Biographies of contributors
I was born in Iran and live in Cambridge. My debut collection, Art of Escape (Carcanet) was published in January 2020 and was a Telegraph Book of the Month (January) and a Guardian Poetry Book of the Month (February). Poems have also appeared in a number of magazines including Magma, London Magazine, PN Review and International Literary Quarterly, and in New Poetries V. Together with Lavinia Greenlaw I judged the Resurgence Poetry Prize (2017). As well as writing poetry I lecture in the English Faculty, Cambridge and am co-director of the Centre for John Clare Studies.
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. In 2014, Rebecca was selected for the Poetry Book Society’s Next Generation Poets. Her second pamphlet Carousel, a collaboration with the photographer Chris Routledge, was published by Guillemot Press in 2018. 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. She was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge 2020-22 and at the University of Suffolk 2022-23.
Martin Hayden, brought up in Dorset, taught English in New Zealand and then in England, and now lives in Suffolk. He is a member of the Religious Society of Friends. In recent years he has frequently spent time on Iona in the Western Isles of Scotland, as well as revisiting New Zealand. He is a keen amateur pianist, has climbed 67 Munros and hopes to get to at least 75. He has had poems in Smiths Knoll, The North, Scintilla, and PNReview. His Iona pamphlet, Good Ground Beneath My Feet (2020), and his first collection, Green Burial, both from the Garlic Press, came out in 2020.
Ramona Herdman’s latest pamphlet, ‘A warm and snouting thing’, focussing on love, lust and sexual politics, was published by The Emma Press in September 2019. Her previous pamphlet ‘Bottle’, was published by HappenStance Press. It was the Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice Spring 2018 and one of the Poetry School’s Books of the Year 2017. She won the Poetry Society’s Hamish Canham prize 2017. Her first collection ‘Come what you wished for’ was published by Egg Box. She lives in Norwich and is a committee member for Café Writers.
Hannah Hodgson is a poet living with life-limiting illness. Her work has been published by the Poetry Society, Teen Vogue and Poetry Saltzburg, amongst others. She is the recipient of a 2020 Northern Writers Award for Poetry. Her first poetry pamphlet Dear Body was published by Wayleave Press in 2018. Where I'd Watch Plastic Trees Not Grow was published by Verve Poetry Press in 2021
Holly Hopkins grew up in Berkshire, grew up even more in London and now lives in Manchester. Holly’s first collection The English Summer (Penned in the Margins) is shortlisted for the Forward Prizes for Best First Collection and was awarded the Poetry Book Society’s Special Commendation. Her debut pamphlet, Soon Every House Will Have One, won the Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition and Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice. Holly has been an assistant editor of The Rialto. She has received an Eric Gregory Award, a Hawthornden Fellowship and was shortlisted for the Women Poets’ Prize. Her poems feature in Carcanet New Poetries VIII and have been published in The Guardian, The Telegraph and The TLS.
Maria Isakova Bennett
Maria, from Liverpool, is a writer and artist, she won the Poetry Society's Peggy Poole Award 2020, a New North Poets’ Award 2017/18, and was poet and artist in residence at Poetry in Aldeburgh in 2018. Since 2020, Maria has been writer in residence for Mersey Care Life Rooms NHS Trust, and she founded, creates and edits the hand-stitched poetry journal and art project, Coast to Coast to Coast. Maria has published 5 pamphlets - the latest are 'Mira', a collaboration with John Glenday, and Painting the Mersey in 17 Canvases (Hazel Press, 2022) www.mariaisakova.com
Shakiah K Johnson
Shakiah K Johnson is a Black american poet and actor from Lynchburg Virginia. She recently completed her masters of Poetry at university of East Anglia.