Victoria Bennett is a disabled writer, poet and producer, living with genetic haemochromatosis and hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome+. In 1999, she founded the radical-rural Wild Women Press collective and curates the #WildWomanWeb. Long ago, in 2002, she won a New Writing North Northern Promise Award and the inaugural Andrew Waterhouse Award and has published four pamphlets. Her forthcoming poetry pamphlet, To Start The Year From Its Quiet Centre, is due out in Autumn 2020 with Indigo Dreams Publishing.
She is a co-director of The Wizard and The Wyld, bringing together digital gaming and literature and is currently undertaking an MRes Creative Practice with the University of Highlands and Islands (Shetland), combining poetry, memoir and XR technology to explore narratives of absence within landscapes of personal and ecological loss.
Her work-in-progress nature memoir, All My Wild Mothers, was long-listed for the Nan Shepherd Prize (2019). An intimate story of motherhood, loss and planting, this is her first full-length creative non-fiction work. She is a full-time carer at home and lives in Cumbria with her husband and young son. When not juggling motherhood and creative projects, she can be found howling in the hills with the Wild Women, her creative tribe.
“My first contact with New Writing North was back in 1997. I was a young woman, newly moved to Cumbria and recovering from agoraphobia. New Writing North supported me through a mentoring programme with Linda France. This experience changed my life and gave me the confidence to set up Wild Women Press and publish my first pamphlet, Anchoring the Light. The intervening years have been ones shaped by the demands of motherhood, full-time care and chronic illness, as well as learning to live with the impact of traumatic grief.
To be supported by New Writing North again through the Northern Debut Award at this stage in my writing life feels very special. It not only gives me confidence in my non-fiction writing, but it also validates that voice and provides a practical platform, professional support and financial freedom to enable me to complete the work. I am immensely grateful to New Writing North for this award and opportunity.”