Photo by Paul Wolfgang Webster
A recipient of numerous prizes and awards, Simon Armitage has published over a dozen collections of poetry, including Seeing Stars, an acclaimed translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Paper Aeroplane, a selection covering 25 years of published work. A broadcaster and presenter, he also writes extensively for television and radio, is the author of two novels, the bestselling memoir All Points North, and Walking Home and Walking Away, recording his poetic journeys along the Pennine Way and the South West Coast Path. In 2010 he received the CBE for services to poetry and was appointed Professor of Poetry at Oxford University in 2015.
Tara Bergin was born and grew up in Dublin. Her first collection of poems, This is Yarrow, was published by Carcanet in 2013, and was awarded the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Prize, the Shine/Strong Award for best first collection by an Irish author, and was shortlisted for the Poetry Now Award. She is a PBS Next Generation Poet. Tara currently lives in the North of England.
Jane Draycott is a UK-based poet with a particular interest in sound art and collaborative work. Her latest collection Over (Carcanet) was shortlisted for the 2009 T S Eliot Prize. Nominated three times for the Forward Prize for Poetry, her first two full collections Prince Rupert's Drop and The Night Tree (Carcanet/OxfordPoets) were both Poetry Book Society Recommendations. Her new translation of the 14th century dream-vision Pearl (2011), is a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation and was a Stephen Spender Prize-winner.
Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is a cross art form practitioner, a poet, playwright & performer, graphic artist & designer and founder of the Midnight Run — an international, arts-filled, night-time, playful, urban, walking experience. He is a Complete Works poet alumni and a designer at White Space Creative Agency. Across his work, Identity, Displacement & Destiny are reoccurring themes in which he also tries to mix the old with the new: traditional african storytelling with contemporary poetry, pencil with pixel, texture with vector images. His three books of poetry are published by Flipped Eye and Akashic Books, and several plays by Oberon.
Sophie Hannah is a poet and an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction. She has published six collections of poetry and is studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level across the UK. Pessimism for Beginners was shortlisted for the 2007 T S Eliot Award and her most recent collection Marrying the Ugly Millionaire was published by Carcanet in 2015. In 2014 Sophie Hannah published a new Hercule Poirot novel, The Monogram Murders, which was a bestseller in more than fifteen countries.
Former homelessness worker Ian Duhig’s seventh book The Blind Roadmaker is a PBS Spring Recommendation. A Cholmondelely Award recipient and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Duhig is a joint winner of a Shirley Jackson Award for short stories, the only twice-outright winner of the National Poetry Competition and has three times been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. He is currently working on a project involving refugees suffering from PTSD and their therapists.
A winner of the John Dryden Translation Prize and Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry Translation Iain Galbraith is also the editor of five poetry anthologies. His own poems have appeared in Poetry Review, PN Review, TLS, Edinburgh Review, Irish Pages and many other journals. His book-length poetry translations include W.G. Sebald’s Across the Land and the Water (2011), John Burnside’s selected poems in German, Versuch über das Licht (2011), as well as Jan Wagner’s Self-portrait with a Swarm of Bees (2015), winner of the 2015 Popescu European Poetry Translation Prize. He is an occasional lecturer and has recently spoken on poetry and translation at conferences and Universities. including the 'This Dust of Words: Poetry as/and Translation Series' at University College, Cork.
Born in Kurdistan, brought up in Iraq and Iran, Choman Hardi now lives and works in Baghdad as a poet, translator and academic researcher. She has published two collections of poetry in English: Life for Us (Bloodaxe, 2004) and Considering the Women (Bloodaxe 2015) which is on the shortlist for this year’s Forward Prize for Best Collection. Her poems explore the impact of migration, uprising and conflict, especially on women, and have been published in many anthologies. She has facilitated workshops for organisations such as Arvon, the South Bank and British Council, and has performed her poetry all over the world.
Sarah Howe’s first book of poems, Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus, 2015), won The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award and the T.S. Eliot Prize. Born in Hong Kong in 1983 to an English father and Chinese mother, she moved to England as a child. Her pamphlet, A Certain Chinese Encyclopedia (Tall-lighthouse, 2009), won an Eric Gregory Award. Her poems have appeared in journals including Poetry Review, Poetry London, The Guardian, The Financial Times, Ploughshares and Poetry, as well as anthologies such as Ten: The New Wave and four editions of The Best British Poetry. She is the founding editor of Prac Crit, an online journal of poetry and criticism.
Karen Leeder is a writer, translator and academic. Since 1993 she has taught German at New College, Oxford and is Professor of Modern German Literature there. She is also a translates contemporary German literature into English, especially poetry: most recently Volker Braun, Rubble Flora: Selected Poems, with David Constantine, and Michael Krüger, Last Day of the Year: Selected Poems (both 2014). Her translation of Evelyn Schlag’s Selected Poems (2004) won the Schlegel Tieck Prize in 2005 and she won The Stephen Spender Prize in 2013 for her translations of Durs Grünbein.
