Masthead – Amber Kennedy

Amber Kennedy (She/Her)

Editor-in-chief, Poetry Co-Editor, and Co-founder

October 2020 – present

Amber Natalie Kennedy is a poet and fiction writer from Oxfordshire, England, and currently works full time in publishing. She has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature, both from Durham University.

Amber has attended and led several different writing groups, and collaborated on Durham University anthologies, including The End of a Conversation, with the Creative Writing Society of 2019, as well as Peninsula, with the Postgraduate English Department of 2021. Amber has a number of poems published in various literary magazines and has self-published work through Kindle Direct Publishing.

Whenever Amber is not working or writing, she is travelling, and thoroughly enjoys exploring the world, often embarking on solo trips to immerse herself in the cultures and customs, as well as landscapes and cityscapes of other countries. These adventures influence her work, and the development of her settings within her fiction in particular. Amber is also very interested in all kinds of art forms and the potential dialogue between them. She is fascinated by the world of the stage; the cultural history of architecture; and the lyrical talent of musicians. Her work often makes reference to pieces of art; engages with questions about the purpose of art in society; and features a cast of characters who identify as different types of artist. Amber also records travel experiences and analyses pieces of art on her blog, The Postcard Review.

Her prose is literary and character-driven, seeking to address complex issues surrounding identity. The characters in Amber’s novels are often tragic figures struggling with isolation, addiction and obsession. She is very interested in people who make sacrifices in pursuit of singular passions, and in cases of self-destruction and delusion. Her fiction frequently explores human relationships and the emotional pain and trauma we are capable of wreaking upon those who are closest to us.

When writing poetry, Amber engages with philosophical questions and abstract concepts. She also enjoys the simultaneously serious, playful, and meaningful potential of words, rhythm, and rhyme, and explores the musicality of poetry in every verse she writes. For her, poetry is a form of music uniting the intangibility of metaphor with the gravitational force of feeling. She is keen to engage in more literary journeys which take her in completely new directions, and is forever inspired by the talented community of creatives which make up Spellbinder.

Amber’s literary influences from the past include Thomas Hardy, D. H. Lawrence, Muriel Spark, and Shirley Jackson in terms of fiction, and Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath and W. B. Yeats in terms of poetry. Contemporary writers she greatly admires include the novelists Ruth Ozeki, Richard Powers, and Stephen King, as well as the poet Carol Ann Duffy. Books which have stayed with her include Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Richard Yates’s Revolutionary Road, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, and Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong. Her childhood favourites include C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia and Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. Her favourite playwright is Tennessee Williams, and musicians who have inspired her poetic work include Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell.