ALISON BRACKENBURY was born in Lincolnshire and now lives in Gloucestershire. Her ninth collection of poems, Skies, was published in March 2016 and was The Observer’s Poetry Book Choice of the month. She has been widely published in many newspapers and journals, including The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Acumen, The Listener, The London Review of Books, The Spectator and The TLS. She is a regular broadcaster, and her poems have featured in many radio programmes. Competitions she has judged include the National Poetry Competition in 2005. We’re delighted that Alison has agreed to judge the Cornwall Contemporary Poetry Prize that accompanies this year’s festival.
“Alison Brackenbury loves, lives, hymns and rhymes the natural world and its people like no other poet.” Gillian Clarke
STEVE ELY is a poet from the West Riding of Yorkshire. His first book, Oswald’s Book of Hours, is published by Smokestack and was nominated for the Forward Prize for Best New Collection in 2013, and the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry in 2014. Englaland, his second book, was published in 2015, also by Smokestack. His poems have appeared in many journals, including Ambit and The Poetry Review. He is currently writing poems about football, genocide and the mediaeval hermit, Richard Rolle. His novel, Ratmen, is published by Blackheath Books. Ted Hughes’s South Yorkshire: Made in Mexborough, a biographical work about Hughes’s neglected Mexborough period, was published in 2015.
“Steve Ely is one of the most exhilarating poets working in the UK”
JOHN GREENING’s most recent books include Heath (Nine Arches Press, 2016), a verse collaboration with Penelope Shuttle about the area near Heathrow, the Rack Press pamphlet Nebamun’s Tomb, and his verse letters To the War Poets (Carcanet, 2013). He has just brought out a new edition of Edmund Blunden’s Undertones of War (OUP 2015) and the classical music anthology, Accompanied Voices (Boydell, 2015), and is preparing a selection of Geoffrey Grigson’s verse for Greenwich Exchange who have brought out several of his earlier critical books (on Yeats, Hardy, Edward Thomas, Ted Hughes, the Elizabethans and the WW1 Poets) along with his Hunts: Poems 1979-2009. He is winner of the TLS and Bridport prizes, recipient of a Cholmondeley Award, and a judge for the Eric Gregory Awards. Currently he is RLF Writing Fellow at Newnham College, Cambridge.
“Beyond the admirable craftsmanship that characterises almost all of his work, one of Greening’s great strengths is his historical imagination.”
Glyn Pursglove, Acumen
MEIRION JORDAN was born in Swansea. His debut collection, Moonrise (Seren, 2008), was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and his pamphlet Strangers Hall, (Gatehouse, 2009), was shortlisted for the Jarrold East Anglia Book of the Year Award. His most recent collection, Regeneration, was published by Seren in 2012. He has performed at many festivals, including Ledbury and Hay. Meirion has been published in Poetry Wales and The TES. He is an editor for Gateway Press, and its literary journal, Lighthouse, a non-profit-making enterprise that provides opportunities for new writers in the UK. Meirion is also an accomplished fiddle player.
“I can’t call a more impressive debut to mind.” Sarah Crown, The Guardian
PASCALE PETIT was born in Paris, grew up in France and Wales, and now lives in Cornwall. Her sixth collection, Fauverie, was shortlisted for the 2014 TS Eliot Prize. Five poems from the book won the 2013 Manchester Poetry Prize. Bloodaxe Books will publish her seventh collection Mama Amazonica in September 2017. Her fifth book, What the Water Gave Me: Poems after Frida Kahlo, was shortlisted for both the TS Eliot Prize and Wales Book of the Year, and was a Book of the Year in The Observer. Pascale has had three collections chosen as Books of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement, Independent and Observer. She received a Cholmondeley Award in 2015. She has read at all the major poetry festivals.
