Why ‘Spelt’?

Spelt is an ancient grain brought to Britain thousands of years ago and cultivated by our ancient farmers from around 2000 BC. It is tenacious, delicious, hardy and nutritious. It’s also the past participle of spell; both an essential act for creating the written word and a noun for a magical invocation. 

We want to make Spelt a self sustaining magazine full of excellent poetry and creative non fiction, interviews, reviews, articles and writing prompts, but we need your help. 

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that not everybody has access to the arts, and by making the creative arts accessible to people who may not be able to travel, we help to make the arts inclusive of all writers and artists with something to say about their own existence. We have seen a revolution in the way we interact and we want to build on that.

To live rurally is to, in general, live in areas with poor transport links; where the physicality of travel can often be almost impossible. This means that interacting with the creative arts on the platforms available is difficult and becomes exclusionary, devaluing the rural experience. During the pandemic we saw what electronic, web based interaction could do, and we also saw people reaching out to nature and the landscape around themselves, looking for the natural spaces in which to breath and exist.

Our five year plan includes outreach workshops in rural settings, online webinars and conferences and a magazine that values the rural landscape and the people living within it, a magazine that proactively encourages creativity, as well as celebrating those writers working in rural settings, writing about the rural experience, celebrating nature and the natural world.

Wendy Pratt

Founder and Editor

Wendy Pratt is a poet and author living on the North Yorkshire coast. Her latest collection When I Think of My Body as a Horse was one of the winners of the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Award 2021. Her non fiction book in progress, The Ghost Lake was long listed in the Nan Shepherd prize. She is represented by Portobello Books. Wendy is the founder and editor of print magazine Spelt, which seeks to validate and celebrate the rural experience through poetry and creative non fiction.

Steve Nash

Co Editor and Technical Artist

Steve Nash is a writer, musician, and lecturer born in Yorkshire and raised on army barracks across the UK and Europe. A widely and internationally published poet, in 2014 Steve won the Saboteur Award for ‘Best Spoken Word Performer’ from a shortlist that included Kate Tempest and Hollie McNish. Steve strongly suspects he may be a superhero after escaping a near-fatal car accident in 2013 and a neurological malfunction that resulted in a coma in 2017. It is not clear yet what his special powers might be. Steve’s latest collection ‘Myth Gatherers’ is out now from Calder Valley Poetry, and he teaches at Leeds Beckett University.

Helen Dewbery

Nature Poetry Film Editor

Helen Dewbery has taught poetry film extensively, in person and online. Her poetry films have appeared internationally at poetry festivals, where she has also presented talks and curations. For seven years she delivered a programme of poetry film events at Poetry Swindon Festival, including events in the community and an outdoor projection. Helen’s
work has included the poetry film collection ‘Nothing in the Garden’, the Wild Whispers transnational project and the poetry film magazine Poetry Film Live. She is an associate of the Royal Photographic Society.