Welcome to the website of Ellen Phethean, poet, playwright and editor and co-founder of Diamond Twig press. Ellen's first full collection of poetry, Breath was shortlisted for the London New Poetry Award. Smokestack books published Wall, her novel for teenagers written in poems.
Ellen's second novel, Hom, is published in installments on this website. She says "It's unusual in that it is written in poems but it uses dialogue, monologue and dialect and is meant to read like mini installments of a novel," and she has been posting new episodes twice a week. Read more about Hom here, or use the monthly archives to start at the beginning (read from the bottom up!
Ellen came third in the Vorse Scribbin prize - the north east part of the Basil Bunting poetry prize - with her poem How to Look at Bees. This poem will be in her new collection How to Get to Know Yourself due out in May 2014, from Red Squirrel, who are also reprinting Breath.
More information about Ellen Phethean here.
Each month Ellen selects a poem that she finds wonderful, interesting, challenging, and fresh: in December, her white Christmas dreams are of White Lilacs, in the poem by Leni Dipple.
Diamond Twig Press
Diamond Twig is a small press, launched in 1992 by Ellen Phethean and the late Julia Darling to publish vibrant new writing by women in the North East of England. Publications include twenty titles in the Branch Lines series: pocket sized books in stylish black-and-white livery, launching new women writers into print.
In October 2011 the twentieth title was added to the Branchlines collection, Inviolate by Sara Park, edited by Kathleen Kenny from Sara's extensive writings, and published posthumously in her memory. At the same time, Red Squirrel Press published Sara's short story collection, Edith Popkiss Laughed Out loud.
Diamond Twig's previous publication, The Ropes, an anthology of new poetry for young people, was shortlisted for the CLPE Poetry Award. Read Ellen's account of the awards ceremony in her online diary.
Read more about The Ropes: Poems to hold on to, including how to order a copy.
Ellen's poetry collection, Breath, is published by Flambard Press. This work is largely the result of her part-time creative writing MA at Newcastle University, which helped her through the last few years, after the death of her husband Keith Morris, and Julia, within two months of each other in 2005. To quote the book cover: "These poems explore love, loss and the life that insists we carry on", but Ellen says they also contain candid observation and humour.
Breath was shortlisted for the London New Poetry Award, 2009.
"The core of the book is an extraordinarily brave and painful sequence recording the journey through grief which Phethean travelled after her partner, the composer Keith Morris, was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2005... great poems by any standard..."
Andy Croft, Morning Star
"The handling of these bereavements, the skillful restraint of words which let the anger and pain just shimmer through, is breathtaking."
Valerie Laws, Mslexia, April 2010
Use the diamonds to find your way around this site: and if you can't find what you are looking for, check the Site Map, which includes a full list of our authors, and our publications, which we hope you'll buy.
Diamond Twig regrets that we are unable to accept new submissions, until further notice.