Morvoren: the poetry of sea swimming

by Ella Walsworth-Bell in Falmouth, Cornwall, United Kingdom

We did it
On 9th June 2022 we successfully raised £1,665 with 49 supporters in 28 days

We've written a poetry book about women who swim in the sea in Cornwall. We need your support to get it printed and to include photographs.

by Ella Walsworth-Bell in Falmouth, Cornwall, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

If we raise even more, we will use this to connect with different community groups across Cornwall (including some stunning Mermaids!) and to raise the profile of our project through a bigger and better book launch/tour.

We’ll also make sure we can compensate our performing poets at book festivals for their time. And ensure that more books go to libraries for local people to access without cost.

If more people pre-order our book, we will let our local print company know- we’re all about giving back into the rural community that is Cornwall.

Do you swim in the sea, or know someone who does? 

Join Morvoren: celebrating stories of women sea swimmers in Cornwall.

‘Morvoren: the poetry of sea swimming’ is the title of our book, celebrating women in Cornwall who swim regularly in the sea for health, wellbeing and happiness. It presents a collection of poems and photographs of those women, telling their stories. 

The group of nine Cornish women poets who are creating this book is powerful, strong and resilient – similar to the women in sea swimming communities in Cornwall. They’ve contacted sea swimming groups such as: She Swims Falmouth, Manamaids, Morva swimmers, Gylly Surf Life Saving Club (women’s group), Gylly Swimmers for Wellbeing.

If you’ve ever swum in the sea, or wished you could, this collection of poems and imagery will immerse you in the ocean and show you why. 

The poets involved in this project are Ella Walsworth-Bell, Polly Roberts, Hannah Temme, Kerry Vincent, Kate Barden, Ruth Eggins (on Scilly) and Abigail Ottley, Morag Smith and Penelope MacBeth. Katrina Naomi has also supported us.  

Due to be published in June 2022, the Morvoren project has involved interviewing swimmers (sometimes in the sea!), listening to their stories, creating poems together as a community collaboration, and adding photographs to fully immerse the reader.

Our photographers Alice Bray and Rita Maureen Hencke, got right in the water with the swimmers to create unique and beautiful images. These bring to life both the poems and the joyful swimming communities of Cornwall.

Poet Ella Walsworth-Bell says:

“Everyone has volunteered time and effort to make this project a success. We are delighted to say Morvoren will be printed in Cornwall. We want to get from the screen to page – to raise the money to format and print our book. This is a wholly women-focused and women-created project which aims to create beauty and magic from sea swimming. Please support us, and support women across Cornwall who’ve worked to make this a reality. The journey has been wonderful so far – we want to spread the word even further.”

Poet and sea swimmer Katrina Naomi says:

“I recognise so much of my own sea swimming in these stunning, anarchic, joyful poems. Here are other women who also delight in cold water, of being 'burned alive from the ankles up'. These poems ask, 'Why wouldn't you swim?'. Read this anthology, see if it doesn't have you running for the waves, 'nipples like limpets'. Brava to one and all.”

Funds will be used for

This Crowd Funding Page will help make Morvoren a reality. We'd like to raise funds to:

- purchase ISBNs for our book 

- print our book locally in Cornwall

- costs of editing and formatting our book, incorporating both text and photographs

- costs of designing and creating a cover, using our photographs

- share our book through donation copies to libraries in Cornwall

- create an e-book to make Morvoren accessible to all

By pre-ordering your book here, you will be making our dreams a reality. You'll also be getting your copy cheaper than when it's commercially available, and will be one of the first to read it. You can also pre-order copies for friends and family.

By supporting us through ordering a postcard featuring one of our images, with a poetic quote from the book, you will enable us to pay our spoken word artists for their time performing at festivals.

By supporting our Library fund to place in Cornish Libraries, you'll be making our project accessible to all.

After going through the pandemic, as women we know first-hand how many responsibilities and ties there are on our time. We want to share the positivity and uplift that sea swimming gives so many. We want to do this not only through words but also through photographic images.

Come and meet us in person

You'd be more than welcome to support us in person at Creative Scilly (12-14 May), Penzance Litfest (8 July) and St Ives Festival (September) - we've love to meet you and for you to hear our poetry live.

And if you're a writer? Share with us online

The Facebook group Morvoren: the poetry of sea swimming was set up for women to share poems they've written and images they've taken. Be brave and plunge right in, or applaud others - we are a supportive group. Opportunities to take part in live/online poetry workshops will be posted here.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£9 or more

£9 Reward

Pre-order one copy of our Morvoren book at a supporter's discount and be one of the first to own it. 9 poets, 2 photographers, lots of sea swimmers- all have contributed to this uplifting book. (P&P charged separately)

£3 or more

£3 Reward

We will send you a postcard to thank you for your support, with inspiring poetic quote and enduring photographic image by Alice Bray/Rita Maureen Hencke.

£3 or more

£3 Reward

E-book Morvoren the poetry of sea swimming - we've gone and created an e-book! Should be suitable for Kindle, Phone and Tablet. Includes additional photographs. Grab yourself a bargain.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

Donate £5 to go towards providing copies of Morvoren to libraries in Cornwall. Every little helps us to achieve our aims. As a thank you, we'll send you a postcard with a photographic image and an inspiring poem printed on it.

£18 or more

£18 Reward

Pre-order one copy of Morvoren for yourself and also pre-order one for a friend or family member - both at a supporter's discount. (P&P charged separately)

£30 or more

£30 Reward

Pledge £30 and we will donate 3 copies of Morvoren to Cornish libraries on your behalf. We'll also send you a thank you postcard with a poem and photograph.

£45 or more

£45 Reward

Pre-order 5 copies of Morvoren for friends and family. (P&P charged separately)

£50 or more

£50 Reward

Donate £50 and support us to make Morvoren a reality.

£90 or more

£90 Reward

Pre-order 10 copies of our Morvoren book for your friends, family or business. We'd love to get our book read and accessed by as many as we can! (P&P charged separately)

£100 or more

£100 Reward

Callout to local businesses in Cornwall! We know times are hard, and we want to give you a shout out. Pledge your support and we'd be happy to run a poetry for wellbeing workshop for your staff.

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