Fiona Sampson - Author

About the Author

Fiona Sampson has been published in more than thirty-five languages. She has sixteen books in translation, and has received the Zlaten Prsten (Macedonia), the Charles Angoff Award (US), the 2016: Slovo Podgrmec Prize and the Povelji za međunarodnu saradnju Award (Bosnia) and the Aark Arts International Poetry Prize (India) and been shortlisted for the Evelyn Encelot Prize for European Women Poets. From 2005-2012 she was the Editor of Poetry Review; she is now Professor of Poetry at the University of Roehampton, where she is the Director of the Roehampton Poetry Centre and Editor of Poem. A Fellow and Council Member of the Royal Society of Literature, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Fellow of the English Association, Fellow of the Higher Education Association, Trustee of the Wordsworth Trust and Patron of the Anglo-Russian Cultural Institute, her publications include twenty-seven volumes of poetry, criticism and philosophy of language. She has received the Newdigate Prize, the Cholmondeley Award, a Hawthornden Fellowship, Kathleen Blundell and Oppenheimer-John Downes Awards from the Society of Authors, a number of Writer's Awards from both the English and the Welsh Arts Councils, and various Poetry Book Society commendations, and she has been shortlisted for the Evelyn Encelot Prize for European Women Poets as well as twice for both the T.S. Eliot Prize and Forward Prizes. A prolific broadsheet and national radio critic, she has held a number of international writing fellowships, and served on international juries including in Canada, Ireland, Slovenia and the UK. She is a member of the Atheneum. Recent books include a new edition of the poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley for Faber. Her Selected Poems have recently appeared in the US (Sheep Meadow, 2013) China (2014), Romania and Ukraine (both 2015) and in Serbian (2016). She is at work on a biography of Mary Shelley (Profile, 2017) and a monograph on Limestone Country, (Little Toller, 2017), and her study of musical form in poetry (Lyric Cousins, Edinburgh University Press), and her new collection The Catch (Penguin Random House) both appeared in 2016.

Featured books by Fiona Sampson

Other books by Fiona Sampson

In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein

In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein

Author: Fiona Sampson Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/09/2018

Mary Shelley was brought up by her father in a house filled with radical thinkers, poets, philosophers and writers of the day. Aged sixteen, she eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley, embarking on a relationship that was lived on the move across Britain and Europe, as she coped with debt, infidelity and the deaths of three children, before early widowhood changed her life forever. Most astonishingly, it was while she was still a teenager that Mary composed her canonical novel Frankenstein, creating two of our most enduring archetypes today. The life story is well-known. But who was the woman who lived it? She's left plenty of evidence, and in this fascinating dialogue with the past, Fiona Sampson sifts through letters, diaries and records to find the real woman behind the story. She uncovers a complex, generous character - friend, intellectual, lover and mother - trying to fulfil her own passionate commitment to writing at a time when to be a woman writer was an extraordinary and costly anomaly. Published for the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein, this is a major new work of biography by a prize-winning writer and poet.

Lyric Cousins Poetry and Musical Form

Lyric Cousins Poetry and Musical Form

Author: Fiona Sampson Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/02/2018

Today, poetry and art music occupy similar cultural positions: each has a tendency to be regarded as problematic, `difficult' and therefore `elitist'. Despite this, the audiences and numbers of participants for each are substantial: yet they tend not to overlap. This is odd, because the forms share early history in song and saga, and have some striking similarities, often summed up in the word 'lyric'. These similarities include much that is most significant to the experience of each, and so of most interest to practitioners and audiences. They encompass, at the very least: the way each art-form is aural, and takes place in time; a shared reliance on temporal, rather than spatial, forms; an engagement with sensory experience and pleasure; availability for both shared public performance and private reading, sight-reading and hearing in memory; and scope for non-denotative meaning. In other words, looking at these elements in music is a way to look at them in poetry, and vice versa. This is a study of these two formal craft traditions that is concerned with the similarities in their roles, structures, projects and capacities.

