Lerah Mae Barcenilla grew up in Cuartero, Capiz in the Philippines full of magic, superstition and tradition before moving to the UK. Her work touches on topics of the diaspora, memory, mythology, folklore and the state of duality. Her writing has appeared in Harana Poetry, with Verve Poetry Press, was Highly Commended in The Literary Consultancy’s PEN Factor Award–Novel (2021) and won the Creative Future Writers Award–Platinum Poetry (2022).


Born in Manila, Philippines, writer and poet Lerah Mae Barcenilla grew up in a small province full of magic, tradition and superstition. Currently based in Birmingham, her work touches on topics of the diaspora, memory, mythology and the state of duality. She particularly enjoys breaking apart narrative structures and exploring how words exist on and outside of the page. 

2014-2017 BA English (2.1), University of Leicester


Previous Publications

2022 Creative Future Writers Award, How It Startedpublication

2021 The Alchemy Spoon, Issue 3: Spell poetry | performance | publication

2020 Verve Poetry Press, “30 Synonyms for Emerging” performance | publication

2020 “When The Sun Stood Still”, commissioned by Punch Records for Culture Central’s #ItGetsLighterFromHere – –spoken word

2020 Verse First’s Alone Together podcast (Episode 2: “Arboretum”) – spoken word


2022 Platinum Award (Poetry), Creative Future Writers Award

2021 Highly Commended, The Literary Consultancy Pen Factor (Novel)


2019-2020 Hippodrome Young Poets inaugural cohort, Birmingham

2018 Punch Record Gallery37, Spoken Word Camp, Birmingham

2017-2018 Writing West Midlands’ Room 204 Writer Development Scheme, Birmingham

2018 BMAG Remixed: Hack The Archive Hackathon with Rebel Uncut, Birmingham Museum.

2016 UKYA Residency: TEXTure Theatre Devising with John Berkavitch, Derby Theatre, Derby.

Performances / Screenings

2020 Hippodrome Young Poets Showcase, Birmingham

2018 Gallery 27 Spoken Word Camp, Medicine Gallery, Birmingham.

Group Exhibitions

2017 ‘Transition’ with Pop My Mind, The Storey, Lancaster.