Isobel Colchester: Chief Executive

Isobel joined Poet in the City in January 2014. As Chief Executive, Isobel is responsible for overall management of the charity and curation of its programme, leading its vision to produce inspiring new platforms for poetry. Isobel also chairs the Knowledge Exchange committee at the new Knowledge Quarter in Kings Cross. She has worked across the private, public and charity sectors in strategic roles, with a particular focus on skills development.

IMG_8981 (2)Jasmine White: Head of Programme

Jasmine joined Poet in the City in June 2017 on the completion of her masters in Arts and Cultural Management from Kings College London in which she specialised in creative audience development. Jasmine curates and produces Poet in the City’s public programme of live events and projects. With the primary goal to employ poetry as a tool to elevate the breadth of stories and experiences embedded in our society and hold space for complex issues to be explored, co-curation with artists and communities runs through the core of Jasmine’s programming approach. Much of this practice has been developed from Jasmine’s background as a Community Organiser working in collaboration with young parents and care leavers, as well as specialising in co-creation approaches for her masters. Jasmine is also currently working with the Social Art Network to build agency for socially engaged artistic practices in the UK.

Sarisha Kumar: Programme Coordinator, New Talent & Fundraising 
Sarisha is a graduate of Royal Holloway University where she studied Drama and Theatre Studies. Sarisha joined Poet in the City in August 2016 and manages the Poet in the City Producers scheme for 16-25 year olds and other youth participation and emerging talent programmes including Primary Schools projects and family programming. She curates and produces fundraising and corporate sponsorship events and supports the artistic programme. Sarisha is passionate about youth voice and increasing access to the arts, she is a member of the Almeida Theatre Youth Advisory Board and an Associate Advisor for The RISE Collective.

IMG_9165Lara Costello: Creative Marketing Coordinator

Lara is a graduate of East 15 Acting School where she studied World Performance. Lara joined Poet in the City in January 2018 as Creative Marketing Coordinator. Prior to PinC Lara has worked for live events venues at festivals and pop-up events in both London and Edinburgh and as a storyteller in school, libraries and festivals both in the UK and abroad. Lara is responsible for PinC’s marketing and running the social media accounts, as well as developing the audio archives.

This position has been made possible by Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries


Ruby Baker: Senior Creative Producer  – Collections in Verse

Ruby joined Poet in the City in April 2019 after five years as Creative Producer: Artists and Events at East London Dance where she was responsible for the artist development and professional performance programmes. Before this, Ruby was an independent producer working across festivals, carnivals and outdoor touring shows.
As Senior Creative Producer, Ruby leads on Collections in Verse, a partnership project with the
British Library that will commission new poetry and create events across England to tell the story of British Library exhibitions.

For general enquiries please contact


We work with a range of talented freelancers and contributors, in areas from marketing and design to special projects and commissions. Our printing is supported by the teams at Urban Designs and Indigo Press. Our audio archive is managed by Melanie Low and Chris Kent, and previous podcasts have been produced by Alia Cassam.

Adem Holness

Adem Holness is a musician and programme/events producer from North London, who spends his time working with people aged 16-25 across London through Wired4Music, executive producing the national emerging live music platform Springboard Live and creating and performing original music with Edges.

Adem leads Poet in the City Producers with Sarisha.

Lawrence Becko is a creative consultant and music producer. He has worked with organisations including A New Direction, Kinetika Bloco, Roundhouse, Sound Connections and provide strategic support to a number of local authorities. With a background in youth voice and leadership, he is a guest lecturer at Guildhall School of Music & Drama as well as mentoring a diverse number of emerging artists and creative entrepreneurs.

HP - pic - Mick

Hector Proud has 20 years experience working as a producer, programmer, publisher,
publicist, gallerist, promoter and rabble-rouser, his experience of the arts & entertainment sectors is both broad and deep. As founder and director of The Proud Archivist and CultBrand (and, before that, Idea Generation Gallery & Idea Generation PR) Hector has overseen approaching 1,500 projects ranging across the spectrum of arts, entertainment & culture.

Vicky Bastable

Victoria Bastable began her relationship with Poet in the City as a participant of the Producers scheme, 2017 whilst completing her degree in English Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London. Since graduating from the producer’s scheme, Victoria has worked on multiple freelance projects with Poet in the City to produce events, films and poetry experiences. Victoria has just started working for Harmonic artists as a producer, publicist and artist manager whilst continuing to collaborate with Poet in the City.


