Lesley Saunders

Lesley Saunders was a winner of The Poetry Business International Book & Pamphlet Exhibition 2016/17.

She is the author of nine books and pamphlets of poetry, most recently Periplous: the Twelve Voyages of Pytheas, a chapbook from Shearsman Books. Her poems have been widely published, including in Ambit, Areté, Artemis, Envoi, Frogmore Papers, London Review of Books, Magma, Mslexia, Poetry London, Poetry News, P N Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, Rialto, The Interpreter’s House, The New Statesman, The North, and Warwick Review. She is also a featured poet in New Poetries VI (Carcanet 2015). Lesley has performed her work at festivals and on the radio.

Among numerous awards and prizes (including longlistings in the National Poetry Competition 2014 and 2015), her poem ‘The Uses of Greek’ was shortlisted for the 1999 Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem, and she was joint winner of the inaugural Manchester Poetry Prize in 2008. She won the Live Canon competition in 2015 with the poem ‘Asylum’. She also won the ‘Ten Poems About Clouds’ competition hosted by Candlestick Press and the Cloud Appreciation Society.

Lesley has worked on collaborative projects with artists, photographers, sculptors, dancers, and a composer and choir; her poems have been set to music by musicians and she has recently completed a collaborative project with installation artist Susan Adams. She undertakes editorial and mentoring work as well as book reviewing, and is currently working on a book of translations of selected poems by the acclaimed Portuguese writer Maria Teresa Horta.

She runs writing workshops for major organisations as well as for local groups, and has held several residencies, most recently at the Oxford Museum of the History of Science. Her most recent full collection, The Walls Have Angels, described in the Winter 2014 issue of the Poetry Book Society Bulletin as ‘a window into lives lived – past and present – and a song for survival’, was inspired by her residency at Acton Court, a hauntingly beautiful Tudor manor house and its summer visitors in 1535, King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

A new collection, Nominy Dominy – an extended praise-song for the Greek and Latin literature Lesley grew up with as a schoolgirl – is due out from Two Rivers Press in 2018. In her career as educational researcher, Lesley holds Visiting Professorships at UCL Institute of Education, London, and Newman University, Birmingham, and is a Research Fellow at the Oxford University Department of Education; she is the author/co-author of over a hundred journal articles and book chapters.

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