About Suzanne

Suzanne Conway was awarded an M.A. (Distinction) in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Sussex in 1998. She won the Asham Award for Poetry that same year and the Live Literature Fresh Talent Poetry Prize in 2002. As part of her prize for the Asham Award Suzanne was mentored by John Burnside. The poems and short story they worked on together are published in the anthology Don’t Think of Tigers.

Suzanne is also published in The Poetry Review, The North, The Rialto, The Moth, Smiths Knoll, Seam, Magma, Ambit, The London Magazine, The Result Is What You See Today: Poems about Running (Smith|Doorstop), Newspaper Taxis: Poetry After the Beatles, The Captain's Tower: Seventy Poets Celebrate Bob Dylan at Seventy (both Seren), and elsewhere.

Suzanne was awarded an Academic Excellence Scholarship to complete a Ph.D in Creative and Critical Writing with Glyn Maxwell at the University of Essex but transferred to the University of Exeter. She is writing a collection of poetry alongside the critical commentary: 'Tantalising Vagueness' - Intimacy and Distance in the Poetry of Edward Thomas. She has read at Poetry Teignmouth, the Essex Poetry Festival, Poetry Wivenhoe, the Troubadour, the Torriano and The Betsey Trotwood.

When Suzanne isn't writing, she likes running through woodland and cycling all the hills she can find on Dartmoor.


All winter we drove to Forches Cross:
the wind pushed on the car doors
and clothes sailed as we peeled off layers.

The fields were black and edgeless
but we didn’t care. You tucked the key
behind the wheel and off we sprinted

into dark, hail racketing
anoraks, pelting skin. At the time
I never thought about anything else,

too busy leaping puddles,
resisting gravity, quick-stepping
to more solid ground.

I remember how quietly I loved
the rhythm of your footfall,
your snakes of breath carried off

by the gusts tangled and hissing
in the trees, blowing through Eden.


Published in The Result Is What You See Today: Poems about Running, Smith|Doorstop, October 2019.



For B.M.

After a reading in Ipswich
we shared an umbrella and walked
the dark, shiny streets.

My hand cupped the bulb of your bicep.
Everything dissolved except the warmth
beneath your shirt.

My whole body concentrated
as we kept time. I held onto each breath
under our black half-moon, imagined

a space helmet, with room
to keep us alive in orbit.
You later wrote to say you lost it

on the train; new that evening
and only good for one use:
for you to offer your arm and me take it.

More intimate than the months I spent
sleeping with your friend.
Oh, to be shielded from the rain.

When you left I had such a thirst.
I held my face up to the sky, mouth open,
and drank like drought-ridden earth.

Published in The Dark Horse, Issue 45, Summer 2022.


Suzanne has taught extensively at some of the best sixth form colleges and universities in the UK. She was a visiting writer and Creative Writing lecturer at Brunel University and the University of Sussex, and taught English Literature and Creative Writing to undergraduates at the University of Essex and the University of Exeter. She wrote, marketed and taught the very successful Creative Writing and Autobiography course which stimulated writing through personal experience, workshops and literature. This enabled diverse members of the community, including the unemployed, the elderly, teenagers, and those with mental health difficulties, to experiment with different forms with often very moving results.

Workshops and Events


Recent News



Publications, Articles and Prizes

Umbrella' and 'Morning', The Dark Horse, Issue 45, Summer 2022.

‘Coach’, Catching the Afterglow – A Celebration of South Devon Poets, Past and Present, June 2021.

‘Gift’, Acumen 100, May 2021.

'Winter Training' and 'Coach', The Result Is What You See Today: Poems about Running, Smith|Doorstop, October 2019.

'In his Absence' and 'Pineapples', The North, Issue 59, January 2018.

'Long Distance', The Moth: Art and Literature, Issue 30, Autumn 2017.

'Parklife', Poetry Wivenhoe's Hands Anthology, edited by Rebecca Goss, December 2014.

‘A Lesson in Lemonade’ and ‘How Things Are’, So Too Have the Doves Gone: Reflections on the Theme of Conflict, Jardine Press, March 2014.

‘Sherbet’ and ‘She’s Leaving Home’, From the City to the Saltings, Essex Poetry Festival Anthology, October 2013.

