Describe yourself in 3 words…

Quirky – Vibrant – Stubborn

What inspires you?

This, I suppose, is an answer of contradiction. What inspires me to write does not inspire me. Often I write because of the feeling that I must – I often write about the current political climate (which is not what I would call inspiring, but certainly inspires me to write!). 

I also write about family, grief, introspection and landscapes; and what inspires me most in all of these themes is mundanity – everyday things that others might not think twice about. I have a whole poem about waiting for the bus, for example.

Tell us about your worst ever gig?

I’d say my worst gig was when I first started ‘properly’ and took part in a slam (without really preparing) – votes for the slam were judged with claps and, lets just say, I didn’t get many. I learnt from it though, and went back to win it a year later.

What’s your number one poetry pet peeve?

My number one poetry pet peeve is less about the writing of poetry, but the classification of poetry – that is to say that I hate the ingrained distinction, in some circles, between spoken word and page poetry, as if those things cannot be one and the same, and as if one of those forms is more worthy.

I hate any form of prescriptivism within poetry in terms of what words are and aren’t suitable to be in poems, such as dialect or phonetic writing when representing an accent – those are all of the things in poetry that I love.

Whose words do you love at the moment?

In terms of ‘big names’, Holly McNish is a poet whos words always pull at something within me.  She writes on topics which are relatable and everyday, but does it in a way which captivates me every time. 

I’m very lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing poets in my local area, and have so many of them attend my poetry night. There are some local voices that really scratch my brain, here is just a couple:

First of all, Cooper Robson, who is, what I would class as a primarily political writer, but who also has better control over humour in writing than anyone else I’ve ever seen.

Secondly, Lizzie Lovejoy, who writes a poem every single day (which blows my mind). They are a wonderful Northern voice writing about big themes like Northerness, introspection, politics, history and heritage. They always hold the room in the palm of their hand.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

I would say, above all else, keep writing. Don’t ever stop. Listen to that relentless feeling inside of you which tells you, when all else seems impossible, pick up a pen. 

Who was your favourite poet/ spoken word artist when you were younger?

I didn’t necessarily have one favourite – I am a person who collects favourites and rarely loses them; I think I will forever just keep adding to my collection of favourites.

One poet who did stick with me and who I refer back to a lot is actually one I was lucky enough to work with when I was 13 or 14, as he was a facilitator of the New Writing North young writers’ group I was a part of, Paul Summers. The reason his work has stayed a staple in my life is because he uses his dialect – steeped in oral traditions, and gives it pride of place in a world that often doesn’t see local dialect as worthy of a place in poetry or publication – this school of thought is one I know Paul and I vehemently refute, which is why I think his work has stayed at the forefront of my mind all this time.

About Amy Langdown

Amy Langdown is a writer, facilitator, producer and artist based in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Amy is primarily a poet who writes a lot about the current political climate in the UK and the wider world, but also on topics such as mental health, introspection, family, grief and landscapes. Amy started writing as a way to express difficult and confusing feelings in an artistic way and it is now an intrinsic part of life. In 2022, Amy started the Out of Your Head! poetry night and continues to run it monthly, both finding a place in, and growing the local poetry scene. Amy shares poetry and other artistic projects on instagram at @amylangdown_ .

Amy’s website:

Amy’s poetry night insta: @ooyh_poetry

Amy is part of Future Voices. Find out more about the project here: