Flo Reynolds is a writer, artist and literature producer based in the UK.
Flo’s poetry has appeared in The White Review, Magma, The Interpreter’s House, Datableed, various anthologies, and more. Their first book of poems is forthcoming in 2021 from Guillemot Press. They also write fiction and non-fiction, including sci-fi novellas under a pseudonym. Flo writes occasional newsletter essays about their adventures in reading and is founder-editor of Vessel poetry zine.
Flo curates and instigates various creative projects, ranging from community reading projects, event production, and collaborating with other creatives to produce new work. They are interested in cross-discipline and multi-media working, including with sound and visual arts. These play an active role in their research, and their textile and book artworks have been shown in group exhibitions at Norwich Millennium Library, the Forge Mill Needle Museum in Redditch, and at Farnham Maltings.
Flo works in programming and producing literature events, festivals, workshops and other programmes. They are Programme Manager at the National Centre for Writing, where they have worked since 2016. Flo hosts the NCW Book Club, contributes author interviews to The Writing Life podcast, and set up a bursary scheme for the Writer’s Toolkit programme that they spearheaded and launched in 2019. Flo chairs a quarterly meeting of literature professionals in Norwich. They are a Clore Emerging Leader (2019, EL12) and a What Next? Culture regional ambassador for the Risks, Rights & Reputations programme (2018).
Previously Flo has worked in the heritage sector, in academic publishing and archaeological illustration, and in horticulture. They have a BA(Hons) in English Literature from the Universtiy of East Anglia (2014). To find out more about Flo’s career to date, you can find them on LinkedIn
All images on this site are Copyright (C) Flo Reynolds, 2019, unless otherwise stated.
Short 3rd person biography
Flo Reynolds is a poet, artist and literature producer based in Norwich, UK. Their work explores ecology, embodiment, queerness and chaos, and their debut pamphlet, the other body, is forthcoming from Guillemot Press in 2021. Recent poems have appeared in The White Review, Stand, The Interpreter’s House, amberflora, Magma, Datableed and more. Flo edits Vessel poetry magazine and they write the monthly newsletter Adventures in Reading.
My practice is primarily in poetry and non-fiction writing, and speculates on ecology, embodiment, queerness and chaos. I use poems and essays as a dynamic testing ground for these ideas.
Reading books is often a generative starting point for me, although I also “read” my surroundings and experiences, sound recordings, and visual prompts. For the past decade I have kept meticulous notebooks about what I read, including everything from academic books to newspaper articles and posters around my city. This record of my reading is made in the same notebooks as my shopping lists, writing exercises, diary entries, drawings, annotations, quotations and doodles. All elements of my written life, from the intellectual to the domestic, are recorded on the same plane. This allows me to find connections and patterns in my thoughts and concerns, and to bring together personal, social and environmental realms in my writing.
From these notebooks I type up copious notes. My non-fiction then grows in an additive manner, in which I write small fragments, insert more fragments between them, link them up, add a little more on the end, until I have reached the end, and can go back and edit. When writing poetry, I do the opposite and start by paring down these materials. The basic shape and structure of the piece, and any gaps in my understanding or argument, are then revealed. I carry on paring down, occasionally adding new material but mostly taking away and abbreviating, until the finished work emerges. Sequences and longer selections of my work happen the same way; I amass tens of poems exploring a particular set of concerns, and subtract until I am left with the core of the idea.
In these ways, my practice is a complex interplay between research, writing and editing, in which these processes take place concurrently and often overlap.
I’m at a key point in my practice in which I am developing new ways of researching and writing. I am in the early stages of a poetry project that I refer to as “that listening space”, which will explore listening as a spatial and embodied state. My initial researches for this project have taken the form of undertaking listening exercises at a coastal saltmarsh and in a more urban, city centre setting. After each period of listening, I make notes based on the experience, the sounds and spaces I’ve noticed, and the thoughts, feelings and associations that arise. This method is something I hope to continue and to refine, along with making use of sound recordings from each site. My reading in this area has so far been on Deep Listening practices pioneered by Pauline Oliveros, as well as works on space and architecture by Gaston Bachelard and Renee Gladman.
My major prose project at present is a book-length lyric essay about passing, queerness, failure and reading, which draws on literature, film and visual arts by a diverse range of artists to investigate the dangers and joys of invisibility. This work is allowing me to revisit my visual arts practice as a crucial research method, particularly in investigating translucency, ephemerality and the limits of the visible.