The fourth Winchester Poetry Festival will be a celebration of the very special artistic relationship which exists between British and American poets, whether between Robert Frost and Edward Thomas or Sylvia Plath and Stevie Smith. In addition to the sparkling international line-up in October 2020, the festival will also feature major and innovative writers from America, as well as American poets who have made Britain their home.

Performances and events are being held in Southampton as well as Winchester, and will explore the ways in which the two poetry cultures inform and nourish each other, with readings, workshops, a lecture and writers in conversation.

2020 Poets 

Romalyn Ante
Romalyn Ante

Romalyn Ante was born during her hometown's fiesta of San Sebastian. She grew up and lived in the Philippines until she migrated to the UK when she was 16 years old. She is based in Wolverhampton where she works as a nurse/psychotherapist. A co-founding editor of harana poetry, her debut collection, Antiemetic for Homesickness, will come out with Chatto & Windus in July 2020.

Raymond Antrobus
Raymond Antrobus

Raymond Antrobus was born in London to an English mother and Jamaican father, he is the author of Shapes & Disfigurements, To Sweeten Bitter and The Perseverance. In 2019 he became the first ever poet to be awarded the Rathbone Folio Prize for best work of literature in any genre. Other accolades include the Ted Hughes award, PBS Winter Choice, Sunday Times Young Writer of the year award & The Guardian Poetry Book Of The Year 2018, as well as a shortlist for the Griffin Prize and Forward Prize. In 2018 he was awarded The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize for his poem 'Sound Machine'. 

His poetry has appeared on BBC 2, BBC Radio 4, The Big Issue, The Jamaica Gleaner, The Guardian and at TedxEastEnd.

Mona Arshi
Mona Arshi

Mona Arshi worked as a Human rights lawyer at Liberty before she started writing poetry. Her debut collection Small Hands won the Forward Prize for best first collection in 2015. She has also been a prizewinner in the Troubadour, Magma and Manchester creative writing competitions. Mona was the 2016-2017 Arvon/Jerwood poetry mentor and she has judged the Magma and  Manchester Creative writing competitions and  2017 she was one of the judges for the Forward Prize. Mona is also co-judging the National Poetry Competition this year. Mona’s second collection Dear Big Gods was published in 2019 by Liverpool University Press.

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Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown’s first book, Please (2008), won the American Book Award. His second, The New Testament (2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. He is also the author of the collection The Tradition (2019), which was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award. His poems have appeared in Buzzfeed, The Nation, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Time, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry anthologies. He is an associate professor and the director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University in Atlanta.

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Aviva Dautch

Aviva Dautch is a poet, academic and curator. Her sequence of poems about clearing her mother's hoarded house are the subject of a BBC Radio 4 documentary (Summer 2020). She has received a Society of Author's award to complete her forthcoming first collection, We Sigh For Houses.

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Mary Jean Chan

Mary Jean Chan is a London-based poet, lecturer and editor from Hong Kong. Her debut poetry collection, Flèche, is published by Faber & Faber, and won the 2019 Costa Book Award for Poetry. She has twice been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem, and is the recipient of a 2019 Eric Gregory Award. Mary Jean currently lectures at Oxford Brookes University. 

Carol Ann Duffy

Paul Batchelor was born in Northumberland. His first full-length collection of poems, The Sinking Road, was published by Bloodaxe in 2008, and in 2014 Clutag published his chapbook, The Love Darg. He has received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors, the Arthur Welton Award from the Authors Foundation, the Times Stephen Spender Prize for Translation, and the Edwin Morgan International Poetry Competition. He is an Associate Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at Durham University, and reviews for the The New Statesman and the TLS. www.paulbatchelor.co.uk.

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Menna Elfyn

Menna Elfyn is an award winning poet, playwright who has published fourteen collections of poetry, children’s novels, libretti for UK and US composers, plays for radio and television in  Welsh and English.  Her bilingual volume Murmur, Bloodaxe Books, in autumn 2012 was a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation. She writes poetry solely in Welsh but has been translated into twenty languages. Her latest bilingual collection Bondo, Bloodaxe Books appeared in 2017 and a literary memoir Cennad ( Messager) in 2018.

She is Emerita Professor of Poetry at University of Wales and  President of Wales PEN Cymru

Ruth Fainlight

Ruth Fainlight has published fourteen collections of poems, two collections  of short stories, and written opera libretti for Covent Garden and Channel 4.  She has received the Hawthornden and Cholmondeley Awards, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her latest collection is Somewhere Else Entirely, (Bloodaxe) 2018.

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Forrest Gander

Forrest Gander a writer and translator with degrees in geology and literature, taught at Harvard and, for many years, at Brown University. Recent books include Be With, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and The Trace, a novel. Gander has translated books by many poets from Spain, Latin America, and Japan.

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Greg Gilbert

Greg Gilbert is a poet, artist and musician from Southampton. His pamphlet, Love Makes a Mess of Dying was one of Carol Ann Duffy's 'Laureate's Choice' publications. 

As an artist, his work has been displayed at the Royal Academy and the Royal College of Art, winning Best in the South of England at the National Open Art Competition. 

He is the lead singer of the band Delays who have released 4 albums and toured internationally. In late 2016 Gilbert was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer, an event that profoundly impacted his writing.

