The Eyewear Team

Acting Director: Mr M. John Penny

John ('MJ') has 15 years' experience in retail at Oxfam Great Britain, 12 of them as Manager of the charity's flagship bookshop, in London. Before that, he was an engineer and accountant. He ran national poetry contests at Oxfam, and hosted the long-running Oxfam Poetry Series for ten years. He is married with two children and divides his time between the UK and Turkey. He is a passionate Chelsea supporter, and a collector of Harry Potter and Agatha Christie editions. His father worked on the famous Goon Show.



Poetry Editor: Ms Cate Myddleton-Evans

Cate graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in English Literature, writing her final dissertation on William Blake. She also has an MA in Acting, which was born from a love for stories, literature and especially poetry. She was the editor for our best-selling title, Idiot Verse, by Keaton Henson. She has studied with The Poetry School in London, and spent many wonderful evenings listening to poetry readings. She wears glasses and contact lenses interchangeably, depending on the mood.

Poetry and Prose Editor: Dr Alex Wylie

Alex has published numerous articles on modern poetry, and has a book on Geoffrey Hill's later work coming out with Manchester University Press in 2019. His debut poetry collection is forthcoming in October 2018. He is a lecturer at York St John University.

Chief Creative Officer: Dr Stanley Todd Swift

Todd has been editing poetry collections for over 30 years. He is the editor or co-editor of numerous global anthologies, including Carcanet’s Modern Canadian Poets. He is author of ten full collections of poetry, including Seaway: New & Selected Poems, from Salmon, Ireland. His poems have appeared in many leading journals in America, Australia, Britain, Canada and Ireland, such as Poetry (Chicago), Poetry Review, Poetry London, PRISM International, The Globe and Mail, Jacket, and New American Writing. He was Oxfam GB’s poet-in-residence, based in Marylebone, 2004-2012. He was Writer-in-Residence, Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, England, 2017-18. He founded Eyewear in 2012 and is its chief patron.

Operations Manager: Ms Juliette van Wessem

Joining Eyewear in 2019, Juliette is an effective administrator with a highly entrepreneurial mind-set working part-time alongside coordinating Careers at Imperial College Business School and raising her young family. Originally from the Netherlands, Juliette completed a Master’s in Arts Management at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge in 2008. During her studies she worked as the Festival Administrator in the early years of Cambridge Literary Festival, followed by three years at the Poetry School in South London pioneering a series of online poetry courses. Following several years supporting and recruiting students for study programmes in art business and art history at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, she spent much of 2018 travelling around South East Asia with her family. After recent laser eye surgery, she will be required to support operations at Eyewear without her spectacles.

 Book Design: Mr Edwin Smet

Edwin has worked as an independent graphic designer for over two decades, and is based in The Netherlands. He has published three books of poems and images, Pessoa loopt door de straten van New York (2005), Een Landschap (2008) and A Repetition Of Something Useless That Might Be Considered Beautiful (2015). He was included in The Poet's Quest For God. Over the last eight years, he has focused more and more on painting and designing books.

Associate Editor/PR: Ms Jane Collins

Jane has over 25 years experience as a journalist, editor, and writer. Her articles have appeared in many well-known newspapers and magazines for decades. She has written a feminist study of sex advice for women, published by an imprint of HarperCollins; she now wears reading glasses after years of 20/20 vision. She lives in London.

Logistics Manager/Stock Controller: Mr Ayrun Mason

With a colourful career history, including working as a model, secretary, courier, tour guide and gardener, Ayrun is now putting his range of practical skills to perfect use at Eyewear. He is based in London.