Poetry & Spoken Word


Poet and spoken word artist.

Born in Blackburn, lives in Bristol.

Wheelchair user and disability rights champion.

Photo: Tomshot Photography

Photo: Tomshot Photography


Stephen was born in Blackburn, Lancashire. In 1996, aged 16, he experienced a life changing accident whilst sledging in the snow and is now paralysed from below the waist. In 2016, twenty years after the accident, he started writing poetry about his life as a wheelchair user. 

He has since spoken at events across the UK in venues such as the Watershed, Arnolfini and Tobacco Factory in Bristol and the Poetry Café in London and events including Verve Poetry Festival and Lyra Bristol Poetry Festival. In addition Stephen has also read internationally in San Antonio, Texas. Whilst many poetry nights are not accessible to Stephen and his wheelchair, he aims to make his poetry accessible to all.

When not writing and performing poetry, Stephen spends his days working for the NHS.

He will always be grateful to his mum for taking him to see Roger McGough when he was eight years old, sparking a love of poetry. Stephen can be found on most social media channels via @spokeandpencil. In March 2019 Stephen’s first poetry collection, Only Air, was published by Burning Eye Books.  Additionally, he is a 2019 Fellow of the literary organization Zoeglossia.