Guest Feature – Sue Finch

It’s a delight today to introduce poet, Sue Finch, to Patricia’s Pen. Sue has come along to tell my readers about her poetry journey. Without further ado, it’s over to Sue.

My Poetry Journey

Sue Finch

My poetry journey began when I was chosen, aged ten, to read one of my poems at my primary school’s Harvest Festival. My mum and nan were in the audience, and I loved the fact there was a lectern and I was reading. A kind teacher rolled my sleeves up for me before I took my place!

At teacher training college I studied creative writing, and Vicki Feaver was one of my tutors. I have happy memories of creating and redrafting my poems whilst listening to Leonard Cohen before bringing them to the workshopping sessions. When I saw Vicki’s poems that I admired in print, I felt drawn to setting this as a goal for myself and imagined how wonderful it must feel to be a published poet. I wanted to set my words down for others to read.

A full-time job took me away from most of my writing until I realised that I was far from my goal of being published and was desperately missing the buzz of creating poems. I signed up for an online MA with Manchester Metropolitan University, and thoroughly enjoyed the balance and joy this brought. This led to working with Anna Saunders as a mentor with the aim of drafting a full collection. My debut collection Magnifying Glass developed and was later published by Black Eyes Publishing UK.

“Magnifying Glass focuses the lens on moments in time and carries the reader from childhood to adulthood. The title poem recalls one of Sue’s brother’s experiments in the garden with his new magnifying glass and its ability to focus sunlight to make fire. The poems are at times dark (Hare Mother reflects on a woman leaving an abusive relationship), occasionally twisted (The Red Shoes is a fairy-tale-inspired poem that begins with a meeting in a shoe shop) and often poignant (No Second Chance recounts an autobiographical moment where poor use of an axe to chop wood has unfortunate consequences). The final poem, Graphene, is a love poem as well as a celebration of carbon atoms.”

Whilst I love writing in workshops and from prompts, nothing beats the feeling of a line emerging all by itself demanding to be written into a full piece. I sometimes write from dreams and love the feeling of rushing to find a blank page in my journal on which to scribe the images and find out if a poem will be formed.

During lockdown I challenged myself to notice things on the drive to work each morning – a shorter version of Ian Macmillan’s morning tweets that needed to fit into the time it took from switching on my computer to being fully logged in. These tweets gave me a sense of being alive during a difficult time and allowed me to see the small details in the changes of the seasons. My full moon poems came about in a similar way when I realised that I was in my fifties, told people I loved the moon, and had not yet learned the full moon names.


Here’s one of Sue Finch’s poems – Flamingo – You can hear Flamingo being read over on IambaPoet


after Liz Berry

The night she bent my elbows
to fit the candy floss cardigan
for the twenty-third time, my limbs turned to wings.
She wished me to be a pink girl.

My neck grew and grew,
elongating, extending,
black eyes, shrunk in the pink like submerged pea shingle.

Light in my fan of feathers,
I was lifted like a balloon puffed with helium.
Body and wings held stately,
magically anchored by one leg,
miniature rough patellas marked my hinges.

When the scent entered half-moon holes in my new beak
I could have salivated at the raw rip of scaled flesh
but my juices would not run – I was gizzard now.
I couldn’t bear the confinement of the flock but flight
had me fearful.

Passing through flamingo phase I fattened, darkened.
A birch broom in a fit,
I shook my thick cheeks side to side
became a dodo
with a waddle in my walk that slowed.

She sent my father then. He came alone
with gun and incongruent grin
and shot me dead.
Skewered me above his heaped fire under moonlight,
turned me slowly round and round.

When he turned for the sauce
I dropped;
charcoaled feathers, beak tinged with soot,
burning in the blaze.
I laughed as I rose
higher and higher;
a golden bird from the fire.

About Sue Finch

Sue Finch likes all kinds of coasts, peculiar things, and the scent of ice-cream freezers. She lives with her wife in North Wales. Her first published poem appeared in A New Manchester Alphabet in 2015 whilst studying for her MA with Manchester Metropolitan University. Her work has also appeared in a number of online magazines including: The Interpreter’s House, Ink, Sweat and Tears, iamb, Dear Reader, One Hand Clapping and IceFloe Press. Her debut collection, ‘Magnifying Glass’, was published in October 2020 with Black Eyes Publishing UK.






Black Eyes Publishing


UK Bookshop

13 thoughts on “Guest Feature – Sue Finch

  1. sarahsouthwest May 3, 2023 / 7:08 am

    I love the, what? Playful intensity? Of Soo’s work. It’s great to read her journey. Lockdown was a volta for so many poets and creatives.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s