Lily Blacksell is a British writer currently based in New York, where she is working towards a poetry MFA on Columbia University’s Writing Program and also has a Teaching Fellowship. Lily writes poems for the page and the stage. Her work has appeared in Rockland Lit, Lifejacket, Ink Sweat & Tears, Poet’s Country, Foothill and Magma Poetry. She has written reviews and interviews for Boston Review, Sabotage and Prac Crit and was herself interviewed by Columbia School of the Arts and Impakter.
Lily has performed her work at numerous venues, such as Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop, Bowery Poetry Club, and Dead Rabbits (US), and Cheltenham Poetry Festival, Battersea Arts Centre (as part of Battersea Literature Festival), Howl, Word Up, and Boomerang (UK). In 2013, Apples and Snakes commissioned a piece of original spoken word theatre from Lily, which was performed at Lit Fuse, and in 2015 she was a finalist in the Roundhouse Poetry Slam.
Lily has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2017 and Best New Poets 2017.
In this video, Lily reads Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing, a poem from her pamphlet There's No Such Thing, published by ignitionpress (2018). Video recorded at the Society Cafe, Oxford, 8 March 2018, by David Bullock.
Mary Jean Chan is a poet from Hong Kong. Her work has appeared in The 2018 Forward Book of Poetry, The Poetry Review, PN Review, Ambit Magazine, The Rialto, The London Magazine, Oxford Poetry, Callaloo Journal, The Scores, Bare Fiction Magazine, Tongue: A Journal of Writing & Art, The Kindling and elsewhere. She has poetry forthcoming from Wasafiri Magazine, Magma and English: Journal of the English Association (Oxford Academic).
In 2017, Mary Jean was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem, and won the Poetry Society Members' Competition and the Poetry and Psychoanalysis Competition. In 2016, she won the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition (ESL), and was shortlisted for the 2016 London Magazine Poetry Prize, the 2016 Rialto Open Pamphlet Competition and the 2016 Resurgence Poetry Prize.
Mary Jean served as Vice-President of the Oxford University Poetry Society from 2014-2015, and attended poetry workshops at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Oxford. She received the 2015 University of London MA Creative Writing Prize, and is currently a PhD candidate and Research Associate in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. Mary Jean's article on Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric was recently published by The Journal of American Studies (2017). She is the winner of the 2017 PSA/Journal of Postcolonial Writing Postgraduate Essay Prize on Kei Miller's The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion.
Mary Jean is a Co-Editor at Oxford Poetry, and is represented by literary agent Emma Paterson at Rogers, Coleridge and White.
In this video, Mary Jean reads Long Distance, a poem from her pamphlet A Hurry of English, published by ignitionpress (2018). Video recorded at the Society Cafe, Oxford, 8 March 2018, by David Bullock.
Patrick James Errington is a writer, translator, and researcher from the prairies of Alberta, Canada. As an undergrad at the University of Alberta (2007–2011), he studied English literature and creative writing with Nobel laureate Derek Walcott. He received his MFA from Columbia University (2013–2015) in creative writing and literary translation, where he also received a Program Scholarship and a Chair’s Fellowship.
He has worked as an editor or editorial assistant for magazines like The New Yorker and The Columbia Journal, and is currently the editor-in-chief of The Scores, an online literary magazine based at The University of St Andrews.
Patrick is currently a George Buchanan PhD candidate at the University of St Andrews and his research, under the supervision of Professors John Burnside and Don Paterson, is in the field of poetics and hermeneutics, examining cognitive metaphor, embodied/enactive mind theory, and postcritical response with particular regard to how readers are activated by and respond to contemporary poetry.
Patrick’s poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from: Boston Review, Copper Nickel, Passages North, Oxford Poetry, CV2, The London Magazine, Long Poem Magazine, Best New Poets 2016, The Iowa Review, Horsethief, West Branch,The Adroit Journal, Cider Press Review, DIAGRAM, American Literary Review and others. He was also Commended in The National Poetry Competition 2016, and won, among others, The London Magazine Poetry Competition (2016) and the Wigtown Poetry Competition (2017).
