James Aitchison (1938 – 2023) was born in Stirlingshire. He published six collections of poems: Sounds Before Sleep, Spheres, Second Nature, Brain Scans, Bird-Score and Foraging: New and Selected Poems (Worple, 2009) and was the author of the critical study, The Golden Harvester: The Vision of Edwin Muir.
Aitchison’s articles on the creative process and poetics have appeared in Acumen, Agenda, The Dark Horse, The David Jones Journal and The Philosopher.
Clare Best’s first full poetry collection, Excisions (Waterloo 2011), was a finalist for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize, 2012. Her second, Each Other (Waterloo 2019), was described in London Grip as ‘brimming with ideas, thinking, experiments with form, and intrigue’. Other poetry publications include Treasure Ground, Breastless, CELL and End of Season. Clare has held residencies at Woodlands Organic Farm in Lincolnshire, the University of Brighton and HMP Shepton Mallet. She thrives on collaborating with visual artists and with musicians and composers. Springlines, a project with the painter Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis, explores hidden and mysterious bodies of water across the South of England. Clare has co-created three chamber operas and a song cycle, and was a Fellow at Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 2021. Her prose memoir The Missing List (Linen Press 2018) – written during the last illness of the father who abused her as a child – was a finalist in the Mslexia Memoir Competition 2015. Andrew O’Hagan wrote of this work, ‘a tapestry of time – brightly coloured, beautifully orchestrated, emotionally pure.’ The Missing List was cited by Dr Irene Gammel of Ryerson University, Toronto, as ‘an important, essential text in the context of the #MeToo movement.’ Clare lives near the Suffolk coast. clarebest.co.uk
Beverley Bie Brahic is Canadian; she lives in Paris and Stanford, California. She has published two collections of poems: Against Gravity and White Sheets, a PBS Recommendation and finalist for the Forward Prize. Also a translator, she has published books of poetry by Apollinaire, Francis Ponge (Unfinished Ode to Mud, a finalist for the Popescu Prize) Yves Bonnefoy. Prose translations include books by Hélène Cixous, Jacques Derrida and Julia Kristeva.
Stephen Boyce lives in Dorset. His poems have appeared in Magma, Staple, The Interpreter’s House, Frogmore Papers, Smiths Knoll, Tears in the Fence, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Acumen and other journals, as well as in various anthologies. He has been a prizewinner in the Kent & Sussex, Leicester, Ledbury, Ware Poets and Plough Prize competitions. His collection Desire Lines (Arrowhead Press 2010) was described by Katherine Gallagher as “intelligent, sophisticated, formally assured… a truly exciting new voice”. Worple published his collection The Sisyphus Dog in 2014. He is a trustee of Winchester Poetry Festival.
Andy Brown’s most recent book of poems is Bloodlines (Worple Press 2018). His previous Worple Press collections are Exurbia (2014) and a collaboration with David Morley, Of Science. Previous books include The Fool and the Physician, Goose Music (with John Burnside), and Fall of the Rebel Angels (all Salt). A selection of his poems appears in the Bloodaxe anthology Identity Parade. He recently edited The Writing Occurs As Song: A Kelvin Corcoran Reader (Shearsman 2014) and co-edited the major anthology, A Body of Work: Poetry and Medical Writing, with Corinna Wagner (Bloomsbury 2015). He is Professor of Creative Writing at Exeter University and was formerly an Arvon Foundation Centre Director.
Olivia Byard was born in South Wales and grew up on the Cotswolds and in Montreal, Canada. Her various roles have included factory worker, academic researcher, community organiser, children’s book writer, book controller, phone advisor for Mind, and, for the last twenty-one years, creative writing tutor. She is politically engaged, especially on Green issues. She comments online and her letters regularly appear in the Guardian.
Elizabeth Cook was born in Gibraltar in 1952, spent her childhood in Nigeria and Dorset, and these days lives in East London. She is the editor of the Oxford Authors John Keats, author of Achilles (Methuen and Picador USA), a work of fiction with a performance life, and of Lux (Scribe), a novel encompassing the Scriptural story of David and Bathsheba and that of the Tudor poet, Thomas Wyatt. Her poetry, short fiction and critical reviews have appeared in journals including Agenda, The London Review of Books, Poetry London, Stand, Moving Worlds and Tears in the Fence. She wrote the libretto for Francis Grier’s The Passion of Jesus of Nazareth, jointly commissioned by VocalEssence in Minneapolis and the BBC, and has since collaborated with Grier on a sequence of poems for a Vespers, premiered in 2014 at King’s College Chapel, and a Nativity oratorio, Before All Worlds. She has been a Hawthornden Fellow and is currently a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Queen Mary University. In addition to the full collections published by Worple she has published a pamphlet, The Sound of the Rain, with the Garlic Press (2017).
