All posts by London Undercurrents

About London Undercurrents

London Undercurrents is an ongoing collaboration between poets Joolz Sparkes and Hilaire to uncover the hidden histories of London’s unsung heroines, who have lived and worked in the capital city over many centuries, north and south of the river.

North London – a homecoming launch

On Thursday 16 May 2019, we read and did a book signing at Ink @84 – a wonderful local indie bookstore just up the road from Joolz in Highbury, N5. Continue reading North London – a homecoming launch


Lovely write-up of our reading at London Book Fair on the Deilbiri blog.

This really is a corner at LBF and sadly rather a noisy one, principally because of its proximity to coffee shops! However, this didn’t distract from the hardcore poetry lovers from perching on backless blocks or escape-proof bean bags, to enjoy a range of poetic offerings. The first one I attended in full – I […]

via LBF Poetry Corner — deilibri


Our book is now officially published! We launched it into the world last Thursday, 28th March, and what a joyous occasion it was. Holland Park Press hired the beautiful Gradidge Room at the Art Workers Guild, and we were overwhelmed by the number of people who came along to celebrate this milestone with us. The wine flowed, the room filled with laughter and chatter, books were bought and signed; and before we got too merry, Bernadette hushed the crowd and we gave a short reading from our collection. Then, more book buying and signing! More wine! Amazingly, by 9pm virtually all the books that Bernadette and Arnold had brought along to the launch party had been sold.

Our thanks to everyone who came along, especially those who travelled from outside London; those who sent congratulatory messages and bought the book online; and of course to Bernadette and Arnold at Holland Park Press for organising such a lovely party.

Look at those books! Photo: Nick Rogers

Ready for our guests Photo: Nick Rogers

Photo: Sarah Sparkes

Photo: Holland Park Press

Reading at the London Book Fair.

The London Book Fair attracts over 25,000 visitors. Who wouldn’t want to read at one of the publishing industry’s main trade fairs? When our publisher Bernadette at Holland Park Press suggested she could pitch for a slot for us to read from our forthcoming collection at this year’s fair we jumped at the chance.  Continue reading Reading at the London Book Fair.

We’re delighted with the first review of our collection, on Emma Lee’s blog. Are you interested in reviewing our book? Contact Holland Park Press to request a review copy. Have a good weekend!

Two poets explore the hidden histories of women based north and south of the river Thames in London through poems with Joolz Sparkes focusing north of the river, and Hilaire south. Poems are grouped by theme so chronologically they jump around and are marked N or S to indicate the writer. Some poems feature a […]

via “London Undercurrents” Joolz Sparkes and Hilaire (Holland Park Press) – book review — Emma Lee’s Blog

Wine, poetry, and you, at our book launch March 28th

Whoohoo… our book is real! A 152-page actual thing.  To celebrate its publication, our lovely publisher Holland Park Press is throwing us a launch party right in the heart of Bloomsbury. And we’d like to invite you to join us there.

It will be in the fabulous Gradidge Room at the Art Workers Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT on March 28th 7pm-9pm. Nearest tube is Russell Square.


Join us at Poet’s Corner, London Book Fair, Olympia March 13th

Screen shot 2019-02-11 at 15.44.24

We’re thrilled to be joining our publishers Holland Park Press as delegates at the London Book Fair on March 13th, 2019. We’ll be reading from our book as part of the Poet’s Corner features on March 13th between 11.30am-12.30am. You can find out more about our event here. There are some great speakers during the whole 3-day event to enjoy, and our wonderful publishers Bernadette and Arnold from Holland Park Press will be there too – so if you’re visiting the fair do pop by their stand to say hello. Hope to see you there.



A blue plaque, and a knees-up

Last Friday was the centenary of some women being able to vote for the first time, and also the first time women could stand for election to Parliament. In Battersea, Hilaire attended two events held to honour local suffragette and campaigner Charlotte Despard, who was one of the 16 women to stand as candidates in the general election held on 14th December 1918. Continue reading A blue plaque, and a knees-up