About your hosts

Linda France has published seven poetry collections: Red (1992), The Gentleness of the Very Tall (1994), Storyville (1997), The Simultaneous Dress (2002)and The Toast of the Kit Cat Club (2005) – all Bloodaxe, book of days (Smokestack, 2009) and You are Her (Arc, 2010). In 1993 she edited the anthology Sixty Women Poets, a PBS Special Recommendation, which went into its fourth edition in 2002.

Her poetry has been performed on radio and television and she gives regular readings and workshops around the country. Poems have appeared in The Independent, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Poetry Review, The Rialto, The North, Stand, Writing Women and various other magazines. She is also represented in many anthologies, including Making For Planet Alice (ed. Maura Dooley), The Firebox (ed. Sean O’Brien), Scanning the Century (ed. Peter Forbes) and North by North East (ed. Andy Croft & Cynthia Fuller).

Linda has received various awards and fellowships for her work, including the first Arts Foundation Poetry Fellowship in 1993, as well as the Basil Bunting Award two years in a row (1989 and 1990) and fellowships at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Eire, Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, USA, and Hawthornden Castle, Scotland.

Linda has a particular interest in cross-arts collaborations and has worked with visual artists and musicians on assorted projects. She teaches creative writing at the University of Newcastle and in various community contexts.  From October 2010 she will be Leverhulme Artist in Residence at Moorbank, Newcastle University’s Botanic Garden.

Anna Woodford’s poetry collection Birdhouse, winner of The Crashaw Prize, is published by Salt (2010).

Her pamphlet Party Piece (Smith/Doorstop 2009) was a winner in the international Poetry Business Competition, selected by Michael Longley. Her pamphlet Trailer (Five Leaves 2007), which tells the story of her Polish Jewish grandparents and great-grandparents who were victims of the holocaust, was a Poetry Book Society Choice. Her first pamphlet The Higgins’ Honeymoon (Driftwood, 2001) won a Northern Promise Award from New Writing North.

She has received a Leverhulme Award (to spend a year as poet in residence at Durham University’s Law Department in 2010/11), an Eric Gregory Award, an Arvon Jerwood Apprenticeship, a Hawthornden Fellowship and residencies at the Blue Mountain Center (New York) and the Tyrone Guthrie International Workplace for Artists in Ireland. She has completed writing commissions at Alnwick Garden, Durham Cathedral and the Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Service.

Her poems have been published in many magazines including the Times Literary Supplement, Rialto, The SHOp, The North, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Wales, Mslexia, The Reader, Tower Poetry, Horizon Review and as a showcase poet in Magma. She has also reviewed poetry for Poetry Ireland Review, Magma, Poetry London, the North and Mslexia. Her work has appeared in anthologies including The Body and The Book: Writings on Poetry and Sexuality (Rodopi 2008).

Anna has a PhD in the poetry of Sharon Olds from Newcastle University. She has taught creative writing at Newcastle, Sunderland and the Open Universities, as well as working with a wide range of community groups.