Chris McCabe is a widely-published poet and Joint Librarian of the Poetry Library in London. His first collection, The Hutton Inquiry, was welcomed by the Guardian as evidence of a poet who combined "the lower-case lightness of Tom Raworth and the northern comic realism of Simon Armitage", and has been followed by two further publications, Zeppelins and The Borrowed Notebook.
Kei Miller is a poet, short story writer, novelist and mentor for The Complete Works. He was born in Jamaica in 1978 and read English at the University of the West Indies, before completing an MA at Manchester Metropolitan University. His poetry has been shortlisted for awards such as the Jonathan Llewelyn Rhys Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Scottish Book of the Year and his most recent collection The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2014.
Helen Mort was born in Sheffield in 1985. Her first collection Division Street was published by Chatto & Windus in 2013 and won the Fenton Aldeburgh Prize in 2014. Her second collection No Map Could Show Them (June 2016) is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Helen was Poet in Residence at The Wordsworth Trust from 2010 -11 and a Douglas Caster Cultural Fellow at The University of Leeds from 2014-2016. She is working on a first novel and on 'Poeta' - a collaboration with flamenco guitarist Samuel Moore.
Shazea Quraishi is a Pakistani-born Canadian poet, playwright and translator based in London. Her books include The Art of Scratching (Bloodaxe Books, 2015) and The Courtesans Reply (flipped eye, 2012).
In 2015, she was the recipient of an RSL Brooklease Grant and an award from the Artists International Development Fund.
Shazea has facilitated creative writing/reading and translation workshops in museums, prisons, refugee centres, festivals and schools. She currently teaches with English PEN, Translators in Schools and The Poetry School, and is an artist in residence with Living Words.
Jo Shapcott is a poet, editor and lecturer who has won the National Poetry Competition twice, in 1985 and 1991. Her collections include Electroplating the Baby (1988), which won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for Best First Collection, Phrase Book (1992), and My Life Asleep (1998), which won the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Collection). Together with Matthew Sweeney, she edited Emergency Kit: Poems for Strange Times (1996), an international anthology of contemporary poetry in English.
In 2010, Shapcott published Of Mutability with Faber and Faber, which was awarded the Costa Book of the Year for 2010.
Mimi Khalvati was born in Tehran, Iran, grew up on the Isle of Wight (explored in The Chine, Carcanet 2002) and trained as an actor and director in London. She has published eight collections of poetry and been shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize, edited three anthologies of new writing from the Poetry School, which she founded, and her most recent collection, The Weather Wheel (Carcanet 2014), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and Book of the Year in the Independent.
Frances Leviston was born in Edinburgh, grew up in Sheffield and read English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. Her first collection Public Dream (Picador) was published in 2007 and shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize, the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Jerwood-Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. Her second collection Disinformation (Picador 2015) was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and the Times Literary Supplement called it ‘poetry of a rare seriousness and excellence.’
Roger McGough presents the BBC Radio 4 programme Poetry Please, as well as performing his own poetry. McGough was one of the leading members of the Liverpool poets, a group of young poets influenced by Beat poetry and the popular music and culture of 1960s Liverpool. He is an honorary fellow of Liverpool John Moores University, fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and President of the Poetry Society.
Kim Moore's first full-length collection The Art of Falling was published by Seren in 2015. Her poem 'In That Year' was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Published Poem. Her first pamphlet If We Could Speak Like Wolves was a winner in The Poetry Business 2012 Pamphlet Competition and was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award. She won an Eric Gregory in 2011 and a New Writing North Award in 2014. She works part time as a Peripatetic Brass Teacher for Cumbria Music Service.
Bernard O'Donoghue was born in County Cork in 1945, and he still spends part of the year there. Since 1965 he has lived in Oxford where he is now an Emeritus Fellow in English at Wadham College. He has published seven volumes of poems, of which the most recent is The Seasons of Cullen Church (Faber, July 2016). He has also written on medieval literature and on modern Irish poetry, especially the work of Seamus Heaney, and he has translated Sir Gawain and the Green Knight for Penguin Classics.
Deryn Rees-Jones is Professor of Poetry at the University of Liverpool where she co-directs the Centre for New and International Writing. A poet, editor and a critic, her most recent book of poems, Burying the Wren, was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize. What It’s Like to Be Alive: Selected Poems will be published in 2016. She collaborates frequently with artists, most recently on animations of poems with Charlotte Hodes. She is editor of Liverpool University Press’s new contemporary poetry series, Pavilion Poetry.
Jan Wagner, born 1971 in Hamburg, is a Poet, essayist, translator of Anglo-American poetry and has published six poetry collections since 2001, the most recent, Regentonnentonnenvariationen (“Rain Barrel Variations”), winning the prestigious the Leipzig Bookfair Award (2015). A Selected Poems 2001-2015 was published by Hanser Verlag in Spring 2016. Wagner’s poetry has been translated into more than thirty languages. Selected Poems, translated by Iain Galbraith, was published 2015 by Arc, UK. He has received many literary awards, including the Anna-Seghers-Award (2004), the Ernst-Meister-Award for Poetry (2005) and the Friedrich-Hölderlin-Preis (2011), and is a member of the German Academy of Language and Literature.