image of climbers

Penny Newell

Penny Newell is based in Leeds. She is the recipient of a Northern Writers’ Award. She is also a New Creative North, completing a radio commission funded by ACE and BBC Arts. Her writing has featured in various journals, such as Poetry Review, Under the Radar, The London Magazine, 3:AM, Lambda Literary, and The Portland Review (Pushcart Prize 2019 nominated). She has taught creative writing at Leeds Arts University.

As a keen outdoor climber and mountaineer, Penny often reflects on the unusual and intimate conversations that she has with fellow climbers. The exposure of climbing opens a creative gathering between two people. Poetry Ledge is an experiment to bring poetry and climbing together, inspired by the world-famous rock climbing venues of Portland, the sea cliffs and quarry walls, and the surrounding landscape and culture.

Guided by a qualified climbing instructor, the public will abseil or climb to a portaledge: a secure platform allowing rock climbers to sit on a rock-face, where they will partake in a vertical one-on-one poetry workshop, producing new writing about their experience.



Penny Newell's b-side Portfolio


b-side festival 2021

11th19th September 2021

b-side is back, showcasing the very best in contemporary art made in response to the beautiful and intriguing Isle of Portland.