In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein

In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein

Author: Fiona Sampson Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/01/2018

Mary Shelley was brought up by her father in a house filled with radical thinkers, poets, philosophers and writers of the day. Aged sixteen, she eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley, embarking on a relationship that was lived on the move across Britain and Europe, as she coped with debt, infidelity and the deaths of three children, before early widowhood changed her life forever. Most astonishingly, it was while she was still a teenager that Mary composed her canonical novel Frankenstein, creating two of our most enduring archetypes today. The life story is well-known. But who was the woman who lived it? She's left plenty of evidence, and in this fascinating dialogue with the past, Fiona Sampson sifts through letters, diaries and records to find the real woman behind the story. She uncovers a complex, generous character - friend, intellectual, lover and mother - trying to fulfil her own passionate commitment to writing at a time when to be a woman writer was an extraordinary and costly anomaly. Published for the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein, this is a major new work of biography by a prize-winning writer and poet.

The Catch

The Catch

Author: Fiona Sampson Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/02/2016

Fiona Sampson's latest collection transforms the sensory world into an astonishingly new and vivid poetry. Here, dream and myth, creatures real and imagined, and the sights and sounds of `distance and of home' all coalesce in a sustained meditation on time and belonging. Combining formal sophistication with metaphysical exploration, this is an incandescent work of renewal, beauty and risk.

Coleshill

Coleshill

Author: Fiona Sampson Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/03/2013

Deep in limestone country, at the corner of Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, lies the village of Coleshill. This haunting new collection from Fiona Sampson is a portrait of place, both real and imaginary; a dreamscape with its roots deep in the local soil. The poems hum with an evocative music of their own: there are hymns of the orchards, verses for walkers, songs for bees. These are slices of life and states of mind; poems of grief, fears and maledictions, but also of renewal, resurrections and the promise of spring. Coleshill emerges as a parish of sun / and shade ; its darkness and light perfectly balanced. From the T.S. Eliot and Forward Prize shortlisted poet comes a deep, interrogative collection of astonishing clarity and power.

Beyond the Lyric

Beyond the Lyric

Author: Fiona Sampson Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/09/2012

British poetry is enjoying a period of exceptional richness and variety. This is exciting but it's also confusing, and throws up the need for an enthusiastic guide that can explain and celebrate the many parallel poetry projects now underway. Beyond the Lyric does just that. This is a book of enthusiasms: an intelligent and witty map of contemporary British poetry and a radical, accessible guide to living British poets, grouped for the first time according to the kind of poetry they write. In a series of groundbreaking new classifications, beginning with the bread-and-butter diction of the Plain Dealers and ending on the capacious generosity of the Exploded Lyric, it examines the broad range of contemporary tendencies - from the baroque swagger of the Dandies to the restrained elegance of the Oxford Elegists; from the layered, haunting verse of Mythopoesis to the inventive explorations of the New Formalists. By probing the cultural context from which these groups emerge and shifting the critical focus back to the work itself, Sampson's astute analysis illuminates and demystifies each of these terms and asks the big questions about what makes a poem. The result is a celebration of poetry as a connected, responsive and above all communitarian form. Lively, engaging and inviting, this is the indispensible and authoritative guide for anyone who's ever wondered what's going on in British poetry today.

Music Lessons

Music Lessons

Author: Fiona Sampson Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/06/2011

In this innovative series of public lectures at Newcastle University, leading contemporary poets speak about the craft and practice of poetry to audiences drawn from both the city and the university. The lectures are then published in book form by Bloodaxe, giving readers everywhere the opportunity to learn what the poets themselves think about their own subject. It's almost a cliche that music and poetry are cousins, and that the term lyric names this cousinship. Yet the actual forms music takes within poetry are unclear, even contested. At the same time, our assumptions about these forms condition the ways we hear poetry. So it's useful to us as both readers and writers to discover where the analogies between music and poetry are. Fiona Sampson's Music Lessons outlines some of these, using ideas and examples from Martin Heidegger to J.S. Bach, Emily Dickinson to Leonard Cohen, and George Herbert to Julia Kristeva. Her first lecture, Point Counter-point, uses melody to suggest a link between poetic line, phrase and breath. Here is my space explores how pureA , abstract forms can be created in time in the same way that they are created in space. Finally, How strange the change looks at sensuous apprehension and the pleasure principle.

