The Enchanting Poet -Karen McCarthy Woolf (ISSUE XXIII)
Born in London to English and Jamaican parents, Karen McCarthy Woolf holds a Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Prize and an AHRC doctoral scholarship at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she is exploring ecological poetry, the city and loss. Her collection An Aviary of Small Birds (Carcanet, 2014) commemorates a baby son who died in childbirth and was a Forward Prize Best First Collection nomination and a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. It was selected by Kate Kellaway as the Guardian/Observer Book of the Month and it was described as a ‘beautiful, painful, pitch-perfect debut’. Karen’s poems are translated into Spanish and most recently Swedish, as part of the European poetry initiative Versopolis. The same poem was also dropped by helicopter over the Houses of Parliament by the Chilean collective Casagrande. Karen has a longstanding interest in cross-arts practice: she has collaborated with artists, filmmakers, musicians and choreographers, presented her work as installation and performed in the UK, US and Europe. She has read at a wide variety of national and international venues and festivals, including Cheltenham, Aldeburgh, Ledbury, the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican Centre, V&A, Tate Modern and Science Museum in the UK, as well as in the US, Singapore, Sweden and the Caribbean. Karen is also a fellow of The Complete Works — a nationwide professional development programme committed to creating more cultural diversity in poetry publishing and is the editor of the associated anthology Ten: The New Wave published by Bloodaxe Books. Karen was recently the poet-in-residence at the National Maritime Museum, responding to the museum’s exhibition on international migration.
Editor's Choice -Hannah Lowe (ISSUE XXIII)
Hannah Lowe was born in Ilford to an English mother and Jamaican-Chinese father. She has lived in London, Brighton and Santa Cruz, California. She studied American Literature at the University of Sussex and has a Masters degree in Refugee Studies. She has worked as a teacher of Literature and Creative Writing, recently completed her work on a PhD, and is now a lecturer in Creative Writing at Kingston University. Her pamphlet The Hitcher (The Rialto, 2011) was widely praised. Her first book-length collection Chick (Bloodaxe Books, 2013) won the 2015 Michael Murphy Memorial Prize, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry, and was selected for the Poetry Book Society’s Next Generation Poets 2014 promotion. This was followed by two pamphlets, R x (sine wave peak, 2013) and Ormonde (Hercules Editions, 2014), and her family memoir Long Time No See (Periscope, 2015). She also read from Long Time, No See on BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week in 2015. Her second full-length collection, Chan, is published by Bloodaxe in 2016.
Editor's Choice -Ella Chappell (ISSUE XXIII)
Ella Chappell has an MA in Poetry from the University of East Anglia. Her work has appeared in various places including Elbow Room, Badrobot Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears and 17 Poets. Ella was the winner of the Southbank Centre 2014 Shot Through the Heart film poem competition. She has recently published a first collection, Moonrise (As Yet Untitled, 2016).
The Enchanting Poet - John Montague (ISSUE XXIV)
John Montague (1929-2016) was one of the best known Irish contemporary poets. He was born in New York and brought up in Tyrone. He has published a number of volumes of poetry, two collections of short stories and two volumes of memoir. In 1998 he became the first occupant of the Ireland Chair of Poetry. In 2010, he was honoured with Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur, France’s highest civil award.
Editor's Choice -Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin (ISSUE XXIV)
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin was educated at University College Cork and The University of Oxford. She is a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin and an emeritus professor of the School of English which she joined in 1966. Ní Chuilleanáin is a founder of the literary magazine Cyphers. Her first collection won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 1973. In 2010 The Sun-fish was the winner of the Canadian-based International Griffin Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the Poetry Now Award. In 2016 she was appointed Ireland Professor of Poetry by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.