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Rebecca Goss

Rebecca Goss is a poet, tutor and mentor living in Suffolk. Her first full-length collection, The Anatomy of Structures, was published by Flambard Press in 2010. Her second collection, Her Birth, (Carcanet/Northern House, 2013) was shortlisted for the 2013 Forward Prize for Best Collection, won the Poetry category in the East Anglian Book Awards 2013, and in 2015 was shortlisted for the Warwick Prize for Writing and the Portico Prize for Literature.  Rebecca’s third full-length collection, Girl, was published with Carcanet/Northern House in 2019 and shortlisted for the East Anglian Book Awards 2019. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Cardiff University and a PhD by Publication from the University of East Anglia.

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Layli Long Soldier

Layli Long Soldier holds a B.F.A. from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an M.F.A. from Bard College. Her poems have appeared in  POETRY Magazine, The New York Times, The American Poet, The American Reader, The Kenyon Review Online, BOMB and elsewhere. She is the recipient of an NACF National Artist Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a Whiting Award, and was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award. Most recently, she received the 2018 PEN/Jean Stein Award and the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award. She is the author of Chromosomory (Q Avenue Press, 2010) and WHEREAS (Graywolf Press, 2017). She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is a visiting writer at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Nick Makoha
Nick Makoha

Nick Makoha’s debut collection Kingdom of Gravity  was shortlisted for the 2017 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection and nominated by The Guardian  as one of the best books of 2017. He won the 2015 Brunel International Poetry prize and the 2016 Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize for his pamphlet Resurrection. He is an alumni of Goldsmiths, Cave Canem & The Complete Works.  His poems have appeared in The New York Times, Poetry Review, Rialto, Triquarterly Review, Boston Review, Callaloo, and Wasafiri. Find him at www.nickmakoha.com

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Kathryn Maris

Kathryn Maris is a poet, critic and curator who has published three collections and a pamphlet. Her work has appeared in Penguin Modern Poets 5, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Best British Poetry, The Forward Book of Poetry, Poetry, the TLS and other periodicals. A selection from Kathryn's recent collection, The House With Only An Attic And A Basement (Penguin 2018), won the Ivan Juritz Prize for creative experiment. 

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Andrew McMillan

Andrew McMillan’s first collection, physical, was the only poetry collection to ever win The Guardian First Book Award. It also won a Somerset Maugham Award, an Eric Gregory Award, a Northern Writers’ Award and the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. It was shortlisted for numerous others including, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Costa Poetry Award, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. His second collection, playtime, won the inaugural Polari Prize.

Andrew is a senior lecturer in the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Paul Muldoon

Paul Muldoon was born in County Armagh in 1951. He now lives in New York. A former radio and television producer for the BBC in Belfast, he has taught at Princeton University for more than thirty years. He is the author of thirteen collections of poetry including Moy Sand and Gravel, for which he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize, and Frolic and Detour, published in 2019.

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Dan O'Brien

Dan O’Brien is a poet and playwright. His poetry collections, published in the UK (CB Editions) and in the US (Hanging Loose Press), are War Reporter (Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize; Forward Prize for Best First Collection shortlist), Scarsdale, and New Life. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Sandeep Parmar

Sandeep Parmar is Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool where she co-directs Liverpool’s Centre for New and International Writing. Her poetry collections The Marble Orchard and Eidolon, winner of the Ledbury Forte Prize for Best Second Collection, are both published by Shearsman.  Her essays and reviews have appeared in the Guardian, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The New Statesman, the Financial Times and the Times Literary Supplement. She is a BBC New Generation Thinker and co-founder of the Ledbury Poetry Critics scheme for BAME reviewers.

Eileen Pun
Eileen Pun

Eileen Pun

Roger Robinson

Roger is a writer who has performed worldwide, is an experienced workshop leader and winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize 2019.   He was chosen by Decibel as one of 50 writers who have influenced the black-British writing canon. He is an alumnus of The Complete Works and was shortlisted for The OCM Bocas Poetry Prize , The Oxford Brookes Poetry Prize, highly commended by the Forward Poetry Prize and he has toured extensively with the British Council.

His latest collection A Portable Paradise was a New Statesman book of the year.

Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen is one of Britain’s best loved writers and performance poets for children and adults.  His first degree in English Literature and Language was from Wadham College, Oxford and he went on to study for an MA at the University of Reading and a PhD at the former University of North London, now London Metropolitian.  He is currently Professor of Children’s Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London. He was the Children’s Laureate from 2007-2009.

Michael has published over 200 books for children and adults, including We’re Going on a Bear Hunt with Helen Oxenbury  (Walker Books and  “A Great Big Cuddle” with Chris Riddell (Walker Books). His poetry for adults includes “Don’t Mention the Children” (Smokestack) and “Selected Poems” (Penguin).  


Read more about Michael and his work at  www.michaelrosen.co.uk

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Don Share

Don Share’s books include Crown Decline (with John Kinsella); Faber’s edition of Basil Bunting; and translations of Miguel Hernández, awarded the TLS Translation Prize.  Editing Poetry magazine he earned multiple National Magazine Awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors, and VIDA’s “VIDO” award for contributions to American literature and literary community.

Safiya Sinclair

Safiya Sinclair was born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica. She is the author of the forthcoming memoir How to Say Babylon. She is also the author of the poetry collection Cannibal, winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Poetry, the Phillis Wheatley Book Award, and the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. Cannibal was selected as one of the American Library Association’s “Notable Books of the Year,” and was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award, as well as being longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize. 

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Jackie Wills

Jackie Wills has worked for newspapers, magazines and universities as a journalist, writing tutor and Royal Literary Fund Fellow. The nucleus of her sixth collection, A Friable Earth (Arc 2019) is ageing and our relationships with the natural world. She writes short stories, blogs and has an allotment. 


© 2014 / Winchester Poetry Festival is a Registered Charity Number: 1150997

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