Richard Forsdyke – Chair
Richard Forsdyke is a partner in the real estate group at international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, where he has 20 years’ experience in advising on major property developers, landlords and local authorities. He holds an M.A. in Philosophy & Law from Cambridge (Robinson College) and an M.Sc. in Politics from the LSE. His politics Master’s thesis was published as “After The Landslide” by the Centre for Policy Studies, where he served as a research fellow. He is a former trustee of The Pavement Poetry Trust and has undertaken courses at Poetry School. He plays rock drums to a low standard and is, so far, a failed novelist. He is married with four children and lives 100 metres from the Poetry School in Kennington.
Helen Taylor – Trustee
Helen Taylor (BA Hons Cantab) was Literature Officer for Cambridgeshire County Council for 9 years and is now a Literature Consultant and works for Carol Ann Duffy the Poet Laureate as PA and Laureate Project Coordinator. Helen taught in secondary schools for five years before becoming Head of Education at The Poetry Society. She has taught on the University of Cambridge’s MA in Children’s Literature and the PGCE course at the University of Cambridge. She has been a director of two Poetry Festivals and is now on the programming committee of the Cambridge Literary Festival. She has also worked for Cambridge City Council as Community Arts Liaison Officer and founded her own company The Voices Project, which developed and delivered creative projects in the community for local authorities and museums. Helen initiated and project managed the year long Poetry and Museums Project ‘Thresholds’ curated by the Poet Laureate which involved 10 poets in residence in 10 University of Cambridge museums and collections working with young people and writing new poems.
Raymond Antrobus – Trustee
Raymond Antrobus is a British-Jamaican poet, performer, editor and educator, born and bred in East London, Hackney. He is one of the world’s first recipients of an MA in Spoken Word education from Goldsmiths University. In 2017 he was awarded 1 of 3 inaugural Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships. His poems have been published in magazines and literary journals such as POETRY magazine (US), Poetry Review, The Rialto, Magma Poetry, Oxford Diaspora’s Programme, British Council Literature, Shooter Literary Journal, The Missing Slate, Morning Star, Media Diversified, The Deaf Poet’s Society and forthcoming in Wasafiri, University Of Arkansas Press and the Bloodaxe Ten Anthology. His first pamphlet – Shapes & Disfigurements Of Raymond Antrobus (2012) – is published by Burning Eye Books. His critically acclaimed second pamphlet, To Sweeten Bitter (2017) is published by Outspoken Press. His debut poetry collection will be published by Penned In The Margins (2018). He has read and performed his poetry at festivals (Glastonbury, Latitude, Bestival etc) to universities (Oxford, Goldsmiths, Warrick etc). He has won numerous slams (Farrago International Slam Champion 2010, The Canterbury Slam 2013 and was runner up at the open mic Calabash Slam in 2016). He has also read internationally (South Africa, Kenya, North America, Jamaica, Sweden, Italy, Germany, Switzerland etc). Raymond is co-curator of popular London poetry events Chill Pill (Soho Theatre and The Albany) and Keats House Poets. Raymond’s poetry has appeared on BBC2, BBC Radio 4, The Big Issue, The Jamaica Gleaner, The Guardian and at TedxEastEnd.
Nathalie Teitler – Trustee
Nathalie Teitler works across the fields of arts, activism and academia. She holds a PhD in Latin American Poetry (King’s College London, 2000) and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, as well as being a Visiting Research Fellow at Roehampton University. She has run literature programmes promoting diversity in the UK for over 20 years, founding the first national mentoring and translation programmes for writers living in exile, and is the Director of The Complete Works – a national development programme that helped to raise the number of Black and Asian poets published by major presses from less than 1% in 2005 to its current level of 16%. Nathalie is the co-founder of Invisible Presence – a national programme developing British Latino writers. She is also in the process of setting up an international centre to promote diversity in poetry, Poetry Action, in partnership with Roehampton Poetry Centre. Nathalie is also the founder of the first dance-poetry company in the UK, Dancing Words, specialising in producing short films that have been shown at festivals all over the world.
Mona Arshi – Trustee
Mona Arshi worked as a Human rights lawyer at Liberty before she started writing poetry. She completed her Masters in poetry in 2011 at the University of East Anglia with a distinction. Her debut collection ‘Small Hands’ won the Forward Prize for best first collection in 2015. She has also been a prizewinner in the Magma, Troubadour and Manchester creative writing competitions. Mona was the 2016-2017 Arvon/Jerwood poetry mentor and teaches and mentors regularly at schools and colleges. She has curated poetry events at the House of Commons with EVAW (End Violence Against Women) on International Woman’s Day and co-edited a special issue of POEM magazine on the theme of BREXIT in June 2017. Mona has performed her work at over 40 Festivals both here and abroad. She has read at the Royal Society of Literature, the Poetry School, The Southbank and in 2017 she was on the judging panel for the Forward Prize and co-hosted the awards at the Royal Festival Hall. Mona makes regular appearances on the radio including Front Row and was commissioned to write a programme on The Odyssey for ‘Book of the week’ for Radio 4, which was broadcast in March 2017. Her poems and interviews have been published in many magazines but also in The Times, The Guardian, in the US and The Times of India as well as on the London Underground. Mona has recently been working with ‘Dancing Words’ and collaborated with composer Tom Szirtes and dancer Ella Mesma to develop a film poem – ‘Ballad of the Small Boned Daughter’ which was screened at the BFI in January 2018. Mona’s second collection is due to be published in early 2019 by Liverpool University Press.
Profiles for Andrew Hewish and Ian Drayton are forthcoming… Save