Speakers & Performers

Ryoko Akama

Ryoko Akama is a sound artist/composer/performer, who approaches listening situations that magnify silence, time and space and offer quiet temporal/spatial experiences. Her sound works employ small and fragile objects such as paper balloons and glass bottles, creating tiny occurrences that embody ‘almost nothing’ aesthetics. She runs melange edition label, amespace and co-edits mumei publishing. http://www.ryokoakama.com http://www.melangeedition.com http://www.mumeipublishing.com http://www.amespace.uk


Jay Bernard

Jay Bernard is a writer from London. Their work is multi-disciplinary, critical, queer and rooted in the archives. Works include a short film, Something Said, and a debut collection, Surge, forthcoming from Chatto and Windus, both based around the New Cross Fire of 1981. Jay’s pamphlet, The Red and Yellow Nothing (2016), a black-queer-techno-medieval misadventure, was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award. jaybernard.co.uk / @brrnrrd


Vahni Capildeo

Vahni Capildeo is a British Trinidadian writer.  She has written several books and collections of poetry, including Dark & Unaccustomed Words (2012), Utter (2013), Simple Complex Shapes (2015), and the Forward Prize-winning Measures of Expatriation (2016). She is a contributing editor for the Caribbean Review of Books, and a contributing advisor to Blackbox Manifold. Her performance and installation work, begun during her Judith E. Wilson Poetry Fellowship at Cambridge University (2014), includes responses to Euripides’ Bacchae, ‘Radical Shakespeare’, and the revolutionary Guyanese writer Martin Carter. She is currently Douglas Caster Cultural Fellow at the School of English at Leeds University.


Kelvin Corcoran

Kelvin Corcoran lives in Brussels.  He is the author of numerous books of poetry, including most recently Facing West, 2017, the Medicine Unboxed commissioned Not Much To Say Really, 2017, and Article 50, 2018.  The sequence ‘Helen Mania’ was a Poetry Book Society choice and the poem ‘At the Hospital Doors’ was highly commended by the Forward Prize jury 2017.  His work is the subject of a study edited by Professor Andy Brown, The Poetry Occurs as Song, 2013. He edited an account of the poetry of Lee Harwood in Not the Full Story: Six Interviews with Lee Harwood, 2008.

In addition his poetry has been commissioned to accompany travelling Arts Council exhibitions of British modernist art.  He has collaborated with various musicians and composers both in performance and recording, producing the CD A Thesis on the Ballad with The Jack Hues Quartet.  His work has been anthologised in the UK and the USA and translated into Greek and Portuguese.  He is the guest editor of the Shearsman poetry magazine.


Ian Duhig

Ian Duhig has written seven books of poetry,  most recently The Blind Roadmaker (Picador, 2016), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation shortlisted for the Roehampton, Forward Best Collection and TS Eliot Prizes. A former homelessness worker, Duhig still works with socially excluded groups and contributed to Comma’s ‘Refugee Tales II’. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Cholmondeley Award recipient, has won the Forward Best Poem Prize once and the National Poetry Competition twice. He is currently working on projects with immigrant groups, musicians and visual artists.


Hive South Yorkshire

Hive South Yorkshire is a writer development project for young writers (14 to 25) in the region. Through writing-related activities such as writing groups, writers’ days, and live events, Hive supports young writers to develop, whatever their background, ability or interest. http://www.hivesouthyorkshire.com


Zaffar Kunial

Zaffar Kunial was born in Birmingham and lives in West Yorkshire. His debut full collection, ‘Us’, will be published by Faber & Faber in July 2018. Since his first public reading, of Hill Speak at the 2011 National Poetry Competition awards, he has spoken at various literature festivals and in programmes for BBC radio, and his writing has appeared in a number of anthologies including his essay Laburnum Time in ‘Arboreal’ (Little Toller, 2016).


Brian Lewis

Brian Lewis is the editor and publisher of Longbarrow Press, a Sheffield-based collective whose activities include interdisciplinary collaborations and poetry walks. He is also an essayist, curator and poet. His publications include East Wind (Gordian Projects, 2016), an account of a walk across the Holderness peninsula, and White Thorns (Gordian Projects, 2017), based on a series of walks through the Isle of Axholme.


Chris McCabe

Chris McCabe’s poetry collections are The Hutton Inquiry, Zeppelins, THE RESTRUCTURE (all Salt Publishing) and, most recently, Speculatrix (Penned in the Margins). He has recorded a CD with the Poetry Archive and was shortlisted for The Ted Hughes Award in 2013 for his collaborative book with Maria Vlotides, Pharmapoetica. His plays Shad Thames, Broken Wharf and Mudflats, which won a Northern Arts Award, have been performed in London and Liverpool. He has read his work at venues including Southbank Centre, the British Library, the BFI, the Whitechapel Gallery and the Wellcome as well as performing at festivals such as Latitude and Ledbury.

He is writing a series of creative non-fiction books that aim to discover a great lost poet in one of London’s Magnificent Seven cemeteries. This began in 2014 with In the Catacombs: a Summer Among the Dead Poets of West Norwood Cemetery (which was selected as an LRB Bookshop book of the year) and was followed in 2016 with Cenotaph South: Mapping the Lost Poets of Nunhead Cemetery. He is also the author of Real South Bank (Seren, 2016) and with Victoria Bean he is the co-editor of The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century (Hayward Publishing, 2015). His first novel, Dedalus, will be published by Henningham Family Press in June 2018.


Sandeep Parmar

Sandeep Parmar is Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool. She holds a PhD from University College London and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Her research interests are primarily modernist women’s writing and contemporary poetry and race. Her books include: Reading Mina Loy’s Autobiographies: Myth of the Modern Woman, scholarly editions for Carcanet Press of the Collected Poems of Hope Mirrlees and The Collected Poems of Nancy Cunard as well as two books of her own poetry: The Marble Orchard and Eidolon, winner of the Ledbury Forte Prize for Best Second Collection. Her essays and reviews have appeared in the Guardian, The Los Angeles Review of Books, the Financial Times and the Times Literary Supplement. She is a BBC New Generation Thinker and Co-Director of Liverpool’s Centre for New and International Writing. In 2017, she founded the Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critics Scheme for BAME reviewers and the Citizens of Everywhere project which focuses on broadening ideas of citizenship and belonging.


Clare Pollard

Clare Pollard was born in Bolton in 1978. She has published five collections of poetry with Bloodaxe, the latest of which is Incarnation (2017). Clare’s play The Weather (Faber, 2004) premiered at the Royal Court Theatre and her translation projects include a version of Ovid’s Heroines (2013), which she toured as a one-woman show, and a co-translation of Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf’s The Sea-Migrations (2017) which was The Sunday Times Poetry Book of the Year. She is the new editor of Modern Poetry in Translation.


Peter Riley

Peter Riley recently retired to Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, after living for 28 years in Cambridge. He has been a teacher, lecturer, bookseller, bus conductor, and a few other things. He is the author of over twenty publications, including fifteen collections of poetry.  The sheer range of his work defies attempts to pigeonhole him and he prefers to be seen as a ‘writer’ rather than a ‘poet’. His most recent publications are The Ascent of Kinder Scout (2014), Due North (2015) which was shortlisted for the Forward Best Collection Prize and two rent pamphlets with Calder Valley Poetry, Pennine Tales (2016) and Hushings (2017).  Perter is also the poetry editor at The Fortnightly Review.


Eloise Unerman

Eloise Unerman is a 17 year old writer based in South Yorkshire. She was awarded the Cuckoo Northern Writers Award 2017 for poetry, and she has won, or been highly commended, in various competitions including first place in the Ledbury Poetry Festival 2017, and highly commented in the Foyle Young Poets Award in the same year. Her work has been published in a number of anthologies including: Introduction X (The Poetry Business), Anthology of Young Poets (Paper Swans Press), and Wild Poetry (Hive South Yorkshire).