Biographies of contributors


Helen Akers grew up in Hertfordshire and now lives in North Norfolk. Her current work explores the representation through poetry of the experience of mental ill. She has been published by Ink, Sweat and Tears and Smiths Knoll.

Helen Akers

Romalyn Ante was born in Batangas, Philippines, and moved to the UK when she was sixteen years old. She is currently based in Wolverhampton, where she works as a nurse practitioner/CBT therapist. Her pamphlet Rice & Rain (V. Press) won the 2018 Saboteur Award for Best Pamphlet. Her debut collection, Antiemetic for Homesickness, is out with Chatto & Windus in 2020.

Romalyn Ante

Audrey Ardern-Jones has been commended and a prize winner in various competitions including the Troubadour poetry prize, The Robert Graves Prize and the Hippocrates Poetry prize. Her debut collection ‘ Doing the Rounds’ is published by Indigo Dreams.  She is a very keen supporter of Poetry in Aldeburgh.

Audrey Ardern-Jones

Mona Arshi was born in West London where she still lives. She worked as a Human rights lawyer for a decade before she started writing poetry. Her debut collection  ‘Small Hands’ (Pavilion Poetry, Liverpool University Press 2015), won the Forward Prize for best first collection in 2015. Her second collection ‘Dear Big Gods’ was published by Pavilion  Poetry in Spring 2019.

Mona Arshi

Briony Bax is the editor in chief of Ambit Magazine and the poetry editor for the New European.

Briony Bax

Geffen Bankir is a musician and singer-songwriter, an artist and a writer. She has a B.Mus from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, LL.B from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Law School in Israel, and MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. 

Geffen Bankir

Gillian Beer’s most recent book is “Alice in Space: the Sideways Victorian World of Lewis Carroll” (Chicago University Press, paperback edition 2018). This won the 2017 Truman Capote Prize. Dame Gillian was previously the King Edward VII Professor of English Literature at the University of Cambridge. 

Gillian Beer

Maria, an artist and writer from Liverpool founded and creates a hand-stitched poetry journal, Coast to Coast to Coast. She was awarded a New North Poet Award by Clare Pollard in 2017. In 2018 Maria was invited to be poet and artist-in-residence at Poetry in Aldeburgh. For the festival she created stitch translations, and a litany of work by 48 poets. This year Maria was shortlisted for a Northern Writers Award by Don Paterson. Maria’s pamphlets are, Caveat (2015), All of the Spaces (2017), and …an ache in each welcoming kiss (2018).

Maria Isakova Bennett

Born in London to Ghanaian parents, Dzifa grew up in Ghana, Nigeria and Togo. She is a multi-disciplinary live artist who uses literature as her primary mode of expression. The intersections between science, art, the body and ritual and by the question of who or what is invisible animate Dzifa's practice. She explores this through poetry, storytelling, theatre, performance, libretti, essay, journalism and a range of other media. Dzifa is currently developing a transmedia project inspired by DNA, The Spit of Me, an artistic, social and biological investigation into the body's relationship with time, culture, migration, memory and identity. She is currently studying for an MA in Text & Performance at Birkbeck and RADA. She is also a Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critic.

Dzifa Benson

Kaddy Benyon is a Granta New Poet. Her first collection, Milk Fever, was published by Salt in 2012 after winning the Crashaw Prize. Her second collection, The Tidal Wife, was also published by Salt in 2018. She has recently been poet in residence at The Polar Museum in Cambridge. 

Kaddy Benyon

Clare Best Publications include Treasure Ground; Excisions; Breastless; CELL; Springlines, and a prose memoir The Missing List (Linen Press 2018). A new poetry collection, Each Other, was published summer 2019 with Waterloo Press. Clare is spending a year writing libretti and making opera at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Clare Best

MW Bewick grew up on the edge of the Lake District and now lives in rural Essex. Poetry credits include Under the Radar, The High Window, Envoi, The Stinging Fly, Sentinel Literary Quarterly and The Interpreter's House. His first collection of poetry, Scarecrow, was published in 2017. He is co-founder and editor at independent publisher and art project Dunlin Press, and teaches creative writing at London College of Creative Media. @mwbewick

MW Bewick

Julia Blackburn is the daughter of the poet Thomas Blackburn (1916-1977). She has written two novels, eleven works of non-fiction, a memoir  and a collection of poems.  Time Song, was published by Cape in February 2019 and The Woman Who Always Loved Picasso will be published by Carcanet in November 2019. She lives in Suffolk.

Julia Blackburn

Anne Boileau ‘s poetry pamphlet Shoal Moon was published by Hen Run in 2014.  Her novel Katharina Luther was published in 2016 and the accompanying audio-play has been performed three times to a live audience. Anne’s latest collection Dreams of Flight was published by Orpheon Press in June 2019.