‘Sherbet’, Poetry Review, Volume 102, No 4, Winter 2012.

‘She’s Leaving Home’, Newspaper Taxis: Poetry after the Beatles, Seren, 2012.

‘Nine. Nine. Nine.’ and ‘Postcard from Taghazout’, The North, No 48, Dec 2011.

‘The Lilies’, The London Magazine, Aug/Sept 2011.

‘Don’t Think Twice’, The Captain’s Tower: Seventy Poets Celebrate Bob Dylan at Seventy, Seren, May 2011.

‘Grandfather’ and ‘Mr Carter', Ambit, Issue 204, Spring 2011.

‘Wallpaper’, Magma, No 48, Winter 2010/11.

‘Salt’, Magma, No, 47, June 2010.

‘Help’, Smiths Knoll, Issue 32, 2003.

‘Runaway’ and ‘Baklava’, Seam, Issue 19, 2003.

‘Birthmark’, ‘Gradients’, ‘Baklava’ and the short story "Driftwood", Don’t Think of Tigers, Do Not Press, May 2001 - mentored by John Burnside.

‘Slapton Sands’, The Rialto, No 41, 1998.

Articles and Conferences

Poetry and Care – An International Conference, Plymouth University, 7-8 Sept 2023. Chair for the Ecology and Cross–Speciesism panel with Mark Haworth–Booth, Min Wild and Mandy Bloomfield. Talk on "Why does Edward Thomas care? A look at “The Owl” with brief reference to “The sun used to shine”".

The Edward Thomas Fellowship, The Edward Thomas Study Centre, Petersfield Museum. An interactive talk on “The Longing of Thomas Hardy and Edward Thomas”, March 2023.

Keynote speaker at ‘Bad Habits of Expectancy’ – Philip Larkin Conference at the University of Hull, December 2022. “Medallion of Art: Nature, the Writer and the Essence of Creativity. A paper on Ted Hughes’s “The Thought-Fox” and Larkin’s “Sad Steps””.

The Friends of the Dymock Poets, Burgage Hall, Ledbury. An extract from the essay “The Strained Intimacy of Edward Thomas”, October 2022.

'Wilderness, Nature and the Untamed' Exclamation Conference, the University of Exeter, July 2022. An extract from the recently published essay 'Tantalising Vagueness' (see below).

‘Tantalising vagueness’: Edward Thomas’s ‘Liberty’ and ‘The Glory’, The Journal of the Friends of the Dymock Poets, No 21, 2022.

Close Reading on Jennifer Copley’s ‘Colin in the Playground’, The North, No 68, August 2022.

Blind Criticism on Harry Clifton's 'A Flight into Egypt', The North, No 66, August 2021.

The British and Irish Poetry Conference, Manchester University, September 2013. How Art that Refuses to Console, Consoles: A Look at MacNeice and Larkin. A paper on Larkin’s ‘The Explosion’, with passing reference to ‘Aubade’, and MacNeice’s ‘The Suicide’.

CHASE Consortium Conference, UEA London, November 2012. Medallion of Art: Nature, the Writer and the Essence of Creativity. A paper on Ted Hughes’s ‘The Thought-Fox’ and Larkin’s ‘Sad Steps’.


Selling Out: A Play, The University of Essex LiFTS Scriptwriting Competition, highly commended, 2013.

the University of Essex Academic Excellence Scholarship, 2012 - for duration of postgraduate study.

Shortlisted in the Fish one-page short story competition, April 2010.

Fresh Talent Poetry Prize, Essex County Council, November 2002.

Asham Foundation Award for Poetry, 1998.

Chris Johnson Poetry Prize, University of Sussex, commendation, 1997.



Joeli Cutter

Undergraduate in The Poem seminar at the University of Exeter 2023.

Suzanne, I was in your 'The Poem' seminar group last term and I feel you took the most care out of all my seminar leaders to get to know all of us within the seminar. Thank you!

Peter Jordan

Author of 'Calls to Distant Places', Winner of the Best Short Story Collection Eyeland’s Book Awards 2020.

Beautiful - your critiques are superb. Thanks Suzanne.