Belinda Cooke was born in Reading in 1957 and took a degree in English/Russian at Liverpool University. She has published one collection of poetry, Resting Place (Flarestack 2007), and a collection of translations, Paths of the Beggar Woman: the Selected Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva (Worple Press 2008). Boris Poplavsky’s Flags, produced in collaboration with Richard McKane, was published by Shearsman Press (2009); they later collaborated on Boris Pasternak’s Zhivago Poems and Other Later Poems.
Martyn Crucefix has won numerous prizes including a major Eric Gregory award and a Hawthornden Fellowship. He has published 5 collections of poetry; the latest, Hurt, was published by Enitharmon in 2010. His translation of Rilke’s Duino Elegies in 2006, shortlisted for the Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation, was hailed as “unlikely to be bettered for very many years” (Magma). His new translation of Rilke’s The Sonnets to Orpheus appeared in 2012.
Sally Flint grew up in the West Midlands and now lives in Exeter. Her poetry and prose have been widely published, anthologised and won awards. She teaches creative writing, facilitates community workshops and is co-founder/editor of Riptide short story journal and Canto Poetry at the University of Exeter. She also works with Devon Drugs Service and Devon Community Foundation on a project ‘Stories Connect’, based on the University of Massachusetts’ programme, ‘Changing Lives through Literature.’ Her research interests include healthcare in the arts, and the evolution of ekphrasis, especially the relationship between poetry, visual art and technology.
John Freeman was born in Essex, grew up in south London, studied in Cambridge and lived in Yorkshire before moving to Wales, where for many years he taught English Literature and Creative Writing at Cardiff University. He lives in the Vale of Glamorgan. Worple published A Suite for Summer in 2007, followed in 2016 by What Possessed Me, which won the Roland Matthias Award and the poetry section of the Wales Book of the Year awards in 2017. Other collections include The Light Is Of Love, I Think: New and Selected Poems (Stride), and Landscape With Portraits (Redbeck). Stride also published a book of essays, The Less Received: Neglected Modern Poets.
Isabel Galleymore was born in 1988. She held a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2012 and her poems have appeared in magazines such as Poetry Review, Poetry London and The Rialto. She is currently writing her critical PhD thesis on metaphor and ecopoetics at the University of Exeter and co-edits The Clearing, an online magazine of nature and place-based writing.
Born in Chiswick in 1954, John Greening has lived in Upper Egypt, New Jersey, Mannheim, Arbroath but chiefly in Huntingdonshire, where he teaches. He has published more than a dozen collections (including Hunts, Poems 1979-2009 and To the War Poets (OxfordPoets, 2013)) and several critical studies – of Yeats, Ted Hughes, Hardy, Edward Thomas, First World War Poets and the Elizabethans. His most recent book is a guide to the art: Poetry Masterclass. A regular reviewer with the TLS and a judge for the Eric Gregory Awards, Greening has received the Bridport Prize, the TLS Centenary Prize and a Cholmondeley Award for his poetry. His collection Knot was published by Worple in 2013.
Diana Hendry grew up by the sea on the Wirral peninsular. The Watching Stair (2018) is her first collection with Worple Press. She’s published five other full collections including The Seed-Box Lantern: New & Selected Poems, two pamphlets – the most recent being Where I Was 2020 – and a joint publication with Douglas Dunn and Vicki Feaver (Second Wind, Saltire Soc). She’s won first prize in the Stroud International Poetry Competition and the Houseman Society Poetry Competition and (with Hamish Whyte) was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson fellowship.
Of her forty-plus children’s books, ‘Harvey Angell’ won a Whitbread Award and her YA novel ‘The Seeing’ was short-listed for a Costa Award. Her books have been dramatised and read on BBC radio. Diana has also published a collection of short stories, ‘My Father as an Ant’ and has had a number of stories published in journals and read on the BBC.
She’s been a Royal Literary Fund Fellow based at Edinburgh University; a Writer-in-Residence at Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary and a co-editor of New Writing Scotland. For a number of years she’s reviewed fiction for The Spectator. She’s assistant editor of Mariscat Press and lives in Edinburgh.
Kevin Jackson is an English writer, film-maker, broadcaster and pataphysician. His many books include Constellation of Genius: 1922, Modernism, Year One, Bite: A Vampire Handbook and the official biography of Humphrey Jennings; he is co-editing Jennings’ epic work about the Industrial Revolution, Pandaemonium, for the Folio society. In 2015 he won the Perrot-Warrick Award to research the early history of Psychical Research. Previous books for Worple Press are A Ruskin Alphabet and The Verbals, a book long interview with Iain Sinclair.
