About Cherry Potts

Cherry Potts is a publisher/editor, fiction writer and teacher, event organiser, photographer, book designer, NLP master practitioner, life coach and trainer. She sings for fun. Through Arachne Press she publishes fiction and non fiction and runs spoken word events and cross-arts workshops for writers at interesting venues. Always interested in new opportunites to perform, write or explore writing.

East London Launch of Menopause The Anthology

A week ago we took Menopause The Anthology out to Common Press in Shoreditch and read to a small but appreciative audience who were very willing to eat cake and talk poetry, menopause and fiction, and join in with an open mic.

Here are a few photos…

Lucy Lasasso, Anne Macaulay, Catherine Pestano, Clare Starling, Mary Mulholland, Jane McLaughlin, JP Seabright, Cherry Potts, and the book display!

Common Press have several copies in stock if you are local and missed the event.


videos from online launch of Getting by in Tligolian

We well and truly launched Getting by in Tligolian last week, with a live event in Galway on Monday and an online one on Tuesday

Here are the videos of the Q&A between author Roppotucha Greenberg and editor Cherry Potts.

The City:

The Language:

The Time-Travelling Trains:

impact of time travel on mourning:

getting the end right:

Buy the book from us in print or ebook.


A poem for National Coming Out Day

JP Seabright’s poem for Menopause: the Anthology, which is published in just over a week, on World Menopause Day, 18th October.

Psychological Menopause – a guest blog from Claire Lynn

I had a psychological menopause before the physical one. By my early fifties, I’d had enough of the whole business of menstruation and was ready to move on. Unfortunately, my ovaries were still hard at it. But as soon as my periods started getting the tiniest bit irregular, I decided that was it. As far as I was concerned, it was all over. Unfortunately, in fact, it was all over, bar the bleeding. Each time I had a period, I was taken by surprise. Each time, I’d think,

What? This, again? Really?

So that was the inspirational force behind my poem, Enough Already. It’s a villanelle, and I hope that the repeating, re-cycling form reflects something of its subject matter.  I was delighted when I saw Arachne’s call-out for submissions to an anthology on the menopause. I was ready for it, and by then, I’m happy to report, I was through the menopause as well!

Join us online TODAY Friday 6th October at 1pm for our first sneek preview of the book, in advance of publication. Free tickets via eventbrite

Claire Lynn teaches Creative Writing around Northumberland.  Her poems have been placed in the Bridport Prize (1999), the Wasafiri New Writing Prize (2017) and Marsden the Poetry Village Competition (2019) and have been published in Virago anthology “The Nerve”, the Ver Prize anthology (2017), the Wolverhampton Literature Festival Anthology 2020, Beyond the Storm: Poems from the Covid-19 era, The New European and Independent newspapers, and various magazines including Butcher’s Dog, Smiths Knoll, Writing Women, Other Poetry and Dream Catcher.  Her poem Sixteen Summers was commissioned by the Ilkley Literature Festival 2022.



Embracing the Fire: a guest blog from Marina Sánchez, contributor to Menopause the Anthology

Marina SanchezIt’s been a while since, my face and neck going an incandescent shade of crimson, I felt the need to strip down to my cotton lacy vest (mmm, yes, natural fibres) in the middle of a supermarket, whatever the season, and press my body as much as I could against the fridge sections of dairy, milk and meat. As a veggie that was awkward, but cooling down was essential. Once the wild fires had passed, I’d cover up again until the next time….


I naively started off thinking it would be a ‘mini pause’. My health was good, and I’d tried to take care of myself all my life.
Ah, surprise!

I remember the stats that one out of four women experiences nothing (like a friend who couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about), two have a range of average symptoms and one has extreme symptoms.
I soon found myself in the ranks of the latter.

The menopause is undoubtedly an intensely individual experience that should be honoured and supported whatever the woman’s choices are to best manage this transition.
Me, I went with it and read Dr Christiane Northrup’s work and Lesley Kenton’s – anything I could find about what was happening and how to manage it. I also learnt what herbal remedies my ancestors used, and took them.
I felt I was shedding the accumulated weight of years of worries, expectations and conditioning.
I danced 5 Rhythms weekly with devotion and exercised as often as I could, my body enjoyed it, why not?
I kept writing, even though I was a full-time carer of a very special daughter with complex needs, herself going through adolescence. Why does nature do that: two women going through profound changes in the same household?
And one of the poems I wrote then waited until Cherry gave it a home in the wonderful Menopause anthology.

I am proud to be included alongside the work of so many women’s voices, whose experiences enrich the overdue conversation we need to have about the menopause.
We need to go beyond the narrative of becoming invisible – unless a woman wishes that for herself, then I respect her choice.
But there are as many ways of stepping into our non-reproductive years as each woman is unique.
Let’s question the medicalised narrative of women’s health at every stage.
Let’s share our experiences and break the taboo, the silence, the shame.
Let’s support those women who are approaching the threshold to feel more confident stepping into this rich territory, which is an integral part of being a woman, as it has been for as long as we have been on earth.
Let’s relegate the questionable and freely spouted narrative of this youth-obsessed Western culture of older women being sad and past it.

Whatever your unique life experiences, if you are willing to share, we are all the richer for learning about them, as we understand more about ourselves and each other.
If not, I totally respect your need for privacy.

I say these are traditionally our wisdom years and we need to reclaim them.
I say for some women, our best years are yet to come.
If you are approaching this powerful time, I am welcoming you in.
If you have already experienced it, I honour you.

