Staff and Trustees

  • Photo of Susannah Herbert

    Susannah Herbert, Executive Director

    Susannah joined the Forward Arts Foundation in 2012, after helping launch the Evening Standard’s Get London Reading campaign. She is the former editor of the Sunday Times books pages and a national newspaper journalist for 20 years.

  • Georgia Attlesey, Forward Prizes Manager 2019

    Georgia is a creative producer and arts curator working with cultural organisations of all shapes and sizes to make big ideas more accessible. Current other projects include Achates Philanthropy Prize and CHANGE Festival. She has previously worked with HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, Poet in the City, and Julie’s Bicycle.

  • Andrea Reece, National Poetry Day manager

    Andrea has worked in the book world all her working life, for publishers and literacy charities.  She is the reviews editor for Lovereading4kids, the managing editor of Books for Keeps, an online review journal, and director of the children’s and young peoples’ programme at the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival.

  • Natalie Charles, Office Coordinator

    Natalie is an illustrator and designer specialising in hand drawn techniques. She joined the Forward Arts in 2018, having previously worked for independent film and theatre companies such as Parlon Film and charitable organisations such as The Museum of Everything.

  • Holly Hopkins, Forward Prize Manager (maternity leave)

    Holly joined us from the Koestler Trust, where she was literature officer. She has also worked for the Poetry Society, the Poetry School and as assistant editor of The Rialto. Her debut pamphlet won the 2014 Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition and was Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice.

  • Photo of William Sieghart

    William Sieghart CBE, Founder

    William founded the Forward Prizes in 1992 and National Poetry Day in 1994. He was responsible for the 2013 Sieghart Report on libraries and e-books. He prescribes poetry for various ailments of the spirit on BBC Radio Four and at festivals and in libraries across the nation.

  • Photo of Martin Thomas

    Martin Thomas, Chairman

    Martin is chair of BACIT (UK), the investment manager of Syncona Limited, the UK’s leading life science champion. He is also a director of several other companies, and a trustee of six other charities, including chair of Women for Women International. He has been chair of a FTSE 250 insurance company, a senior official at the Bank of England, senior counsel at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, and the driving force behind the Balance Foundation.

  • Photo of Robyn Marsack

    Robyn Marsack, Trustee

    Robyn was the Director of the Scottish Poetry Library from 2000-2016 – a unique national resource and advocate for the art of poetry. Born and brought up in New Zealand, she has degrees in English literature from Victoria University and Oxford, and was formerly a publishers’ editor.

  • Photo of Nigel Bennett

    Nigel Bennett, Trustee

    Nigel is a consultant to the law firm Michael Simkins LLP, where he specialises in film and television. He is a trustee of the Chichester Festival Theatre.

  • Photo of Joanna Mackle

    Joanna Mackle, Trustee

    Joanna is deputy director of the British Museum. As publishing director of Faber and Faber until 2008, she has worked closely with many of the age’s greatest poets, including Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes and Paul Muldoon.

  • Cynthia Miller

    Cynthia Miller is a Malaysian-American poet and brand consultant. Her poems have been published in The Best New British and Irish Poets 2018, Primers Volume 2, The Emma Press Anthology of Love, and shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize. She is also Co-Founder and Co-Director of Verve, the Birmingham Festival of Poetry and Spoken Word.

  • Photo of Giles Spackman

    Giles Spackman, Trustee

    Giles is Group Finance Director of Oxford University Press. After degrees from Oxford and Harvard and a stint at McKinsey, he has worked for media and technology companies such as Time Warner, Pearson and Google.