In the space of a few short years, Arch Hades has established a reputation as one of the UK’s bestselling feminist poets. It is also believed that she is the most-followed British poet on Instagram, boasting more than one million followers and counting.

To mark the release of her second poetry collection, Fool’s Gold —which chronicles the story of her last serious relationship and its slow breakdown — we spoke to Arch to find out 10 things that she wants readers to know about her.

Arch Hades
Arch Hades

    1. I don’t believe in ‘soulmates’ or ‘destiny’

I know I’m a Romantic poet, but I would really like to erase the concept of ‘soulmates’ and ‘destiny’. Not only are these concepts unscientific, but they are also dangerous, because they allow people to be irresponsible and lazy in relationships. I don’t think people are ‘meant’ for each other; I don’t think anyone is ‘meant’ for anything. Notions of ‘destiny’ can have a negative effect if you’re using it to manipulate your partner into remaining in the relationship while you take them for granted; moreover, it also takes away credit where credit’s due. Partnerships that have lasted decades aren’t just ‘lucky’, the couple work on their relationship – they make an effort every day. And how wonderful is it, to be able to create something out of nothing, purely from your love and good intentions and gratitude, not because of some cosmic ‘plan’. It’s you. You did this. You are able to create a wonderful relationship that’s making you both happy. That’s what special and worth celebrating. It’s not ‘destiny’, it’s conscious and consistent effort.

    2. I don’t believe in anything

From an early age I was sent to a religious school where it was compulsory to go to church and receive sermons every day. I was blindly religious for quite some time but when I was in my mid-teen years my faith unravelled very quickly after quite a simple line of questioning. After further research, the sheer improbability of the whole chain of religious events became painfully obvious and I underwent an existential crisis. The human psyche, longing for the security of a cosmic providence, and susceptible to personifying and projecting its own capacity for value and purpose, wished to see more in nature’s design. Turns out if there was objective meaning in the universe, we would all find the same one, but we don’t. Instead, we find our own individual meanings depending on what and where we’re searching. We just need to respect each other and leave each other alone, as long as our individual meanings are not harming ourselves and others.

    3. I am not so smart – no one is

My favourite psychological phenomenon is the ‘Texas sharpshooter fallacy’ – where we place artificial order over natural random chance, and then tell ourselves it’s ‘meant to be’. We overlook randomness to find meaning but meaning is a human construction. The proof of that is incredibly simple – anywhere you search for meaning, you will find it. And the need for meaning changes how you feel about what you see. We are so desperate for order. For ancient humans, pattern recognition led to food and protected us from harm. It’s inbuilt in our brains to search for patters and meaning. We’re always looking and when we do find patterns, our brains squirt out serotonin to make us feel good, and it’s very addictive. And because of this, we often see patterns that don’t exist. None of us are smart; just the slightly smarter ones are more aware of their stupidity and know how to manage it better. We are all little egos, walking around trying to stay sane and make order out of our random world, because we need it to cope.  

    4. I am not special, and we are all the same

With some cultural variations, most people are keen on identifying as individuals, unique and special, whose hopes and dreams and doubts are all exclusively their own. And for us, cultivating this incomparable self through consumption or creation, is a vital coping mechanism. But we’re all the same really, with the same fears, doubts and wants. Above all, we are all cosmically mundane.

    5. I’m not a nihilist, I’m an absurdist

I know I make a lot of stupid jokes on Twitter about nihilism, but I’m not actually a nihilist myself. Not that nihilism is bad; I personally adore the reality that not a single one of us is special or more important than the other (nobody matters on a cosmic scale, and to think otherwise would be arrogant and delusional - also this is how cults start). It’s just, nihilism is only the first step. The point is to overcome nihilism, not with gross hedonism and shallow pursuits, but with pursuit of self-ownership, struggle and expression of art. Hence, poetry.

    6. Disregard formal achievements

I believe we live in a society so over-focused on formal achievements that it prevents a lot of us from trying in the first place, due to a crippling fear of failure. But writing a bestselling book or winning a prize, that’s not what makes you a good person, yet we correlate the two so strongly that too often we compare ourselves and each other against these quite arbitrary criteria to judge whether someone is ‘extraordinary’ or not, solely based on that. But what speaks to the content of your character is how you conduct yourself and how you treat others. Do you work hard? Do you try to better yourself? Do you learn from your mistakes? Do you treat others with respect and dignity? Do you cherish your loved ones? Do you help them when they need you? Do you try and make a positive difference to those around you? Those are the things that reveal your character, those are the things that should be celebrated, not what your job title is, or how many degrees you have, or if your face is on a billboard.

Fools Gold Poetry and Postcards
Fools Gold Poetry and Postcards

    7. To all inspiring writers, I say this:

I know we all like an ego stroke, but I’m not one to give those out. Even if you do become successful and accomplished within your own lifetime, don’t take your success too seriously. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you are talented or brilliant, it most likely means that you, or your work, was able to fit into some much broader, nebulous narrative around you that is mostly circumstantial and not down to your own influence. But, on the upside, if you don’t succeed in whatever it is that you want to do, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re stupid or unworthy or talentless. It just means that for whatever (often quite arbitrary reasons) you just weren’t picked, and it doesn’t reflect on you or your skills. The ones who are most likely to ‘make it’ are normally just those who someone else found easiest to monetise.

    8. To me, nothing is cooler than responsibility

The thinkers of the Enlightenment nullified the idea that meaning and morality comes from religion, and this sent a lot of people into a depressing tailspin. But what most people seem to forget is that that void was filled with the idea that our duty comes from membership of society and of the human species. That was the defining idea of the modern age. Unfortunately, this modern age is far from the best version of itself. War, genocide, misogyny, racism, homophobia, pollution, the devastation of our environment, child brides, the list goes on – and we did all this to ourselves. There is nothing cosmic or permanent about how our societies are arranged. We created them, which means we can undo them. So if we want to make a difference, let’s make a difference. Let every action you take be a vote for the kind of world you want to see. Because society is made up of individuals, like me and you, and if you ever think to yourself ‘someone should do something about this’, remember that that person can be you.

    9. If I could urge you to do one thing – question what you know  

Questions why things are the way they are. Often you will find, there is no good reason. Often our values, beliefs, and systems are just unquestioned products of our particular time and place that remain because of ignorance, inertia, or by opposition from the few who benefit from the existing systems. Never be afraid to challenge power if you see it corrupting. Decisions that affect society must be rooted in logic, reason, facts. And through civil, informed debate examine if a decision was based on uncorrupted logic and reason. If it wasn’t, replace it with a decision that was. Everybody makes mistakes. The real danger is being so enamoured with one’s perspective, one ignores facts that contradict it. But the only way to make progress is to acknowledge our errors and change our ways.

    10. I am happy every day because I’ve stopped caring 

My happiness is the glow from a big pile of small glimmers. I enjoy taking my dog for a walk. I like to read and when I find a phrase I like, I underline it with a pencil. I like talking to a friend, even if just through voice notes. I enjoy making breakfast. On some Sundays, I buy myself a small bunch of flowers. I enjoy the everyday. We are all composed of our little banalities, trivial and abundant, like dust. But in the right light, that everyday dust glitters like gold. My happiness isn’t focused on big events, accolades and validation. If it were, well, I’d be unhappy most of the time. No, my happiness is in the everyday. And every day, I’m happy.

Fool's Gold: Poetry and Postcards Volume Two by Arch Hades is out now on Amazon in paperback and eBook formats, priced £8.99 and £3.50 respectively. For more information, visit or follow her on Instagram.