Marina Sánchez has a poem Wild Fires in Menopause: the Anthology

We have events on 6/10/23 1pm Online, 14/10/23 5.30pm Brixton Village Studios, 18/10/23 7pm online, 25/10/23 7.30pm Juno Books Sheffield, and more to come… ALL DETAILS

Marina is an award-winning poet and translator, widely published in literary journals. She is of Indigenous Mexican & Spanish origins, living in London. Her poems have been placed in national and international competitions and then anthologised. Her first pamphlet Dragon Child (Acumen, 2014), was Book of the Month in the poetry kit website. Her poems have been included in Un Nuevo Sol, the first UK Latinx anthology (flipped eye, 2019). Her second pamphlet Mexica Mix was one of the winners of the 2020 Verve competition.

The Change – Representation Matters

Author Ginger Strivelli tells us about what motivated her to write her story, The Change, for Menopause: the Anthology.

As a writer, I have always tried to show marginalised groups in my stories. I have often included characters of various colours, sizes, ages, and abilities. I have always been ‘plus sized’ and dislike the lack of flattering representation of larger women in advertising media and entertainment industry media. I think, as they say, that representation matters.

As the mother of six grown children, three of whom are autistic, I’ve often worked autistic charters into my writing. Having become physically disabled with limited mobility myself recently, I’ve also included wheelchair users and others with physical limitations in several stories. I like to show all these diverse characters in positive and accurate ways.

I have found my stories about able-bodied young men are accepted and published at greater percentages than my stories with a female lead character. My stories featuring characters who are disabled seem to bring about an even lower acceptance rate.

Though not a minority nor a disability, older women are nonetheless rarely focused on in any forms of media. It is, alas, similar to how underrepresented disabled characters and characters of colour are in movies, television, advertisements, and books. I write many stories where the lead role is that of an older woman being as amazing as we older women often are.

I was thrilled to have the chance to write a story focused on a menopausal aged woman in my favourite Science Fiction genre, where sadly, women of my age are even more left out than they are in other genres.

I was so pleased with how the story turned out. I was aiming to cover the subject with humour and accurate information on menopause and the changes it brings about in women’s bodies and in their lives. I hope it not only entertains the readers but educates them on what to look forward to when they go through the change…or when the women they love go through it. I used that ‘look forward to’ phrase there on purpose, as way too many fear and mourn the changes we go through in menopause, rather than celebrating our new cronehood stage of life and all the magical, helpful, and creative energy that it brings to us, and through us, to those around us.

I am thrilled that my story, The Change, is included in the upcoming Menopause: The Anthology.

Ginger Strivelli

Ginger Strivelli is an artist and writer from North Carolina. She has written for Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine, Circle Magazine, Third Flatiron, Autism Parenting Magazine, Silver Blade, Cabinet of Heed Literary Journal, The New Accelerator, various other magazines and several anthologies. She loves to travel the world and make arts and crafts. She considers herself a storyteller entertaining and educating through her writing.

We have events on 6/10/23 1pm Online, 14/10/23 5.30pm Brixton Village Studios, 18/10/23 7pm online, 25/10/23 7.30pm Juno Books Sheffield, and more to come… ALL DETAILS

Forward Prize: Highly Commended – A J Akoto and Rhiya Pau

We send in all our poetry collections to the Forward Prize as a matter of course, whether as entrants for best overall poetry book of the year, or as best first collection. Up until now, they’ve smiled sweetly and moved on. This year, however, two poems from those collections were picked to go in the anthology and ‘highly commended’.

Congratulations, AJ Akoto (Daughterhood from UnMothered), and Rhiya Pau (Salutation, from Routes)!

Menopause Cake

Back when we first started asking people to submit to Menopause: The Anthology, we said

This anthology will be published on Menopause Day, 18th October 2023. When, we have decided, all (post)menopausal women should celebrate their last period, since we never actually know when it happened. Memorial or celebration, you choose, but we will be having cake.

And now with the launches approaching, I’m starting to think about what kind of cake Menopause cake would be.

My go-to-cake for launches (partly because it travels, and cuts thin slices that hold together, well) is a chocolate/almond/brandy affair which comes with serious health warnings. Everything a person might be alllergic to is in it. It is also glorious.

This seems like a good starting point for a menopause cake to me. I’m thinking it should also have coffee in it, to up the ante. (Something I can’t cope with – I can’t drink it, but I can, sometimes, eat things flavoured with it.) But also something cooling – but what? Yoghurt?

I’ve made variations before – the one above is Solstice Cake, where one half is the main recipe and the other half is ginger/orange/almond, which through complex cutting and splicing creates the four seasons, or day/night/dusk/dawn depending on how you want to think about it.

What variations should be included in Menopause Cake?

Let me know what you think!



news from our authors and friends

An occasional drop in with what our writing friends are up to, because they happen to tell us.

David Turnbull (as obsessed with time as we are) is running some poetry walks around Waterloo for National Poetry Day next month details and booking

Ruth Bradshaw is running a nature writing workshop in Deptford TOMORROW. It includes an opportunity to explore some of the local wildlife as well as do a bit of writing. details & booking

Clare Starling has won the Frosted Fire First Pamphlet Award and her pamphlet is due out soon preorder here.





Getting all transparent about how it all works

Download our Tenth Anniversay report (annual report) for photos and details of (almost) everything we’ve done this year, from our epic Book Cover Art Exhibition to BSL poetry workshops and quite a few books! Find out what’s gone well, what the people we surveyed think, what’s gone not so well, and what we’ve got planned.

Click to access 10th-Anniversary-Report.pdf