Poet in the City has a dynamic and thriving volunteer community, with a wide range of opportuntities for engagement in poetry and the arts. Our volunteers are at the heart of what we do, supporting everything from event management to front of house, filming, blogging and interviewing poets. Find out more about Volunteering with us here.

From left to right: (Top) Milicia Cortanovacki, Jasmine White, Jeff Sugarman, Oliver Fallon, Becca White, Chris Kent, Brian Innes, Kyle Cooper, (Middle) Sarisha Kumar, John Cartwright, Charlotte Cole, Pamela Mounter, (Bottom) Imogen Bakelmun, Maria Zabel, Ali Thurm, Georgia Attlesey, Aynur Meric, Tom Deveson.



Steve Abbott As a teenager Steve grew up on the Farley Hill Estate in Luton, and at 18, was the singer and songwriter in Luton punk band UK Decay. He then moved on to create the record label Big Cat (UK ) Records in his early 20’s, named after a Big Youth song, and Arc of Light Classical Record label. He is now an artist manager (Harmonic Artists Ltd ) and a consultant to the Arts , as well as various members clubs , and Luton. He left school in Luton at 16 with 4 GCE’s and credits poetry as the one major discovery that gave him a key to enter into the wider world .
 unnamed  Jason Butwick A partner specialising in employment and partnership law at Dechert LLP, an international law firm, he became a partner in 2000.  Jason has written and lectured extensively on employment and partnership law related matters.  He has contributed to Tolley’s Employment Law Loose-leaf and is the author of the Guide to the National Minimum Wage.
GD*27728022 Sarah Davis (Chair) Sarah is proud to Chair Poet in the City. An experienced GC who having spend many years at the Guardian Media Group, now works with other digital media organisations across the globe. She has advised European Commissioners and UK government departments on media policy as well as trade associations and has appeared before parlimentary select committees on behalf of the media and creative industries sector. Sarah is a non executive director of the Society of Author’s Charitable Incorporated Organisation and Audit committee and a Vice Chair of Unicef UK.
Lennie Goodings, photographed by Charlie Hopkinson Lennie Goodings is Chair of the UK British publishing house Virago Press. Her authors include among others, Margaret Atwood, Maya Angelou, Sarah Dunant, Sarah Waters, Naomi Wolf, Joan Bakewell and Marilynne Robinson. She is Canadian and has been in London and with Virago since the late 1970s; working with authors and books is her passion. She is an author herself and has written A Bite of the Apple: Behind the Scenes at Virago Press.  She was a trustee of English PEN and often chairs talks at festivals. 
Katrina Larkin headshot Katrina Larkin co-founder of Fora, leaders of the workspace revolution. Their first space opened in Clerkenwell January 2017 and now has five locations across London and Reading. A pioneer in the festival world, Katrina co-founded The Big Chill Festival, bars and record label. This spawned an industry of similar events, bars, food markets and boutique festivals in the UK. In 2013 Katrina began working with Brockton Capital Fund on the curation, brand re-positioning and redevelopment of Camden Lock Market. She changed press attitudes to the market and curated retail offers of quality. In 2014 Katrina joined Market Tech, the buyer of Camden Lock Market. In addition to overseeing 16 acres of real-estate, she was influential in the planning and launching of their co-working office space ‘The Interchange’.
alison Alison Rae Alison is Head of Tours and Visiting, National Theatre, London. She has worked in Event and Venue Management, has advised a number of organisations on visitor services, and was part of the working group for Cultural and Creative Skills for the performing arts sector. She was previously Head of House Management at the National Theatre and now heads a new department of Tours and Visiting.
Mary-Alice Stack Mary-Alice is Chief Executive of Creative United, an independent Community Interest Company that specialises in the development of innovative finance solutions to enable growth within the arts and creative industries. She is a graduate of the Courtauld Institute with a BA in the History of Art, and has over 20 years experience working with arts organisations across the charitable sector. Prior to the establishment of Creative United, she was Director of ArtCo Projects at Arts Council England.
Craig Westwood Since August 2016, Craig has been Director of Communications and Research for the Electoral Commission. Immediately prior to this role, Craig was a Partner at the communications agency Pagefield, leading corporate affairs accounts for clients ranging from multi-national brands to small charities. He spent the preceding 10 years at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, including four years leading policy on libraries and three as Private Secretary to the Minister for Culture. Before joining the Civil Service, Craig worked in corporate press offices including at Fourth Estate publishers and at the British Library.