Gaia Holmes (Place Writing, 2023)Gaia Holmes, Caravan

Gaia Holmes

Fellow in 2023 for Place Writing

As well as the financial and practical aspects of the award, my focus, drive and confidence as a writer have been boosted by this very generous fellowship and helped me feel less of the ‘imposter syndrome’.

Read Gaia Holmes's testimonial

Gaia Holmes is a writer and author of three poetry collections, Dr James Graham’s Celestial Bed, Lifting The Piano With One Hand and Where The Road Runs Out.

Where The Road Runs Out, charts the story of Gaia’s journey to Orkney to provide emotional and palliative care for her father. It transports the reader to the edge of things: to remote, treeless islands, to dark, unfathomable mines, to the gaping maw of grief. With frailty and ferocity, this book maps out the strange absences left in our lives when a rupture occurs – like the sudden appearance of a sinkhole – threatening to pull everything else down with it. Where the Road Runs Out is an intimate portrait of loss, isolation, and ultimately healing. Above all, it is a paean to place, the landscape, and the myths, magic and mysteries that lie just beneath the surface.

She has been a gallery attendant, a cleaner, a lecturer, a lollipop lady and a busker and has lived in churches, caves, deserted beach houses, tall terraces and caravans. Now she is a creative writing tutor and pet/house sitter and lives in Halifax in a tiny flat above the tree line on the top floor of a ramshackle Georgian mansion that Dorothy and William Wordsworth used to visit. Gaia is currently working on her debut collection of short stories entitled, He Used To Do Dangerous Things.