Spine 2024 AiRs

Rachel is part of SPINE Festival 2024, along with an incredible team of poets they’ll be leading workshops and arts activities for children in Libraries and schools across London this Spring.

Describe yourself in 3 words…

Hard to summarise. 

What inspires you?

There’s a Terry Pratchett novel where he describes inspiration particles sleeting through the universe all the time. They pass through everything like radiation. Sometimes the idea for the best new toaster design will hit a cat, and therefore go unremarked. Sometimes an idea for a poem will hit me. This is the best description of inspiration I have ever encountered. 

Tell us about your worst ever gig?

My second ever poetry gig was an open mic where, horrifyingly, a very experienced poet sat in the front row and gave live feedback to each open mic-er on their performance in front of everyone. 

What’s your number one poetry pet peeve?

I thought hard about this, but I really don’t have one! Poetry is a very flexible art form and I’m always trying to keep an open mind and meet new poems where they are. 

Whose words do you love at the moment?

I just read Honorifics by Cynthia Miller and I just can’t stop thinking about it. 

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

Write more poems. Do it today! 

How do you relate to the themes of magic & imagination?

I think magic is imagination, and imagination is magic. I’m a huge fantasy fan as well as poetry nerd, so I was delighted to be asked to respond to the theme this year. 

What do you enjoy most about working with children, families and libraries?

The permission to be a bit silly and very noisy. 

If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?

In the sea.  

An image of poet Rachel Lewis. She has shoulder length brown hair. She smiles at the camera and holds a blue book covered in stickers. She wears a brown jumper and black trousers.


Rachel Lewis is a poet and creative facilitator interested in hidden pain, everyday joy and love beyond romance. Her first pamphlet on eating disorder recovery, Three degrees of separation, was published in 2019 by Wordsmith HQ after winning the 2019 Wordsmith Prize.

She is currently writing a second collection exploring grief and belonging through her family’s links to the Belfast Jewish community, and running a newsletter on the work of poetry. She is a recipient of the 2022 Jewish Book Week Emerging Writers Award, an alumna of the Barbican Young Poets Collective and co-founder of Disabled Joy: the Writing Happiness Project.

Insta: @rachel_lewis_poet
Twitter: @rachellewispoet


about spine festival 2024