Century of Poetry Review

Century of Poetry Review

Author: Fiona Sampson Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/10/2009

This is an anthology celebrating 100 years of one of the UK's leading poetry magazines. Poetry Review was founded in 1909. Its first editor was Harold Monro who, in refusing the editorship of the Poetry Society's in-house Poetical Gazette and holding out instead for editorial independence, set the standard for today's journal. It is the UK's poetry magazine of record and its editors have included Muriel Spark, Adrian Henri, Douglas Dunn, and Andrew Motion. Among its contributors are many of the twentieth century's greatest poets. The current editor is Fiona Sampson.

Poetry Writing The Expert Guide

Poetry Writing The Expert Guide

Author: Fiona Sampson Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2009

Written by a prize-winning poet and the editor of Poetry Review, this book takes the reader through the entire poetry writing process, all the while promoting individual creativity and expression. Writing Poetry starts with questions about what poetry is, what it means to the poet and why people write it. It goes on to consider rhythm, rhyme and repetition and explore different poetry forms. This book is also thoroughly practical; there are exercises at the end of every chapter, it contemplates the 'ideal reader' and finishes with advice on getting poetry published. Listings of poetry publishers, magazines, resources and festivals are also included. Whether you are a complete novice or an established writer, Writing Poetry will offer something new time and again; this beautifully written guide will inform, encourage and inspire.

Common Prayer

Common Prayer

Author: Fiona Sampson Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/06/2007

By turns sensual and incantatory, Common Prayer offers a liturgy for a world in crisis. Meditations on the actuality of sickness and bereavement move outward through narratives of the broken body of Europe's violent twentieth century. Challenging and exploratory, Fiona Sampson's poetry remakes the spiritual and physical metaphors by which we live.

Creative Writing in Health and Social Care

Creative Writing in Health and Social Care

Author: Fiona Sampson, Christina Patterson Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/03/2004

This book is really a must-have for therapists and others in the creative arts, so that you can see how the workings of the human mind can be displayed through the arts. Even with serious illness, the mind can talk. And that is the point of the book'. - Metapsychology Online Book Reviews 'The references cited at the end of each chapter are instructive and useful with some contributors drawing on memoirs and creative work and others on textbooks and papers. As Fiona points out in her introduction, those with an interest in the field - which includes clinicians, patients, arts managers, psychotherapists, writers, occupational therapists, teachers - I am sure you can add to the list - inevitably speak different languages, reflecting their different priorities. I agree with her argument that this contributes to a healthy diversity of practice that may offer something for everyone and we should resist narrow definitions. The challenge for those of us in the field is to locate ourselves on this strange and exciting map and to chart our own experiences in whatever languages are appropriate. Conferences, such as Strange Baggage and the increasingly popular Lapidus annual event provide an excellent opportunity to journey beyond our usual borders to exchange travellers' tales with our colleagues'. - Lapidus 'An incisive collection of essays and case studies, where theory is applied to practical goals: working out methods for how to help and understand those with problems threatening their sanity or stability. Creative expression can contribute to personal and community health.' - Writing in Education 'Creative Writing in Health and Social Care is full of experience of working with patients with dementia, hospital, hospice and occupational therapy patients, and those in primary care. This is innovative work - deeply helpful to the patients, illuminatively described.' - The British Journal of General Practice This unique and comprehensive 'map' of the topic of creative writing in health and social care brings together contributions from health and social care professionals and provides the information needed to teach, counsel and write. Principally exploring poetry and story writing and telling, case studies range from work with pre-literate children in post-war Macedonia to people with dementia in Britain. Complementing these insights, theory-based contributions provide context, comparing different arts therapies using psychoanalytic and phenomenological theories of art and ideas, assessing the value of creative writing in a health care setting, examining methods of training therapists and looking at the aims of creative writing in terms of self development. This holistic approach ensures that Creative Writing in Health and Social Care is an essential guide for health care professionals and others seeking to use creative writing in therapeutic settings.

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