“Pascale’s Fauverie is astonishing, one of those books that breaks new ground in how to approach writing about the unwritable.” Ruth Padel
MOLLY NAYLOR writes for radio, television and screen, and performs her own live shows. Her poetry show Whenever I Get Blown Up I Think Of You was a hit at the Edinburgh fringe festival and has since been broadcast on Radio 4. Her sitcom series After Hours, co-written with John Osborne, was broadcast by Sky in autumn 2015. She has just directed her first short film, Callback, starring Marcus Brigstocke, and is launching a new poetry collection, Badminton, this autumn. Molly, who grew up in Falmouth, will be hosting a poetry slam on Friday 11 November and reading at Falmouth University on Thursday 10 November – see festival website for details.
“Naylor writes with a poet’s ear for rhythm and metaphor, and delivers with a stand-up’s comic timing.” The Times
PENELOPE SHUTTLE has lived in Cornwall since 1970, and is the widow of Peter Redgrove, Falmouth Poetry Group’s founder. She is now its President. At the Festival she will be launching, alongside John Greening, Heath, their collaborative, book-length sequence of poems about Heathrow Airport and Hounslow Heath (Nine Arches Press, 2016). The airport is built on the former Heath Row village and on the old Hounslow Heath, haunt of highwaymen. A pamphlet, Four Portions of Everything on the Menu for M’sieur Monet, appeared from Indigo Dreams Publications in August 2016. Her eleventh collection, Will You Walk a Little Faster?, is published in May 2017 by Bloodaxe Books. She has read at many major festivals and her 2005 collection, Redgrove’s Wife, was shortlisted for The Forward Prize and the T S Eliot Award.
“Shuttle relates complex emotions with a light earnestness, humour, and electric imagination.” Ben Wilkinson, The Guardian
JANE YEH was born in America and educated at Harvard University. She holds master’s degrees from the IOWA Writers’ Workshop and Manchester Metropolitan University. Her first collection of poems, Marabou (Carcanet, 2005), was shortlisted for the Whitbread, Forward and Aldeburgh poetry prizes. Her latest collection, The Ninjas, was published by Carcanet in 2014. She was a judge for the 2013 National Poetry Competition and was named a Next Generation Poet by the Poetry Book Society in 2014. Her poems have appeared in The Guardian, Granta, The New Republic Poetry Review and other journals, as well as in anthologies including The Best British Poetry 2012 and The Forward Book of Poetry 2006 and 2013. Currently Lecturer in Creative Writing at The Open University, she also writes for publications including The Times Literary Supplement, Time Out and The Village Voice. She lives in London.
“Poetry so unsettling, describing worlds so troubling and lonely is seldom as funny, clever and downright charming as Jane Yeh’s.” Aingeal Clare
ANDREW LANYON was born and still lives in Cornwall. An artist, filmmaker, author and creator of extraordinary books, his work is in private and public collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. His limited-edition artist’s books include the Rowley series, as well as larger-run publications such as A Fairy Find (Portobello Books) and Circular Walks Around Rowley Hall (Atlas Press), both 2006. He has written and produced numerous films including Splatt dhe Wertha (Plot for Sale), which won the Golden Torc award at the 18th Celtic Film Festival in 1997. His solo show of installations, paintings and writings with an accompanying book, Von Ribbentrop in St Ives, Art and War in the Last Resort, opened at Kestle Barton in Cornwall in 2010 and went on to Kettles Yard in Cambridge in 2011.
“An entirely new kind of literary medium, as much visual as verbal, and each sparks off the other continuously in quite the most delicious manner.” Lionel Miskin
Sally Crabtree is a performance poet/artist with an innovative approach to presenting poetry to a wide and diverse audience. She has performed as far afield as China, and some of her trademark interactive installations include: The Poetree; the I’ll Eat My Words range of edible poetry; Word M’art, featuring poems in a tin; Phone a Poem; Poetry Bingo, and the Sweetshop of Words. As the Poetry Postie she delivers poetic inspiration to the Nation, taking poetry quite literally to peoples’ doorsteps, and in recent years she has been invited to appear at such prestigious poetry festivals as La Struga, Havana, Genoa, Helsinki, StAnza and Ledbury. She is also a published children’s author and book designer. Sally will be performing as the Poetry Postie on the Moor in Falmouth at 10.00am on Saturday 12 November – free to all.
“Profoundly original – one of Britain’s richest inventions.” Lars Gustafsson (nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature)