Vicki Feaver (b. 1943) grew up in Nottingham ‘in a house of quarrelling women’, an emotional inheritance which finds later expression in her poetry. She studied music at Durham University and English at University College, London, and worked as a lecturer in English and Creative Writing at University College, Chichester, becoming emeritus professor.
Her three collections have been highly praised. The second, The Handless Maiden (Jonathan Cape, 1994), included both the Arvon International Poetry Competition finalist ‘Lily Pond’, and ‘Judith’, winner of the Forward Poetry Prize for Best Single Poem. The same collection was also given a Heinemann Prize and shortlisted for the Forward Prize. Her most recent collection, The Book of Blood (Jonathan Cape, 2006) was shortlisted for the 2006 Costa Poetry Award.
Her dark and sensual re-workings of myth and fairy tale have been termed ‘domestic gothic’ by fellow poet Matthew Sweeney. While her poems incorporate objects from everyday life, Feaver often grafts them on to the transgressive power of these old tales, allowing her a space to explore emotions and desires which women are not usually allowed (or don’t allow themselves) to express. A central concern of her work is female creativity and its repression, and how this can find an outlet in violence.
Vicki Feaver currently lives in South Lanarkshire, Scotland.