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I live in Canterbury, Kent, UK. I write poetry, short stories and plays and make art. This website displays some of my work in those fields. My poetry has been widely published in anthologies, magazines and online, and has won awards or been shortlisted and longlisted for local, national and international competitions.

I also give readings, am available to judge creative writing competitions.

cover image: Luis Quintanilla


'The Other Guernica' is a work of outstanding richness and variety, imagination, thought, storytelling, full of vivid imagery and the pleasures of language. 

                                                                           Professor Janet Montefiore

 We are invited into worlds of violence and love, war and domesticity in different eras and with different sensibilities in a collection which is both a coherent homage to the painting of Spain and a daring exploration of what might emerge when word meets image.   

                                                                           Victoria Field

"Sellen offers up a love of Spain that is rich rather than reductive, personal rather than a platitude, through this sumptuously written feast"  Poetry Salzburg

"the collection presents objects and events mediated first through paint and then through the filter of a skilled poet’s thought and language, their resonances amplified and overlaid by his many acts of careful looking, so as to produce a rich and humane document of a kind of kinship of creators in sympathy with the world they encounter through their senses."  Steve Xerri on The Other Guernica

"a collection full of stark, powerful imagery. For many readers the chief pleasure might be found in the modern parallels and contemporary allusions he teases out of the artworks. Ultimately, however, the main source of satisfaction and achievement derives from the imaginative richness and dramatic economy of phrasing that is surely the verbal equivalent of the masterly brushstrokes of the paintings he writes about so well." Trevor Breedon in Write Out Loud

'(The anthology includes) Derek Sellen's two excellent poems'  Professor Peter Barry

' of the most graphic poems, which picks out modern cultural references, is Britannia's Daughter '  from  The Sunday Times

'his detailed eye and evocative, distinctive writing take us traveling too, through landscape, language and beyond'  Maggie Harris

'There is a weightiness to these poems -  they ring true....'    Elaine Duthie

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Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year 2018

Poetry on the 
Lake 2017
Happy to be
awarded an
Alessi bowl
for the poem
The Slave of


















Big grin at the wonderful O'Bheal in 2015

Celebrating Shakespeare 400 with SaveAs Writers

At Lumen, London 21 11 17 >>>