About us

wildfire words shares new poetry from all over the world, whether from fresh poetic voices or established poets. Our ezine selects poetry for publication mainly through competitions and themed submission windows.

Cheltenham Poetry Festival spawned Frosted Fire to publish Dear World anthology in 2015, and since then it has grown into a pamphlet publisher, then developed competitions to encourage up-and-coming poets. During the pandemic of 2020, we decided to add wildfire words to harmonize our other activities.

CPF logo very small Frosted Fire blue back logo ww logo

Frosted Fire Press is the publishing house of Cheltenham Poetry Festival. We promote poetry through online workshops, reading events, open mics, book launches, competitions, and this ezine. Our publishing focuses on exciting, emerging names as well as acclaimed, established poets.
Howard Timms is the dynamic and incredibly productive Cheltenham Poetry Festival publishing Director who runs the Festival’s publishing activities with his wife, the prize-winning poet Marilyn Timms. Howard developed our prestigious poetry prizes – through first-pamphlet and single-poem competitions. Howard works incredibly hard with his team, who include Marilyn and Annie Ellis, to administer competition entries. I am very grateful to Howard, Marilyn and Annie for their hard work.

Anna Saunders, Founder and Executive Director, Cheltenham Poetry Festival.

To meet the Festival team, click here
If you wish to be on the Festival or wildfire words mailing list, please click here

wildfire words judging teams

Transformation 2021 Lead Judge

Fiona Sampson MBE is a leading British poet and writer, published in thirty-eight languages. Her twenty-seven books include eight poetry collections, the critically acclaimed In Search of Mary Shelley and Limestone Country, and studies of poetry and poetic form. She collaborates frequently with musicians and visual artists and is a broadcaster, critic and literary translator, and was the Editor of Poetry Review 2005-12.
Sampson is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, of the English Association and of the Wordsworth Trust; other honours include the Newdigate Prize, Cholmondeley Prize, Hawthornden Fellowship, various awards from the Arts Councils of England and of Wales, Society of Authors, Poetry Book Society and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and Book of the Year selections. Her international awards include the Naim Frashëri Laureateship (Albania and Macedonia), European Lyric Atlas Prize (Bosnia), Zlaten Prsten (Macedonia), and Charles Angoff Award (US). Her Two-Way Mirror: The Life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning appears in Feb 2021 and she’s at work on Starlight Wood, a study of the Romantics’ rural legacy. Fiona Sampson website.

Transformation 2021 Triage Judges

Anna Saunders is the CEO and founder of Cheltenham Poetry Festival, a distinguished poet, and a mentor whose workshops, and one-on-one tutoring, attract dozens of poets each year.
Anna’s volumes of poetry include Communion, (Wild Conversations Press), Struck, (Pindrop Press) Kissing the She Bear, (Wild Conversations Press), Burne Jones and the Fox (Indigo Dreams),and Ghosting for Beginners (Indigo Dreams).  Anna’s latest book is  Feverfew (Indigo Dreams, 2021). The collection has been described as  ‘rich with obsession, sensuousness and potency’  by  Ben Ray, and  ‘a  beautiful and necessary collection’ by  Penny Shuttle.
Anna has been described as ‘a poet who surely can do anything’ by Wendy Klein in The North, a ‘modern myth maker’ by Paul Stephenson, and ‘a poet of quite remarkable gifts’ by Bernard O’Donoghue.
Anna Saunders website

Zoe Brooks worked with disadvantaged communities in London and East Oxford before returning to her native Gloucestershire to write and grow vegetables. Widely published in print and online magazines, Zoe has also appeared in the anthology Grandchildren of Albion. Her long poem ‘Fool’s Paradise’ won the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition award for best poetry ebook 2013.
Zoe’s first poetry collection is Owl Unbound, published by Indigo Dreams in 2020. Details are available here, including, including some of its poems.