Peter Kane Dufault (1923 – 2013) grew up in Westchester County, N.Y., and studied at Harvard. He graduated in 1947 and the first of his books of verse was published in 1954. He was variously employed as tree-surgeon, journalist, teacher, house-painter, pollster and, in 1968, he was a candidate for US Congress, running on the Liberal Party’s anti-Vietnam war platform; he was known locally as a fiddler, banjo-player and dance-caller. Poems have appeared in many magazines, including the New Yorker and London Magazine, and anthologies, including the 1996 Norton Anthology. Peter was well known for his live performances and was twice Visiting Poet at the Cheltenham Festival. A profile of Peter by Brad Leithauser can be read on the The New Yorker here.
Patricia McCarthy was born in Cornwall, and brought up mainly in Ireland. After studying at Trinity College, Dublin, she lived in Washington D.C., Paris, Bangladesh, Nepal and Mexico. She now lives in East Sussex. Her work has won prizes including the National Poetry Competition 2012 and been widely anthologised. Her recent collections include Rodin’s Shadow (Clutag Press/Agenda Editions, 2012), Around the Mulberry Bush (Waterloo Press, 2013), Horses Between Our Legs (Agenda Editions, 2014) and Letters to Akhmatova (Agenda Editions, 2015). Patricia is the editor of Agenda poetry journal.
Michael McKimm was born in Belfast and grew up near the Giant’s Causeway. A graduate of the Warwick Writing Programme, he won an Eric Gregory Award in 2007 and was an International Writing Fellow at the University of Iowa in 2010. He is the author of Still This Need (Heaventree Press, 2009) and Fossil Sunshine (Worple Press, 2013) and has edited two anthologies: MAP: Poems after William Smith’s Geological Map of 1815 (Worple Press, 2015) and The Tree Line: Poems for Trees, Woods & People (Worple Press, 2017). www.michaelmckimm.co.uk (photo by Andrew Mason)
David Morley read Zoology at Bristol University, gained a fellowship from the Freshwater Biological Association and pursued research on acid rain. He co-founded the Writing Programme at the University of Warwick, of which he is now director, and develops and teaches new practices in scientific and creative writing. He co-edited The New Poetry for Bloodaxe and authored The Cambridge Introduction to Creative Writing. He has published nine collections of poetry; the latest, The Invisible Kings (Carcanet 2008) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation (photo copyright Jemimah Kuhfeld).
Carolyn Oulton is a Professor of Victorian Literature at Canterbury Christ Church University. She has previously published The Rain (Sol), Left Past the Moon (National Poetry Foundation) and A Child, a Death and the Making of the Fairy Tale Woman (Bewrite Books), as well as biographies of Mary Cholmondeley and Jerome K. Jerome.
Peter Robinson was born in Salford, Lancashire, in 1953, and grew up mainly in Liverpool. He co-edited the magazines Perfect Bound and Numbers while helping organize various Cambridge Poetry Festivals and a Poetry International at the South Bank Centre. His many volumes of poetry include a Selected Poems (2003), Ghost Characters (2006) and The Look of Goodbye (2008). He was awarded the Cheltenham Prize for This Other Life (1988). Both The Great Friend and Other Translated Poems (2002) and The Returning Sky (2012) were recommendations of the Poetry Book Society. A translator of poetry, mainly from the Italian, The Selected Poetry and Prose of Vittorio Sereni (with Marcus Perryman) appeared in 2006 and paperback in 2013.
He received the John Florio Prize for The Greener Meadow: Selected Poems of Luciano Erba (2007) in 2008. Other publications include his aphorisms, Spirits of the Stair (2009), four volumes of literary criticism, the most recent being Poetry & Translation: The Art of the Impossible (2010), various edited collections, anthologies, The Complete Poems, Translations & Selected Prose of Bernard Spencer (2011) and The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary British and Irish Poetry (2013). A collection of essays on his work, The Salt Companion to Peter Robinson ed. Adam Piette and Katy Price, appeared in 2007. The poetry editor for Two Rivers Press, he is Professor of English and American Literature, and currently Head of Department, at the University of Reading.
You can visit Peter’s website at: www.peterrobinsonpoet.co.uk
Linda Saunders started her career as an art student, then changed direction to read English at Durham University. After a spell in the U.S., where her first son was born, she returned to Durham and taught literature courses for the Extra Mural department and the W.E.A. Later, her love of art and words came together in a career as a fine-arts journalist and editor; she was short-listed for the BP Arts Journalist of the Year award. Her poetry has been widely published in magazines and anthologies, including New Women Poets from Bloodaxe Books. A Touch on the Remote is her fourth book. Her first full-length collection, from Arrowhead Press, was short-listed for the Jerwood/Aldeburgh Prize. She now lives in Bath.
