Ila Colley

May Digital Poet-In-Residence: Ila Colley

As part of our new ‘Apart Together’ digital project for 2021, The Poetry Business has partnered up with The Writing Squad to host a digital residency with a Squad poet each month. Each poet will be producing and posting digital content for The Poetry Business, such as blog posts, audio recordings, writing prompts and more.

Ila Colley is our Digital Poet-In-Residence for May.

Ila is a writer and architect from Cumbria. She writes poems, short stories, analysis, script, manifesto and often, nonsense. In conversation with these texts she works with investigative drawings, models, and designs concerning social and political questions in our spatial inhabitings. Her poetry has been published in Ambit, Magma, The London Magazine online, Butcher’s Dog, hotdog, and in This Place I Know: A New Anthology of Cumbrian Poetry. She has read at Ledbury and Borderlines literary festivals. As a young writer she won the Foyle Young Poets Award in 2013 and 2014, and in 2018 was a third prize winner in the PBS Student Poetry Prize. More recently, she completed her MA thesis which re-imagined Calais as a community project of Repairgrounds, situated within the town’s decaying lace industry architectures, and styled by the historic figure of the lace repair-woman. She has studied and worked in Edinburgh, Stockholm and Copenhagen.

Ila’s residency will investigate the (possibly) opposing themes of ‘down-to-earth’ and ‘out-of-this-world’ in poetry, with brief forays into film, TV and video games. This thinking will take the form of blog posts and instagram takeover, and maybe inspire some terrestrial poetics.

Ila is on instagram @ilacolley or can be reached via email at

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