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Tony Harrison was born in Leeds in 1937. His Selected Poems was first published by Penguin in 1984. His collection, The Gaze Of The Gorgon was published by Bloodaxe in 1992 and was awarded the Whitbread Prize for Poetry. He is Britain’s leading theatre and film poet and The Shadow of Hiroshima and other film poems was published by Faber in 1995 and awarded the William Heinemann Prize in 1996.

Valerie Laws is a disabled poet, playwright and mathematician. In her Arts Council funded Quantum Sheep project, she wrote the words of a haiku on living sheep. First full collection Moonbathing (Peterloo Poets, 2003): second, Quantum Sheep, 2006 from Peterloo. She compiled and edited Star Trek – the Poems (IRON). A native Northumbrian, with a great love of the landscape and the sea, she also performs her work nationwide.

Peter Mortimer is a poet playwright and editor who lives in the windy North-East coastal village of Cullercoats. His book, Cool for Qat - a Yemeni Journey has been published by Mainstream, and his most recent play RIOT was staged by the Customs House Theatre, South Shields. His book Off The Wall - The Journey of a Play was published in 2006 by Five Leaves Press. Peter Mortimer spent the winter of 2001 on Lindisfarne to write his book, 100 Days on Holy Island - a Writer’s Exile (Mainstream).

David Hodges is a monk on Caldey Island, off Tenby, Pembrokeshire. Published widely in periodicals and anthologies, his books: Songs from Solitude, On the Night Tide and Delayed by Rough Seas can be obtained from Caldey Abbey or its website.

Kay Hathway - “My love of poetry is longstanding, both reading and writing it. The poetry writers’ group I started is in its tenth year. My family visit Tenby for the arts festival each year, always including where possible Caldey Island. One of my poems in 100 Island Poems was written in Tenby about Ramsay Island which we visited during one of our stays. It will be a delight to come to Tenby and read this and the other poem in the anthology.”

Jane Griffiths was born in Exeter in 1970. After reading English at Oxford, she worked as a bookbinder in London and Norfolk. She returned to Oxford and completed a doctorate on the Tudor poet, John Skelton. Her first collection, A Grip on Thin Air was published by Bloodaxe in 2000.

Neil Curry lives in the Lake District. His most recent collection is The Road to the Gunpowder House, published by Enitharmon Press. Places and travel feature strongly in his work. A previous collection Walking to Santiago was a result of his 500 mile walk to Santiago de Compostela in north west Spain. He has also recently published a study of the eighteenth century poet Christopher

Joan Hewitt lives in Tynemouth. St Mary’s Island, with its lighthouse, has been significant for her for 30 years “It’s a calming and renewing place - I go there for a perspective on my land life, to be calmed or renewed. It took me down a peg once.. I put my copy of To the Lighthouse on the top of the car, drove off to St Mary’s Lighthouse, and lost it.” She won the 2003 Northern Promise Poetry Award and places in several international competitions. Her first collection is seeking publication.

Katrina Porteous lives on the Northumberland coast. She has published seven books, including The Lost Music (Bloodaxe 1996) and Longshore Drift (Jardine Press 2005), and written extensively for radio. From 1996-7 Katrina was writer-in-residence to Shetland Arts Trust. She worked on all the inhabited Shetland islands, and especially loved the most remote of them, Foula.

David Constantine - “I first went to Scilly in 1967. My wife’s mother is a Scillonian. I suppose I’ve been to the islands most years since then, latterly for quite long periods of time. Much of my poetry is rooted in particular places. I can’t start a poem without some concrete and definite image, and the Scilly Isles are abundant in details (facts) of landscape, weather, skies and sea that are especially haunting and suggestive. The big tides, for example, that at their lowest ebb allow unfamiliar connections between the islands and reveal for a while many indications of what has been submerged.”

Kevin Crossley-Holland was born in Buckinghamshire in 1941 and educated at Bryanston School and St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. He now lives in North Norfolk. He has written numerous books for children and is a reteller of traditional tales and a translator of Anglo-Saxon. His Selected Poems was published by Enitharmon in 2001.

Stewart Conn lives in Edinburgh where until 1992 he was based as a BBC drama producer. From 2002-05 he held the capital’s poet laureateship. His many publications include Stolen Light: Selected Poems and Ghosts at Cockcrow (Bloodaxe), and Distances (Scottish Cultural Press). He has enjoyed happy family holidays and writing stays in Skye, Harris, Uist and Orkney, with an outrageous expenditure of energy going into catching (and losing) fish in their innumerable trout-lochs.

James Knox Whittet was born and brought up on the Hebridean island of Islay. He was educated at Newbattle Abbey College and Cambridge University. His first collection is entitled A Brief History Of Devotion, which contains a number of poems inspired by his Islay childhood. His pamphlet, Seven Poems For Engraved Fishermen was shortlisted for an award by the National Library of Scotland in 2005. He won the George Crabbe Memorial Award in 2004 and in 2005.

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