Alison Brackenbury

Alison Brackenbury

Alison Brakenbury Headshot - Kendal Poetry Festival 2021 Poet

Festival Poet

Alison Brackenbury was born in Lincolnshire in 1953, from a long line of servants and skilled farm workers. 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 won an Eric Gregory Award and a Cholmondeley Award. She has appeared frequently on BBC Radio 4, where she was recently ‘Lockdown Poet in Residence’ on ‘Front Row’.

Her 2016 Carcanet collection, Skies, was one of The Observer’s Poetry Books of the Year. Gillian Clarke wrote of her work: ‘Alison Brackenbury loves, lives, hymns and rhymes the natural world and its people like no other poet’.

Alison’s newest collection, Aunt Margaret’s Pudding, (HappenStance Press, 2018) celebrates her grandmother’s life, courage – and cooking. Its poems were described as ‘mouth-watering’ by Radio 4’s Pick of the Week.

Gallop, her Selected Poems, published by Carcanet in 2019, draws on forty years of work. Some of her newer readers were not even born when the first of these poems galloped on to the page! Alison looks forward to introducing a fresh audience to poems which are her old friends.

She is currently writing a long-planned prose memoir, called ‘Village’. This explores the extraordinary place where she grew up, with philandering farmers, a pioneering woman archaeologist, and a tiny bent wagoner, born in Victoria’s England, who accosted her father with tales beginning ‘Your grandfeyther’...

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

Alison will be appearing at:

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