Welcome to the In The Sticks archive from Offa’s Press

In spring 2020, Offa’s Press had been successful in receiving funding from Arts Council England to run a project focusing on rural poetry of the West Midlands, reaching out to rural writers who might be isolated by their location, vocation, or other personal circumstances. In spring 2020, as Simon Fletcher and Cherry Doyle were planning the first in a series of rural workshops, the UK went into COVID-19 lockdown for the first time.

In response, Simon and Cherry put their workshop materials on this website for anyone to access regardless of whether they could go outside and how far they could travel if they did.

Here you’ll find photos, poems, trivia, videos, poetry prompts, and blog posts, which we are keeping available for anyone who’s looking for a bit of poetic inspiration. 

The pages on this site have been left as they were written, to preserve the strange, isolating time we went through in 2020-2021. For up-to-date information about Cannock Chase and the Wyre Forest, visit:

In summer 2021, after the whole project had been conducted online over 18 months, the In The Sticks project became an Offa’s Press anthology and launched at an in-person event in Ironbridge.

We’re very grateful to Arts Council England for funding the project, for all the writing groups we worked with, to all of our contributors, and to everyone who engaged with this online material.

You can purchase a copy of In the Sticks from the Offa’s Press shop.