Simon Millward

Attended the Intimacy and Distance in Poetry workshop for the Moor Poets.

Suzanne has recently led a workshop for Moor Poets on Intimacy and Distance in Poetry. She is an excellent teacher, knowledgeable, thoughtful and structured in her approach whilst at the same time enabling all the participants to contribute and engendering a happy atmosphere. Strongly recommended.

Susan Jordan

Attended the Intimacy and Distance in Poetry workshop for the Moor Poets.

Wow! Now that’s how to run a workshop. I learned so much. The atmosphere of the workshop encouraged me to contribute more than I might normally.

Nicholas Battey

Attended the Intimacy and Distance in Poetry workshop for the Moor Poets.

Enlightenment! For the workshop, Suzanne selected 10 poems for the group to read in advance. She let the group discuss the poems in turn, quietly nudging the direction of thought to bring out the theme she had chosen. As a result the group gained the satisfaction of finding, apparently for themselves, what an interesting and important theme it was. At intervals, Suzanne suggested topics for on the spot writing, then encouraged the group to share the ideas they had come up with. I believe that everyone in the group went home replete. It was a good day. Suzanne achieved this result through poise. At times she revealed her deep and robust knowledge of poetry and poets, but this was never to the fore. Her opinions did not dominate the discussion, yet I am sure we saw what she thought was important. At the end of the session I realised what I had felt on first meeting Suzanne: she is someone exceptional, in her direct manner of engagement and her empathy. These qualities gave the discussion of poetry richness and coherence which enhanced the more academic dimensions.

Ian MacNaughton, Principal

The Sixth Form College, Colchester.

'Suzanne worked at the College as a teacher of English between September 2002 and summer 2014. Suzanne is an excellent teacher and was a very well respected and professional member of staff. She is impressively qualified to teach, including the sixth form phase of education, and has the very real skill of making her breadth of knowledge and understanding relevant and exciting. During the coursework production periods she worked very closely with her students and generated some very original and high calibre creative pieces across the specifications. Her enthusiasm and passion for literature was motivational and was evident in the teaching materials she created. The ‘lesson observations’ undertaken of her classes, praised her learner-centred approaches and teaching methods that promote collaborative working and student autonomy. They also cited the positive student/teacher rapport and highly purposeful learning environment as very real strengths.

Suzanne was the Head of Creative Writing at the College. Suzanne fostered a significant range of creative writing activities and opportunities for her students and inspired many students to achieve very high standards of work. She managed three creative writing groups each year and also led a creative writing ‘extension’ - where Suzanne and other colleagues supported students preparing individual Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) creative writing submissions. The quality of work achieved by students submitting for this ‘½ A level qualification’ was very high. Suzanne also organised and led an annual creative writing residential weekend for students and published a creative writing pamphlet arising from the activities. She also organised an excellent programme of writing events, evening performance activities and a series of workshops with visiting writers. In her own time, Suzanne engaged in creative writing workshops and readings both locally and nationally, and has had her work published in literary magazines and journals. She has significant talents.' 

Professor Susan Oliver, Course Convener

Faculty Dean Research - The University of Essex

Suzanne is very experienced at helping students achieve in English and Creative Writing at GCSE, A Level and undergraduate level. Here's what the experts say:

'Suzanne’s teaching of English at the University of Essex was outstanding. Her classes were exceptionally well prepared. The strength of student results from her seminars testifies to her effectiveness, with a well above average level of first-class and high 2:1 grades.

Suzanne used innovative and effective ways to ensure that her subject was taught in interesting ways across the full range of abilities. A variety of technology was used with absolute confidence and I was particularly impressed by the way that Suzanne embedded a number of strategies to make sure that the required knowledge levels were being reached. Student feedback on her classes was excellent (as I expected).

She is very professional. I would go so far as to say that she has a gift for teaching that makes her stand out. Suzanne is the most impressive Graduate Teacher that I have seen for a long time. Her knowledge of modernist and contemporary poetry is outstanding and I expect her to gain her Ph.D. without any difficulty. She has been a wonderful team worker who has contributed cheerfully and meaningfully to the teaching and research environment of my Department. I am very sorry to lose her from my teaching team and will miss her as a colleague.'


Contact Suzanne Conway