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Alison Brakenbury Headshot - Kendal Poetry Festival 2020 Poet

Alison Brackenbury

Festival Poet

Alison Brackenbury was born in 1953, from a long line of servants and skilled farm workers. She grew up in a small Lincolnshire village. Forty years ago, she moved along the limestone to a small Gloucestershire town. She is, or has been, a metal finisher, Oxford student, technical librarian, erratic bookkeeper, often neglectful parent, impoverished horse owner and grassroots political activist.

Despite, or because of this, Alison has published ten poetry collections. Her work has attracted an Eric Gregory Award and a Cholmondeley Award. She has read at many literary festivals, and, frequently, on BBC Radio. Her poetry has recently been heard on Radio 4’s ‘Front Row’ and on the ‘Today’ programme. Her 2016 Carcanet collection, Skies, was one of The Observer’s Poetry Books of the Year. Gillian Clarke, former National Poet of Wales, wrote of her work: ‘Alison Brackenbury loves, lives, hymns and rhymes the natural world and its people like no other poet.’

Alison’s latest collection, Aunt Margaret’s Pudding, (HappenStance Press, 2018) celebrates her grandmother’s life, courage – and cooking. It was the basis of a BBC Radio 4 programme, ‘What Sweetness Touched Your Tongue?’, and its poems were described as ‘mouth-watering’ by Radio 4’s Pick of the Week.

Gallop, her Selected Poems, was published by Carcanet in 2019. It presents her favourites from forty years of published poems. Some of her more recent readers were not even born when the first of these poems galloped on to the page! She looks forward to introducing a new audience to poems which are her old friends.

Alison is an enthusiastic releaser of poetry into cyberspace. Her photographs of wild orchids, cats, and the occasional poem, appear on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (where she is @ABRACKENBURY). You can find more about the pedigree and poems of Gallop at Alison’s website

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