Ruby Kelman is a writer, performance poet and educator based in the UK. Her work has been recognised by both the Betjeman Poetry Prize and the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award and she has been published by tyfa.co.uk, the National Council of Women and The Guardian. She reads at spoken word events on a regular basis, performing in schools, pubs, theatres and tents.
In 2014 – 15, she was the first Poet Laureate of the Woodcraft Folk DF Movement, a highly-rewarding role which involved performing at national events for young people several times a year, running workshops, responding to commissions, contributing to podcasts and mentoring other young poets.
She writes and performs with honesty, passion and intensity whether the subject is teenage crushes or the nature of the British parliament, and takes a deeply personal perspective on political issues such as gender inequality and internalised misogyny or the stigma attached to mental illness. Her insatiable interest in language translates in her work to a vivid use of imagery and an experimentation with sound and syntax. She enjoys stretching herself as an artist: in the past she has successfully undertaken several ‘speed poetry’ challenges, which involve taking audience suggestions and writing a poem based on them to perform an hour later. At the moment, she is beginning the process of writing a solo poetry show.
Ruby believes strongly in poetry as a tool for self care and self expression and dedicates much of her time to planning and facilitating bespoke creative writing workshops for different groups. She has run workshops in classrooms, hospitals and around campfires, for secondary school students, vulnerable adults and her peers. As well as poetry workshops, Ruby is an experienced educator for social change and she has led sessions ranging from activities about gender inequality for a group of under-10s to a fire-lit discussion of folk songs to campaigns and communications training to mental health safe spaces.
Ruby is trained in peer education and support and so employs a thoughtful and empathetic approach to group facilitation which recognises the different needs and abilities of participants as well as the sensitive and personal topics that may arise through creative writing. She also has DBS clearance and is trained in safeguarding.
Outside of writing, Ruby is studying modern languages and campaigns on a variety of social and environmental issues.