Mary-Jane Holmes

“The verses come alive in the accretion of telling details” Jane Harris

Mary-Jane Holmes is a writer, teacher and editor dividing her time between the UK, Ireland, Spain and the Tex-Mex border of the USA. Since 2009 she has been chief editor of Fish Publishing, a publishing house dedicated to supporting emerging writers and is the director of the creative writing program at the retreat and writing centre: Casa Ana, Spain.  She is also editorial consultant at The Well Review, an international poetry journal based in Cork, Ireland that has published poets such as Anne Carson, Vona Groarke, Matthew Sweeney and John Burnside and guest editor at  V.Press 

She completed a masters in creative writing at Kellogg College, Oxford with distinction, has been accepted as a Hawthornden Fellow in 2019 and her debut poetry collection is published by Pindrop Press

Mary-Jane is reading from the collection on 21st May at Kellogg College, Oxford, 8th June in Settle, North Yorkshire, Bantry, West Cork on Wednesday 18th July and O’Bheals, Cork City, Ireland on 1st October. On 27th October she is running a workshop on alternative narrative structure in short fiction at the Press Club, Geneva for the Geneva Writers Group where she is a mentor: Geneva Writers Group

In 2019, she will be reading and running a workshop at the Swaledale Festival, North Yorkshire, and running workshops at the Flash Fiction Festival, Bristol and Malham Tarn Field Centre. Please see the teaching page for other courses available.


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Publications and Competitions


Longlisted for the Poetry Book Society and Myslexia Women’s Poetry Competition 2018.

Application to be a Hawthornden Fellow accepted for 2019

Translation of Hungarian poet Margit Kaffka: Modern Poetry in Translation

Modern Poetry in Translation Journal – Translation of Latvian poet, VIZMA BELŠEVICAOffspring

A winner of The Best Small Fictions Anthology 2018. Best Small Fictions Listed as one of the most anticipated books of 2018: BSF Most Anticipated List

Recent essay on poetry can be read here: Love the Blank Page

Disciplining the Modern Satyr shortlisted in the  Five Word International Poetry competition and is published in the Five Words XI Anthology.  Mary-Jane will be reading at Ó Bhéal, Cork later in October.

Work published in Ash Magazine



Winner of the Bridport Prize for Poetry: testimonial

First Prize in the Bedford International Poetry Prize

Winner of the Martin Starkie Prize for Poetry

Shortlisted for the Doolin Poetry Prize

Commended in the Settle Poetry Prize

Shortlisted for the Penfro Poetry Prize

Nominated for a Forward Prize

Weather Vane published in Flash Fiction Magazine Here:

Letter from a Mercury Prospector to His Wife in the Durham Dales. 1904 published in Myslexia Issue 76

Reflex Fiction: Postpartum


Published in Best Small Fictions 2016 edited by Tara Masih and Stuart Dybeck. Review can be found here:

Shortlisted for Bridport Poetry Prize

Work published in Lute and Drum poetry journal

Work Published in The Oxonian


Flash Fiction published in The Tishman Review

Flash Fiction published in The Lonely Crowd

Flash Fiction published in The Incubator

Short Story published in Prole Literary Journal

Triptych published in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts

Flash Fiction published in JMWW Journal

Long listed for the Kathy Fish Fellowship


Winner of the Dromineer Prize for Fiction

Shortlisted for the Bridport Prize for Flash Fiction

Interviews and comments:

Lemn Sissay’s judges report for Bridport 2017 : The winning poem is ‘Siren Call’.  I am drawn to a bleak coastal town. I am drawn by sound. It is like a short film.  Unsentimental.  Brutal even.  The writer draws us to sound from the outset.   I am lured into listening. Through aural sensation the picture unfolds.   It has all the detail of La Cite Des Enfants Perdus.  Listen as the writer instructs “no not the familiar sounds”.  The writer shakes the reader from complacency and into a Sirens Call.  There’s a confidence of line. I am hypnotized  by The Siren Call.

On Writing ‘Covenant’