Debut collection from Worthing poet Cherrie Taylor

Stepping on Shadows, published by Dempsey & Windle ( at £10, is the debut poetry collection from Worthing’s Cherrie Taylor.

Cherrie Taylor
Cherrie Taylor

Cherrie, a member of the West Sussex Writers group, explained: “The title of the book, Stepping on Shadows, comes for one of the poems I wrote a few years ago.

“Shadows as we walk are fascinating especially to children who try to catch them, to step on them. I love walking and dancing with my grandchildren and on sunny days laughing at the images we create like tall giants when the sun is low.

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“Shadow is a word we use to describe how we feel – what happens to us in life – a sadness but when it passes we use the word to convey a lightness when the shadows lift.

“When I looked at the poems I had gathered together I saw that shadows were a common thread. And I thought ‘these poems need to come into the light and stop hiding!’

“The poems express emotions, some personal but many have a wider world view.

“The collection takes the reader on a tender journey through life, each poem contributing to the whole in its own unique way. Some touch on sadness but many are joyful and quirky and make me laugh!

“I think the appeal of the poems is that they are easy to understand. This does not mean they are sentimental or too flowery in how they are written but they have a narrative – a story to tell which I think people will relate to.

“I contacted a few publishers and was very pleased when Dempsey & Windle got back to me to say they would like to publish the collection. I also had to decide on a cover. I found an image I really liked and contacted the photographer Jake Olson in Nebraska. He was happy to give me permission to use the photo. He just wanted a signed copy of the book! I am very pleased to have worked on getting my poems together in this way.

“I will look at the other poems I have written and I am always putting more words together! So I will consider another publication next year.

“I was born in Cornwall and moved to West Sussex when aged five. The coast has always been important to me, and I was told that some of my first words were written in the sand!

“I have written stories and poetry since I was a child. I began creative writing and poetry courses at Northbrook College ten years ago and later went on to study with the Open University. This introduced me to the wider world of poetry and writing. My work has been published in Coast Lines (West Sussex Writers, 2018), Shoreham Wordfest Anthology (2020), and Reach Poetry.

“I have also been the winner of two poetry competitions.

“I’ve been a member of West Sussex Writers for some years and enjoy the buzz and encouragement by being a member of the group.

“Also I’m a member of River Poets and slipstream, both local poetry groups where we share ideas and our poems.”

You can buy the book directly from Cherrie via her website When purchased from Cherrie, 20 per cent of the RRP will be donated to West Sussex MIND.

Copies can also be ordered from Waterstones and the publisher: “I could also be contacted directly by email [email protected]