The Poets & Players are back for the New Year with an all-female line-up of readers to kick off the 2020 programme, featuring Jennifer Lee Tsai, Kim Moore and Jo Shapcott, who is also running the morning workshop this time round, starting at 10.30am (as always, be sure to book your place in advance).
Jo is travelling up from the capital, where she is Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London, teaching on the prestigious Masters course in Creative Writing. Born in London, Jo was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2011. Poems from her first three award-winning collections, Electroplating The Baby (1988), Phrase Book (1992) and My Life Asleep (1998) were gathered together into 2000’s tome of selected poems entitled Her Book. She has won a number of literary prizes including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Collection and the Forward Prize for Best Collection, and she has picked up the National Poetry Competition twice. Tender Taxes, her versions of Rilke, was published in 2001 by Faber, and her most recent collection, Of Mutability, came out with Faber in 2010 and won the Costa Book Award.
Jo Shapcott has won a number of literary prizes including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Collection and the Forward Prize for Best Collection, and she has picked up the National Poetry Competition twice
Kim Moore’s first collection, The Art Of Falling, came out on Seren in 2015 and won the 2016 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. She won a Northern Writers Award in 2014, an Eric Gregory Award in 2011 and the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize in 2010, and her pamphlet If We Could Speak Like Wolves was a winner in the 2012 Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition. She is currently a PhD candidate at Manchester Metropolitan University and is working on her second collection. Along with Clare Shaw, whose Bloodaxe collection Flood is about the inundation of Hebden Bridge, she is co-director of Kendal Poetry Festival.
Also a PhD student in Creative Writing, this time at the University of Liverpool, Jennifer Lee Tsai is a poet, editor and critic, and a fellow of The Complete Works III poetry mentoring scheme, a national programme founded by the writer Bernardine Evaristo that supports exceptional BAME poets. If you missed her recently at the Bluecoat, Liverpool-based Jennifer has poems in the anthologies Ten: Poets of the New Generation (Bloodaxe, 2017) and Islands Are But Mountains: New Poetry from the UK (Platypus Press, 2019). She has also had work published in a number of magazines and journals including Oxford Poetry, The Poetry Review, The Rialto, Soundings, Wild Court and Magma. Jennifer is associate editor of SMOKE magazine and contributing editor at Ambit. She is a Ledbury Poetry Critic and her debut poetry pamphlet Kismet was published in 2019 by ignitionpress.
Music this session comes courtesy Chris Davies. While we have your attention, by the way, be sure to check out the latest annual Poets & Players Poetry Competition, open for entries until 21 January 2020. A total of £900 is up for grabs and this year’s judge is Carcanet poet Sinéad Morrissey. Full details can be found on the P&P website.