Karen McCarthy Woolf

Born in London to English and Jamaican parents Karen McCarthy Woolf’s collection An Aviary of Small Birds was described as an ‘extraordinarily moving and technically flawless’ (The Poetry Review) ‘pitch perfect debut’ (Guardian). It was shortlisted for the Forward Felix Dennis and Fenton Aldeburgh prizes. Karen holds a Prairie Schooner Glenna Luschei Editors’ Prize, and a doctorate from the University of London for her research into diversifying ecocritical discourse. In 2016 she was poet-in-residence at the National Maritime Museum, where she wrote part of her second collection, Seasonal Disturbances, which explores nature, migration, the city and the sacred, and has a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. An editor of five literary anthologies, she has launched many new voices, most recently via Unwritten: Caribbean Poems After the First World War, a collaborative project between 14-18NOW, the BBC and British Council, for which she is also an artist/co-curator. She makes radio features and drama for BBC radios 3 and 4 and has read everywhere from the Americas and Europe to South East Asia. Her poems have been translated into Spanish, Turkish and Swedish, selected for Poems on the Underground, made into poetry film and dance collaborations and dropped from a helicopter over the Houses of Parliament.