Frosted Fire Firsts Judges 2022

Angela France. the leading judge has had poems published in many leading journals and has been anthologised a number of times. Her publications include Occupation (Ragged Raven Press, 2009), Lessons in Mallemaroking (Nine Arches Press, 2011), Hide (Nine Arches Press 2013) and The Hill (Nine Arches Press 2017). The Hill has been developed into a live multi-media poetry show which Angela has been touring, funded by Arts Council England. She has an M.A. in Creative and Critical Writing and a PhD from the University of Gloucestershire. Angela teaches creative writing at the university and in various community settings,
‘Angela France’s language possesses and is possessed by a gloriously sheared weight and shared music.’ (David Morley) More at Angela’s Website.

Working with Angela are three earlier winners of the Frosted Fire First Pamphlet Award;
Janet Lees, award winner in 2019, is a short-listing judge who, with Angela France,
Maeve Henry & Ben Verinder, both award-winners in 2021, are the triage judges who consider every entry as a candidate for the long list.

Frosted Fire Firsts 2021 Triage Judges

David Lukens read classics and philosophy at university and worked for some years in a therapeutic community before moving into business and IT.  He lives in Wiltshire. David started writing late, initially novels for young adults, then attended a poetry writing workshop by mistake and was hooked.  His first published poem was in Acumen followed by others including Butcher’s Dog, Brittle Star and The Interpreter’s House.

Lee Potts is a poet with work in many journals including Rust + Moth, Whale Road Review, UCity Review, Parentheses Journal, Riggwelter, and Sugar House Review. He is poetry editor at Barren Magazine. His first pamplet, And Drought Will Follow, will be released by Frost Fire Press in early 2021. He lives just outside of Philadelphia with his wife and their last child still at home. You can find him on Twitter @LeePottsPoet or online at leepotts.net.

New Voices 2021 Lead Judge

David Clarke is the author of two poetry collections from Nine Arches Press, Arc (2015) and The Europeans (2019), and two poetry pamphlets, Gaud (2012; Michael Marks Award) and Scare Stories (2017). His work has featured in magazines including Poetry Wales, Magma, and Long Poem.

wildfire words editorial team

Howard Timms, editor, publisher, and sponsor of wildfire words at Frosted Fire, has been part of Cheltenham Poetry Festival management since 2014. A playwright with production credits in the U.S. and Britain, he followed his wife Marilyn into writing poetry when he joined the Festival team.
His first book of poetry, Deciphering the Maze (Indigo Dreams, 2020) is a collaboration with his wife, Marilyn.

Marilyn Timms, co-editor and competitions coordinator, is a much published poet in journals, anthologies, and ezines. She has won many prizes, and has appeared six times in the winners’ list of Gloucester Writers Network annual competition at the Cheltenham Literature festival. Her first published poetry collection was Poppy Juice. (2018, Beechwood Press).
Marilyn’s second book, Deciphering the Maze (Indigo Dreams, 2020) was a collaboration with her husband, Howard.

Annie Ellis is proofreader and usability tester for wildfire words website and administrator for the Transformation single-poem contest. For Cheltenham Poetry Festival, Annie is a Life Time Platinum Patron. She is responsible for Facebook, Volunteer Management, running the Friends Scheme and much more. Annie is also a poet and playwright. Annie’s first poetry collection, Nature at a Cost, was launched in February 2021. You can read all about the book here.

Publications from Frosted Fire Press

Winner of the Frosted Fire First Pamphlet competition. 2019, Janet Lees’ book displays a broad range of fine-tuned emotions.

Its moods range through ironic, comedic, raunchy, wistful, nostalgic, or grieving.

Read more

Frosted Fire First pamphlets were launched by Cheltenham Poetry Festival in October 2018 with the publication of poetry of Neil Richards  in his pamphlet Wings made from the muscle of a river.

Read more

Frosted Fire Press‘s first publication was Dear World an anthology of poems on environmental themes and the natural world by many distinguished poets. It was published for the 2015 Cheltenham Poetry Festival. 
Read More

%d bloggers like this: