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Amarjit Chandan

Amarjit Chandan

Amarjit Chandan (1946, Nairobi Kenya) lives and works in London. He has published six collections of poetry, and five books of essays in Punjabi. Bi-lingual collection Sonata for Four Hands prefaced by John Berger (Arc, 2010). Next collection Suchness (Arc) is due later this year.

He has edited and translated over thirty anthologies of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction by, among others, Brecht, Neruda, Ritsos, Hikmet, Vallejo, Cardenal and John Berger in Punjabi.

Chandan was one of the ten British poets selected by Andrew Motion, the Poet Laureate, for the National Poetry Day in 2001, and has participated in the Alderburgh, Ledbury, King’s Lynn and Winchester poetry festivals and Poetry Parnassus, gathering of the world’s poets in London in July 2012.

English versions of his poems have appeared in England in various collections including Being Here (1995, 1999, 2005), Sonata for Four Hands prefaced by John Berger (2010); and in magazines such as Atlas, Artrage, Bazaar, Brand, Horizon Review, Critical Quarterly, Modern Poetry in Translation and Poetry Review (England), Akköy and Papirus (Turkey), Deucalion o Thessalos, Erismus, Odos Panos and Ombrela (Greece), Lettre Internationale (Romania) Polichinelo and Zunái (Brazil) and Al-Adeeb Al-Thakafiah (Iraq).

His selected poems ΦΟΡΕΣΕ ΜΕ [Wear Me] prefaced by Katerina Aggelaki-Rooke were published by Mandragoras Publications in Athens in December 2014.

His poems have been variously anthologised and broadcast – notably in All That Mighty Heart: London Poems, Edited by Lisa Rus Spaar, University of Virginia Press, 2008; and The Best British Poetry, Edited by Sasha Dugdale, Salt, 2012.

Chandan received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 from the Language Department, Government of the Punjab, India; and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 from the Panjabis in Britain, All-Party Parliamentary Group, London and Anãd Poetry Award, India in 2009.

His short poem carved in 40-foot long stone by Eric Peever, both in Punjabi and its English version, is installed in High Street Slough England.

He was Poet in Residence in the University of California at Santa Barbara (January-June 2014).


James Byrne

James Byrne

James Byrne is a poet and editor, born near London in 1977. His most recent poetry collection Blood/Sugar, was published by Arc Publications in 2009. Bones Will Crow: 15 Contemporary Burmese Poets, published in June 2012, is co-edited with ko ko thett and is the first anthology of Burmese poetry ever to be published in the West (Northern Illinois University Press, 2013). Byrne is the editor of The Wolf, an internationally-renowned poetry magazine, which he co-founded in 2002. He won the Treci Trg poetry festival prize in Serbia and his Selected Poems: The Vanishing House was published in Belgrade. He is the co-editor of Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century, an anthology of poets under 35, published by Bloodaxe in 2009. He was the Poet in Residence at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge and a Stein Fellow of New York University where he completed his MFA in poetry. Byrne’s poems have been translated into several languages including Arabic, Burmese and Chinese and he is the International Editor for Arc Publications.

Jackie Wills

Jackie Wills

Jackie Wills is a poet, non-fiction writer and editor. She has published five collections of poetry - the most recent is Woman’s Head as Jug (Arc 2013). She was shortlisted for the 1995 TS Eliot prize and Mslexia magazine selected her as one of the 10 new woman poets of the decade in 2004. She is a critic and literature assessor for Arts Council England.

She has written for national newspapers, specialist magazines, published two non-fiction books on retail design and globalisation and edited a bilingual English/Arabic collection of reminiscences by Sudanese refugees. Wills was one of the first poets to run writing workshops in business as poet in residence at Unilever and has since worked with many others including Marks & Spencer, Eurotunnel and Whittard.

She has collaborated with orchestras, galleries, hospitals and local authority planners. Wills was one of 28 poets who delivered poetry workshops to London schoolchildren at Buckingham Palace in 2007. In 2013 she participated in a pilot project for Kensington and Chelsea Hospital Trust with Rambert Dance. She has worked with students at Brighton and Sussex Medical School and participated in the Hippocrates International Symposium for Poetry and Medicine.

She has been Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Surrey and Sussex universities, visiting lecturer at Goldsmiths University and is an associate lecturer for the Open University. She has recently been appointed a Royal Literary Fund lector. Wills is a recent guest editor of The North poetry magazine and a regular contributor to The Warwick Review.

Festival Days of poetry and wine