Free Poetry Zine, Vicar*?

Some of you might not know that I’m part of a lovely Nottingham collective called DIY Poets. We’ve been making a free poetry zine for well over ten years now. It’s been suggested that it’s the longest running free zine in the UK, but we’d love to find a longer running one!

Anyway, as people have quite rightly gone off grabbing things from the flyers bit of bars and cafes, we’ve made issue 49 online only.

You can find it here:

You can also find back issues here:

You can submit to the next issue too. Email address is in the zine.


*people who are not vicars are also very welcome to read it ๐Ÿ™‚

My book is available for preorder!

I’m very, very excited to tell the world that my first poetry book, The Prettyboys of Gangster Town, is now available for preorder!

You can preorder it now through Fly on the Wall Poetry:

Orders will be sent out September 11th.

It’s been a long road to get to this point, since I sat down one afternoon in early 2018 and started looking through my poems, to figure out what would make a good collection. But here it is, polished, redesigned, edited, looking fabulous and with Fly on the Wall’s logo on the back, an award nominated, socially conscious press, the perfect fit for my poems and a better publisher than I could have hoped for!

If you wanted to buy a copy then just click on the link above and thank you, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, check out what several fantastic poets have already said about it:

“Martin makes the ordinary extraordinary, turns the mole hill into the mountain.”

  • Sophie Sparham, Performance Poet

“The Prettyboys of Gangster Town is an open-hearted, compassionate debut collection from Martin Grey. These poems are wistful, warm and highly emotionally-engaging, articulating the joys and pitfalls of modern life from a number of different perspectives, while always remaining true to Greyโ€™s distinctive poetic style. There are some real gut-punches in this collection too – all life is laid bare with a beautiful eye for the details – but at its heart, this is a book all about empathy.”

  • Leanne Moden, Poet and Performance

“If there is one central force which pulses through the words of Martin’s work, it is love. In spite of life’s let downs and losses, love is discovered and cherished on a rite of passage from a grubby nightclub and teenage dreams to handling the daily bewilderments of attempting this thing called adulthood. Get ready for love as big as any astronaut’s favourite planet. There is enough love between these pages to start a revolution. These stanzas brim with love for the melody of lyrical language, subtle internal rhyme and imaginative wordplay. This book also enthusiastically explores boy-meets-girl love, without saccharine or clichรฉ, but with genuine openness at the awkwardness and potential highs of trying to navigate an optimistic heart. On top of all of this, you will be subjected to some very important questions, such as ‘does anyone like their knee caps’ and ‘is it OK to dunk a custard cream?’ (The answer to the latter is ‘No’). A relatable, hope-raising read for both the realist and romantic.”

  • Dominic Berry, winner of Saboteur 2020 Best Spoken Word Artist

I think it’s time for a happy dance.

One Foot in the Rave is coming to Nottingham!

Hello! I have some exciting news. I’m bringing some award winning spoken word theatre to Nottingham on 17th April, if you fancied popping down.

One Foot In The Raveย is the debut verse play from performance poet Alexander Rhodes. The show is an energetic mix of agony and total ecstasy. Set to a backdrop of remixed club classics, Alexander moves effortlessly between the characters and scenes, delivering the chemical highs and pitiful lows.

Supported by DIY Poets.

Friday 17th April, @ City Arts, Nottingham. Doors 7.30pm, show starts at 8pm.

Tickets are ยฃ10 / ยฃ8 concessions, available from here:

You can read more about the show here:

The play is magnificent, full of twists, turns, emotion and 90s classics. This is the biggest event I’ve put on to date, so it’d be great if it was a sell out.

Maybe see you there ๐Ÿ™‚

Trying to Write Every Day

I’m trying to write every day this year, even if it’s just for ten minutes or while the kettle is boiling (I have a really rubbish kettle, it takes ages). It’ll be interesting to see what happens in my mind as the year goes on. Will it flourish? will it burn itself out? Time will tell.

This is one of the early poems to come out some of these days.

Squiggles and Sounds

Hello ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope to be posting on here more regularly from now on. In the meantime, here’s a video of me from the World Jam Anthology book launch at Peggy’s Skylight in April 2019. Better late than never, right!

The anthology showcases poems in many different languages, from first and second language English speakers who have made Nottingham their home. The poem is a celebration of language, of how our different ways to say the same stuff can unite us. I hope you like it! If you don’t, then apologies for wasting 102 seconds of your time.

Thanks to John Berry for filming.

You can find WorldJam and the book on facebook at @worldjampoetryandmusic.