Suzannah Evans, aged 32, grew up in the West Midlands. She went to university in mid-Wales before moving north to Leeds in 2005. She came to Sheffield two-and-a-half years ago to live with her partner Will.
After many years devoting her spare time to poetry while working various jobs, including housing and debt advice, she has finally managed to carve out a career working with the thing she loves most. She works for the Poetry Business - a small publisher and writer development organisation based at Bank Street Arts - and runs creative writing workshops and courses. Her first pamphlet of poetry, ‘Confusion Species’, was published in 2012. She is also one of the directors of the South Yorkshire Poetry Festival, which runs from Monday to next Sunday in venues across the county, with a weekend of headline events at the Showroom and Workstation to finish. Visit South yorkshire Poetry Festival for details.
Brincliffe Edge Woods
Living in Nether Edge, this is always my short walk of choice. These woods are a little piece of wilderness right in the city and the steep hill is quite the mini workout. Considering they’re pretty much on the doorstep, there’s a surprising amount of wildlife here too -the wild flowers are beautiful at this time of year and on summer evenings you can hear plenty of tawny owls hooting away.
The Broadfield hotel
I don’t expect this wonderful pub is a secret to anyone, but it’s one of my favourites. Everyone who comes to visit me gets brought here for tea, and they’ve all gone home impressed. The menu has a great balance between traditional (the wondrous pies) and innovative specials and there’s always a friendly atmosphere. Last October I was lucky enough to come to a whisky tasting night - educational and delicious all at once.
Bank Street Arts
Even before I moved to Sheffield I knew Bank Street well as a hub for cultural events. Whether it’s poetry readings, music, art exhibitions, creative writing workshops or a quiet place to meet and talk about projects, there is always something new and interesting going on here.
Within its many studios there are housed many creative businesses: jewellery makers, designers, artists, costume makers, picture framers and of course The Poetry Business and Writing Yorkshire, both of whom have had a huge impact on my development as a writer and creative educator, providing a great deal of support and inspiration to writers in Yorkshire and beyond.
The Showroom Cinema
I’m a big cinemagoer and really appreciate the variety of films available at The Showroom, and am hugely proud to live in a city with a thriving independent cinema that balances arthouse films, world cinema, festivals and documentaries with the big names. And it has a lovely cafe to boot, all housed in a beautiful art deco building.
This is close to my workplace and makes a good lunchtime stroll. It’s also part of the Five Weirs Walk, which is a great way to explore Sheffield via its waterways. I’m fascinated by the Straddle warehouse, a handsome listed building which was built across the basin because they ran out of space. I’ve always had a desire to live in a narrow boat but my partner is 6ft 2in so I don’t think he’s very keen. I can console myself by coming down here to look at them.
This is a new arrival on The Moor in the old Woolworth’s store. To be honest I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of everything that goes on in this fantastic DIY space. Beyond its beautifully painted windows and friendly tearoom there is an enormous multi-floor performance space for bands, spoken word and theatre.
The Sheffield Election project which ended last week invited people in to make up policies and chat about what it takes to run a country. It was hugely thought-provoking and I found myself discussing politics with total strangers within minutes.
the webcam Peregrines
Technically this is only a place I can get to through the use of digital technology, but it is still an actual physical place in Sheffield! Since 2012 the University of Sheffield has kept a webcam trained on the nest box of a pair of peregrine falcons at the top of St George’s, a lecture theatre that was once a church.
Watching the pair raise and feed their chicks makes for incredibly addictive (if sometimes slightly gory) viewing and allows you to be close to something you wouldn’t ordinarily get the chance to see.
Visit Peregrine Group to watch the webcam.