaged and difficult backgrounds.

My work has appeared in numerous publications including DIVA, Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, Sluice Magazine, I Am Not A Silent Poet, Under The Fable and Sick Lit Magazine.

I am currently working on my first collection of page poetry.