William Sieghart has had a distinguished career in publishing and the arts. He founded Forward Publishing in 1988 and subsequently the Forward Poetry Prizes and National Poetry Day. He has edited Poems of the Decade (2001 and 2011) and, annually since 1993, The Forward Book of Poetry. Simon Armitage was born in West Yorkshire and is Professor of Poetry at the University of Sheffield. A recipient of numerous prizes and awards, he has published eleven collections of poetry, including Seeing Stars (2010), Paper Aeroplane: Selected Poems 1989-2014 (2014) and his acclaimed translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (2007). He also writes extensively for television and radio, and is the author of two novels and the non-fiction bestsellers All Points North (1998), Walking Home (2012) and Walking Away (2015). His theatre works include The Last Days of Troy, performed at Shakespeare's Globe in 2014. In 2015 he was appointed Professor of Poetry at Oxford University. Carol Ann Duffy was born in Glasgow and grew up in Stafford. She won the 1993 Whitbread Award for Poetry and the Forward Prize for Best Collection for Mean Time. The World's Wife received the E. M. Forster Award in America, while Rapture won the T. S. Eliot Prize 2005. She is currently Professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her most recent volumes are New and Collected Poems for Children (2009) and The Bees (2011), which won the Costa Poetry Award. She is Poet Laureate. Tony Harrison was born in Leeds in 1937. His volumes of poetry include The Loiners (winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize), Continuous, v. (broadcast on Channel 4 in 1987, winning the Royal Television Society Award), The Gaze of the Gorgon (winner of the Whitbread Prize for Poetry) and Laureate's Block. Recognised as Britain's leading theatre and film poet, Tony Harrison has written extensively for the National Theatre, the New York Metropolitan Opera, the BBC, Channel 4, the RSC, and for unique ancient spaces in Greece, Austria and Japan. His films include Black Daisies for the Bride, which won the Prix Italia in 1994, The Shadow of Hiroshima, Prometheus and Crossings. Five volumes of plays and his Collected Film Poetry are published by Faber and his Collected Poems by Penguin. His play, Fram, premiered at the National Theatre in 2008. Tony Harrison was awarded the PEN/Pinter Prize 2009, the European Prize for Literature 2010, the David Cohen Prize for Literature 2015, and the Premio Feronia 2016 in Rome, in special recognition of a foreign author. Seamus Heaney was born in County Derry in Northern Ireland. Death of a Naturalist, his first collection of poems, appeared in 1966, and was followed by poetry, criticism and translations which established him as the leading poet of his generation. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and twice won the Whitbread Book of the Year, for The Spirit Level (1996) and Beowulf (1999). Stepping Stones, a book of interviews conducted by Dennis O'Driscoll, appeared in 2008; Human Chain, his last volume of poems, was awarded the 2010 Forward Prize for Best Collection. He died in 2013. Ted Hughes (1930-1998) was born in Yorkshire. His first book, The Hawk in the Rain, was published in 1957 by Faber & Faber and was followed by many volumes of poetry and prose for adults and children. He received the Whitbread Book of the Year for two consecutive years for his last published collections of poetry, Tales from Ovid and Birthday Letters. He was Poet Laureate from 1984, and in 1998 he was appointed to the Order of Merit. Alice Oswald lives in Devon and is married with three children. Dart, her second collection, won the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2002. Her third collection, Woods etc, was a Poetry Book Society Choice and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection and the T. S. Eliot Prize. A Sleepwalk on the Severn appeared in 2009, as did Weeds and Wild Flowers, her collaboration with the artist Jessica Greenman. Jo Shapcott was born and continues to live in London. Twice winner of the National Poetry Competition, she has published seven collections with Faber including Her Book: Poems 1988-1998 which selects from three earlier volumes: Electroplating the Baby (1988) which won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, Phrase Book (1992) and My Life Asleep (1998) which won the Forward Poetry Prize. Her most recent collection Of Mutability (2010) won the Costa Book Award and in 2011 she was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. Derek Walcott was born in St Lucia, in the West Indies, in 1930. The author of many plays and books of poetry, most recently White Egrets (2010), he was awarded the Queen's Medal for Poetry in 1988, and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992.
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