Joanna Seldon (neé Pappworth) was brought up in South Hampstead and studied English at Oxford where she gained a high First and received her Doctorate for her work on Nathaniel Hawthorne. She went on to teach English at The Old Palace School in Croydon, James Allen’s Girls’ school in Dulwich, Brighton College and Wellington College. Her first book, By Word of Mouth, written with husband Anthony was published in 1983; Waterloo to Wellington was published in 2015; and The Whistleblower, which tells the story of the battle that her controversial father, Dr Maurice Pappworth, had with the medical establishment over experiments on human beings, will be published later this year. Joanna wrote three novels and several short stories, all of which can be found on her website. She was diagnosed with an incurable cancer in 2011, and lived with it bravely for five and a half years until her death at the end of 2016. Some of her finest poems are informed by her experience of cancer. She had three children (Jessica, Susie and Adam) with Anthony, to whom she was married for thirty four years.
Iain Sinclair is now firmly established as one of the most dazzlingly gifted and important of contemporary British writers. His wide-ranging recent work encompasses poetry (The Ebbing of Kraft, Saddling the Rabbit), fiction (Landor’s Tower, Dining on Stones), and documentary prose, including his best-selling Lights Out For the Territory and his M25 epic London Orbital.
Ben Smith’s poetry, criticism and short fiction has been published in a wide range of magazines, anthologies and journals. He completed a PhD on Environmental Poetry at Exeter University and currently lives in Devon.
Julian Stannard spent many years teaching American and English Literature at the University of Genoa. He has a PhD from UEA and is now a Reader in Creative Writing at the University of Winchester. Previous publications include Rina’s War (Peterloo, 2001), The Red Zone (Peterloo, 2007) and The Parrots of Villa Gruber Discover Lapis Lazuli (Salmon, 2011). He co-edited The Palm Beach Effect: Reflections on Michael Hofmann (CB Editions, 2013). He was awarded the Troubadour Prize in 2010 and reviews for the TLS, the Guardian and Poetry Review.
Anthony Wilson is a poet, writing tutor and lecturer at the University of Exeter. His books of poetry are The Afterlife (Worple Press, 2019), Riddance (Worple Press, 2012), Full Stretch: Poems 1996-2006 (Worple Press, 2006), Nowhere Better Than This (Worple Press, 2002) and How Far From Here is Home? (Stride, 1996). He is also the author of a prose memoir, Love for Now (Impress Books, 2012), detailing his experience of cancer.
Anthony has held writing residencies at The Poetry Society, The Times Educational Supplement, The Poetry Trust and Tate Britain, and he works as a tutor for the Arvon Foundation. He is editor of Creativity in Primary Education (Learning Matters, 2009), and co-editor of Making Poetry Matter (Continuum, 2013), and The Poetry Book for Primary Schools (Poetry Society, 1998).
His research is in the field of writing in education. In 2010-12 he was a co-convener of the ESRC Seminar Series Poetry Matters. In 2011 he compiled Creativity, Confidence and Challenge, a research report with Bath Festivals’ The Write Team on the impact of creative writers in schools.
He can be found online at www.anthonywilsonpoetry.com
Mary Woodward was born in Hammersmith to Irish and Welsh parents. As a child she lived in bomb-damaged Shepherds Bush, grew up on a council estate in Hertfordshire, and then studied in Liverpool. She has an English degree and a Master’s degree for research on William Morris’s early poetry from the University of Liverpool. She has worked in the Department of Education, and from 1979 to 2002 as a teacher in a comprehensive school; in 1993 she won the TES Teaching Poetry prize. After teaching HND Fashion students she went on to win the Guardian Jackie Moore Award for Fashion Writing in 2003. In 1993 she won the Poetry Business poetry competition and published Almost like Talking (Smith Doorstep). In 2008 she was awarded a place on a Poetry Trust First Collection seminar at Bruisyard Hall. Her poems have been in many magazines and frequently placed in competitions. She also has published short fiction. Two poems from The White Valentine (Worple, 2014) were Highly Commended in the Forward Prizes.
William Wootten grew up in Somerset, lives in London, and teaches at the University of Bristol. He has written widely on modern poetry, his essays and book reviews appearing in publications such as the Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, and the London Review of Books. He is also the author of the critical study, The Alvarez Generation: Thom Gunn, Geoffrey Hill, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and Peter Porter (Liverpool University Press, 2015). His poems have appeared in magazines including PN Review, Poetry Review, the Spectator and the Times Literary Supplement.