Best Collections Panel
L-R: Bernardine Evaristo, Kate Fox, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Andrés Ordorica, Jessica Traynor
Bernardine Evaristo will be this year’s Chair of Judges for our Best Collections panel. She will be joined by Kate Fox, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Andrés Ordorica and Jessica Traynor.
Bernardine Evaristo won the Booker Prize 2019 with her eighth book, Girl, Woman, Other (Penguin, 2019), the first black woman and black British person to win it. Her latest publication and tenth book is a memoir, Manifesto: On Never Giving Up (Penguin, 2021). Her writing spans fiction, poetry, non-fiction, literary criticism and drama. She has founded several successful arts inclusion projects since 1982, latterly literature projects, and she is currently the literature mentor for the Rolex Mentor & Protégé Arts Initiative (2022-2024). The recipient of many honours, including two recent British Book Awards, and she was named ‘Person of the Year’ by the UK Bookseller magazine in 2021. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London, an Honorary Fellow of St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford; an International Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and President of the Royal Society of Literature.
Kate Fox is a stand-up poet, writer and broadcaster regular on Radio 4 and Radio 3’s The Verb. She has been Poet in Residence for Glastonbury Festival and the Great North Run, completed a PhD in Northernness and performance from the University of Leeds in 2018, published Where There’s Muck There’s Bras, stories of Northern women (Harper North, 2022), and writes and performs about Northernness, neurodiversity, class and humour and facilitates the writing and performing of people from marginalised groups. She won New Writing North’s Andrew Waterhouse Prize in 2006 and has published collections with Nine arches Press (The Oscillations, 2021), Burning Eye Books (Chronotopia, 2017) and Smokestack (Fox Populi, 2013).
Born in London to English and Jamaican parents, Karen McCarthy Woolf is the author of two poetry collections and the editor of six literary anthologies. Her début An Aviary of Small Birds was shortlisted for the Forward Felix Dennis and Jerwood Prizes and was an Observer Book of the Year. Her latest, Seasonal Disturbances, explores gentrification, the city and the sacred, and was a winner in the inaugural Laurel Prize for ecological poetry. In 2019 she was awarded a Fulbright postdoctoral scholarship as the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA where she explored the relationship between poetry and law. Published everywhere from Granta and the Financial Times and The Guardian her poetry has been translated into Turkish, Swedish, Italian, Dutch and Spanish.
Andrés N. Ordorica is a queer Latinx writer based in Edinburgh. His writing maps the journey of his diasporic experience and unpacks what it means to be from ni de aquí, ni de allá. He has been published widely including The Guardian, The Acentos Review, The Skinny, Gutter, Poetry Unbound and Bella Caledonia. His writing has been shortlisted for The Saltire Society’s Poetry Book of The Year, the Morley Prize for Unpublished Writers of Colour and the Mo Siewcharran Prize. He is the author of the poetry collection At Least This I Know (404 Ink, 2022).
Jessica Traynor is a poet, essayist and librettist, and poetry editor at Banshee. Her debut poetry collection, Liffey Swim (Dedalus Press, 2014), was shortlisted for the Strong/Shine Award. The Quick (Dedalus Press, 2018) was an Irish Times poetry book of the year. Pit Lullabies (Bloodaxe, 2022) is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Awards include the Ireland Chair of Poetry Prize, the Listowel Poetry Prize, and Hennessy New Writer of the Year. Residencies include Carlow College, the Yeats Society Sligo, the Seamus Heaney Home Place and dlr LexIcon. She is a Creative Fellow of UCD.