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Vahni Capidelo Headshot - Kendal Poetry Festival 2020 Poet

Photo credit: Adrian Pope

Vahni Capildeo

Festival Poet

Trinidadian Scottish writer Vahni Capildeo’s seven books and five pamphlets extend from prose poetry into immersive theatre. Their DPhil in Old Norse and translation theory, and their involvement in Caribbean traditional masquerade, underpin a multi-layered, multilingual approach. 

Capildeo’s work has been honoured by the Cholmondeley Award and the Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection. Capildeo has held the Judith E. Wilson Fellowship and the Harper-Wood Studentship at the University of Cambridge, the Douglas Caster Cultural Fellowship in Poetry at the University of Leeds, and a UNESCO Poetry Fellowship at the University of East Anglia. Capildeo, a former contributing editor of the Caribbean Review of Books, is a contributing adviser to Blackbox Manifold, and has guest-edited a special issue of Stand Magazine (autumn 2019), themed on ecopoetics. 

Capildeo’s non-fiction, on topics such as microtravel and citizenship, is widely published. They write a regular column for PN Review. Their new pamphlet, Odyssey Calling (Sad Press, 2019) touches on seas, seals, silences, the Odyssey, the Windrush, Buile Suibhne, and the history of coffee. New projects include a book of essays for Carcanet Press. Capildeo is a Seamus Heaney Centre Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast (2019-20).

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