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.




26th March

With regret we have had to postpone Penny's talk for the time being. We are mindful of the health and well being of our team, artists and