Cal Wensley (they/them)

Cal Wensley is a Founding Member of the Sword Forge Collective 2022 – 2023.


Cal Wensley writes on the death of their father with all of the intensity of someone who doesn’t want to admit that their father is dead. 

To some it might sound like they treat death as a joke and they’re right. 

Cal tackles sensitive issues with a lack of sensitivity and a whole lot of humanity. 

Cal’s poetry might make you cry but just remember that it’s their dad that’s dead so try not to be more upset than them.


  • Featured poet on BBC Upload with poem ‘What To Do When Your Child Is Hurting Themselves’
  • Part of the Bristol Tonic event management team.
  • Organiser and host of Craftwords Open mic.
  • Part of the Hammer & Tongue Bristol team.
  • Hammer & Tongue Bristol Regional Finalist
  • MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University.
  • Winner of the Milk Poetry slam.
  • Qualified for Hammer & Tongue National Competition as a representative of Bristol
  • Featured on Health Beats Poet (listen to that episode here).
  • Performed at Glas-denbury Festival 2019, Nozstock Festival 2019, .
  • Invited poet in The CandleLit Sessions 2021.
  • Coach of the Bath Spa University Uni Slam team 2021 and 2022 who came 3rd and 4th respectively.
  • Featured sets at Hammer & Tongue Cambridge, Milk Poetry, Tonic, Raise the Bar, Satellite of Love, Lines of the Mind, To Be Frank Poetry, Poetry+, Rusty Goat’s Poetry Corner, Grizzly Pear, Squawkers, Taking the Mic, Bristol Old Vic Open Stage, Lyrically Justified.
  • Longlisted for the Young Poets Network ‘Shoot for the Moon’ challenge.
  • Featured on Josie Alford‘s Youtube channel.
  • Longlisted for Best Collaborative Work (for their participation in The CandleLit Sessions) in theĀ Saboteur Awards 2022.
  • Longlisted for Best Spoken Word Event (for Tonic) in theĀ Saboteur Awards 2022.



Cal is such a dynamic performer. It is rare for someone to be so skilled at making the audience feel comfortable and excited, when covering a range of difficult subject matters. Cal’s effervescent energy and mastery of when to push tension and when to let a poem unwind means that every poem is a full body experience to listen to. An absolute masterclass in performance.

Kathryn O’Driscoll, UK Slam Champion 2021.

An utter presence of a performer. Your eyes, ears, laughter, and tears will be rooted to them.