Together with Laure Gall, Patrick also translated Au creux de la main (The Hollow of the Hand), by PJ Harvey and Seamus Murphy (Paris: Éditions l’Âge d’Homme, 2017).
In this video, Patrick reads In the Event of Winter, a poem from his pamphlet Glean, published by ignitionpress (2018). Video recorded at the Society Cafe, Oxford, 8 March 2018, by David Bullock.
Joanna Ingham grew up in Suffolk and now lives in Hertfordshire. Her work has been published in Ambit, Brittle Star, Envoi, The Fenland Reed, Iota, Lighthouse, Magma, Mslexia, The North and Under the Radar. Her poems have also appeared in the anthology The Best British Poetry 2012 (Salt) and in 'Poet's Corner' in The Sunday Times.
She won second prize in BBC Wildlife magazine's Wildlife Poet of the Year Competition 2008. She studied creative writing at Birkbeck College and was awarded the Michael Donaghy Prize for Poetry on graduating. In 2017 she was a poet-in-residence at London Open Garden Squares Weekend.
Joanna also writes fiction and is represented by Thérèse Coen of Hardman & Swainson. She has facilitated creative writing workshops in a wide variety of settings including schools, day-centres for older people, prisons, drop-in centres for homeless and vulnerable adults, and with young and adult carers.
You can find Joanna on Twitter here.
Jennifer Lee Tsai is a poet, editor and critic. She was born in Bebington and grew up in Liverpool. An alumna of St Andrews and Liverpool Universities, she holds an MA in Creative Writing with Distinction from the University of Manchester. Jennifer is a fellow of The Complete Works III and a Ledbury Poetry Critic.
Her poems are featured in Ten: Poets of the New Generation (Bloodaxe: 2017) and have been published in Oxford Poetry, The Rialto, SMOKE, Soundings, Ambit, Wild Court and elsewhere. Her poetry reviews are published by The Poetry School, the Poetry Book Society Bulletin, Modern Poetry in Translation, Ambit and are forthcoming in Poetry Review. Jennifer is an Associate Editor for SMOKE magazine and a Contributing Editor to Ambit. She was a runner-up in Poetry in the 2018 Bi’an Writing Awards.
Follow Jennifer on Twitter here.
Sarah Shapiro was born in Chicago and lives in Somerville, MA. She is a poetry MFA candidate at University of Massachusetts Boston. Sarah also holds an MA in Place, Environment, and Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London, and a BA in Environmental Studies from Mount Holyoke College. Sarah’s academic career was not a guarantee; she grew up with learning (dys)abilities and did not begin to read until the age of eight. Now, her poems for this project explore the gap between those who read with ease and those who struggle to read.
Sarah believes that as many people as possible should have access to reading and writing poetry. She teaches university analysis and writing at Suffolk County Correctional Facility in Boston, undergraduate writing and the environment at UMass Boston, and an itinerant writing workshop at the Osher Longlife Institute for adult education at UMass Boston.
She has completed a residency with Cove Park, and has an audio-text poem forthcoming in TIMBER. Her poems have also appeared in glitterMOB, She Grrrowls, Bunbury, and Poetica Magazine.
Find Sarah on Instagram here.
Natalie Whittaker is from South East London, where she works as a secondary school teacher. She studied English at New College, Oxford.
Her poems have been published in Poetry News, Brittle Star, Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual, #MeToo: A Women’s Poetry Anthology and South Bank Poetry.
Natalie was awarded second place in the Poetry on the Lake short poem competition 2018 and the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition 2017.
Follow Natalie on Twitter here.
Belinda Zhawi is a Zimbabwean-born writer and educator. She is an alumnus of the University of Westminster and Goldsmiths, University of London, where she studied on the BA in Politics and the Writer/Teacher MA, respectively.
She was a 2015/16 London Laureate and the 2016/17 Institute of Contemporary Arts Associate Poet.
Belinda is co-founder of BORN::FREE – a community-based literary movement and zine press. She currently lives and works in South East London.
Follow Belinda on Twitter here and on Instagram here.