benjamin cusden

everything is poetry

poet, speaker and workshop facilitator

Benjamin Cusden is a published poet and London Library Emerging Writer 2021.

His poetry has appeared in various UK publications including Acumen, Under The Radar, Prole, The Dawntreader, as well as publications in Europe, the USA, Canada and Brazil.

Benjamin has been shortlisted for: The Bridport Prize and Live Canon's International Poetry Prize. In 2020 he was chosen for The London Library's prestigious Emerging Writers Programme.

His first poetry selection Cut the Black Rabbit, published by Against The Grain Poetry Press, 2020, vividly explores the tragic end of Benjamin's successful television career, the subsequent years spent as a homeless man and his eventual return to 'normal life'. It has been included in The Poetry Book Society's Winter Selection 2020.

Benjamin is actively involved in poetry workshops, festivals and events, organising open mic nights and reading at poetry events. He now lives in East Sussex, where he is currently working on his next collection and facilitating a series of writing workshops and courses inspired by Zen thinking.

If you would like Benjamin to speak at an upcoming event, find out more about his work or take part in one of his Writing with Zen workshops, please feel free to get in touch at or via his social media pages (see links below)
About image

reviews of cut the black rabbit

writing workshops with benjamin cusden

New Events !

I am currently creating and devising new workshops for 2023. These will include: 'Writing Contemporary Poetry' and 'Writing with Zen'. I'm creating these with you in mind ! What would you expect to achieve from one of these workshops ? Would you prefer one long workshop or a series of shorter workshops ? Would you prefer to attend in person or via Zoom ? (I'm currently doing workshops in Hastings and Eastbourne - would you like one somewhere else ? ). Please drop me a message via the contact form below, I'd love to hear what you'd like to do and what you want ! With peace to you, benjamin

  • Date: 01/01/2023 12:00 PM - 31/12/2023 11:59 AM
  • Location To Be Announced

Past Events

An introduction to writing with Zen 26 Nov 2022The Wellington Health and Wellbeing Centre, 44 Wellington Square, Hastings TN34 1PN, UK
Writing with Zen: One Day Workshop 22 Oct 2022The Wellington Health and Wellbeing Centre, 44 Wellington Square, Hastings TN34 1PN, UK
Writing with Zen: One Day Workshop 24 Sep 202249A Grove Road, Eastbourne BN21 4TX, UK
Writing with Zen: Introductory Workshop 07 Sep 202249A Grove Road, Eastbourne BN21 4TX, UK
Zenaboliaeth: writing to transform the I 20 Aug 2022The Old Goods Yard, Treborth, Bangor. LL57 2HZ

a glimpse of my work

Note to the New Homeless

The ground is hard – always hard, always cold –
it doesn’t matter where you are, it’s un-giving.
Spread out an army of blankets, clutch of sweaters,
a murder of trench coats – it’ll still be hard and cold.

The Sun, The Moon. the circle of stars,
time is the freedom of doorways.

Bend poor person’s elbows and arms and stretch
to support the neck, this provides the position
to protect your head, keep eyes open  
or hair triggered shut – ready to jump.

The Sun, The Moon. the circle of stars,
time is the freedom of doorways.

Peer out through your covers – hoody and woollens,
remnants, your handouts, the trash you’ve collected,
newspapers, cardboard, polystyrene padding –
        be prepared.

A murder of doorways, The Sun, The Moon,
freedom is hard and cold.

Every day has ritual: make tea on the Gaz;
wash in the public toilets; steal loo roll;

each night, large pennaceous feathers spring like
seedlings along arms, sprout from boned coccyx;

unpack and pack – clean clothes on top with
dirty underneath, rearrange bits of yesterday
to be ready for tomorrow;

mouth, jaw and nose fuse and elongate, legs grow
thin and compress, feet become claws;

make sure the bag is balanced; tie bootlaces
tight – bunny ears in double knot;

with ease, tendon and muscle stretch and take flight
as cryptochromes behind eyes read the magnetic
routes of the Earth;

fingers count, recount coins in pocket,
head holds a mantra: 10, 20, 30 – desperate
to reach a hundred, 70, 80, 90 – 70, 80,90,
enough for a can of White Lightening;

some nights flying at the wedge-head of geese;
others lost in skeins of starlings; and often alone –
an owl kills its prey. Each route is open, without
boundaries until the shackles of morning’s
              f o rm
ation into a mule again;
home, strapped to back with the past;
present held in vacant hands; future
shod with well-worn Doctor Marten boots.

  • Bexhill, Bexhill-on-Sea, England, United Kingdom