Anne Boileau

Alison Brackenbury’s work has won an Eric Gregory Award and a Cholmondeley Award. She has broadcast frequently on BBC Radios 3 and 4. Her poems were recently described as ‘mouth-watering’ by Radio 4’s ‘Pick of the Week’. ‘Gallop’, her Selected Poems, from nine collections, was published in 2019 by Carcanet.

Alison Brackenbury

David Briggs is a Bristol-based writer. A former recipient of the Eric Gregory Award, he has published three collections with Salt. The Method Men (2010) was shortlisted for the London Festival Poetry Prize, and Rain Rider (2013) was a winter selection of the PBS. His new book is Cracked Skull Cinema (2019).

David Briggs

Carmen Bugan’s books include the memoir Burying the Typewriter: Childhood Under the Eye of the Secret Police (Picador), which has received international critical praise, the Bread Loaf Conference Bakeless Prize for Nonfiction, and was a finalist in the George Orwell Prize for Political Writing, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Her collections of poems are Releasing the Porcelain Birds and The House of Straw (both with Shearsman), and Crossing the Carpathians (Carcanet). She is also the author of a critical study on Seamus Heaney and East European Poetry in Translation: Poetics of Exile. Bugan was awarded a large grant from the Arts Council of England, was a Creative Arts Fellow in Literature at Wolfson College, Oxford University, was a Hawthornden Fellow, the 2018 Helen DeRoy Professor in Honors at the University of Michigan, and is a George Orwell Prize Fellow. She has a doctorate in English literature from Balliol College, Oxford University.

Carmen Bugan

Gale Burns was a prizewinner at the Indjija International Poetry Festival and is a writer-in-residence at Kingston University. He has three pamphlets, and his first full collection Mute House is published by Eyewear. He convenes the influential Shuffle poetry series and his work has been widely published and translated.

Gale Burns

Will Burns - Bio pending

Will Burns

Lewis Buxton is a poet & arts producer. His work is concerned with fathers and sons, gender roles, and how young men’s image of their bodies fit into the modern world. His work has been published in Magma, Ambit, Oxford Poetry and Ink, Sweat & Tears as well as winning third place in the Magma Poetry Competition 2018 & being shortlisted for the Oxford Brookes Poetry Prize 2017. He read English at the University of East Anglia and now works extensively in education, teaching creative writing in schools, libraries and universities. Lewis regularly gives readings around the country and currently lives in Norwich.

Lewis Buxton

Helen is a poet, dancer, and choreographer. Her debut pamphlet ‘Sudden rainfall’ was a PBS Choice. Her first full-length collection ‘Unable Mother’ described as a 'violent and tender grapple with our cosy notions of motherhood' was published by V.Press (2018). Helen’s poetry and journalism has featured in publications including  the Guardian, The Huffington Post, Poetry Scotland, The New Yorker and Wild Court. She is creator of acclaimed poetry anthology ‘Eighty Four’, a book of verse on male suicide, grief, and hope. Helen is writing her next collection 'A mountain that is your grief you can't utter', supported by Arts Council England. 

Helen Calcutt

Since his debut - Thirst [Slow Dancer, 1999] - was nominated for The Forward Prize for best 1st collection, Matthew Caley has published four more collections and read everywhere from Novi Sad to The Globe Theatre; from Prague’s Alchemy to Wayne-Holloway Smith's living room. His 6th collection is Trawlerman’s Turquoise [Bloodaxe, 2019].

Matthew Caley

Niall’s first collection, Moontide, won the inaugural Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and the Saltire Society’s First Book of the Year. In 2016 it was republished in the U.S. as First Nights through the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets. Noctuary, published this year, is shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection.   

Niall Campbell

David Clarke’s first pamphlet, Gaud, won the Michael Marks Award in 2013. This was followed by his first collection, Arc  (Nine Arches Press, 2015) and the pamphlet Scare Stories (V Press, 2017). His most recent collection, The Europeans, was published by Nine Arches Press in 2019.

David Clarke

Oliver Comins lives and works in West London.  Early work was collected by Anvil and Mandeville and he won Templar pamphlet awards with Yes to Everything (2014) and Staying in Touch (2015).  A first full collection (Oak Fish Island) was published by Templar Poetry in 2018.

Oliver Comins

Jade Cuttle is a winner of the Young Poets Network ‘No Man’s Land’ poetry challenge and the BBC Proms Poetry Competition. She was commended in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2010 and 2012. Jade is also a BBC Introducing poetic-folk songwriter, fusing metaphor with melody in her debut album ‘Leaves & Lovers’, alongside being Poet-in-Residence for Ilkley Literature Festival and an Emerging Poetry Critic at Ledbury Poetry Festival. Now Deputy Poetry Editor at Ambit Magazine,  she is completing an MA in Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of East Anglia. Her reviews appear in the TLS, Guardian, Modern Poetry in Translation amongst others.

Jade Cuttle

Charitable Status

Poetry in Aldeburgh 

Charity Number 1167740.


Website: Olivia Fairweather & Robin Boyd

Artwork: Charlie Gouldsbrough