Claire Askew is a poet, writer, creative writing teacher and groupwork facilitator living in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her poetry has appeared in a variety of publications including The Guardian, The Sunday Mail, The Dark Horse, and PANK. Poems of Claire’s have also been selected for inclusion in the Scottish Poetry Library’s annual Best Scottish Poems anthology an amazing three times (2008, 2009 and2014). Her work has been recognised by numerous awards, including theInternational Salt Prize for Poetry, the Mslexia Women’s Poetry Competition, theCharles Causley Poetry Competition and the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award. Claire’s debut pamphlet collection, The Mermaid and the Sailors, was published in 2011 by Red Squirrel Press: poems from it won the 2009 William Sharpe Hunter Memorial Scholarship for Creative Writing, and the 2010 Virginia Warbey Poetry Prize. Her first full length collection, This changes things, is forthcoming from Bloodaxe Books in early 2016, and Claire is working on her first novel, Three Rivers (working title), which was longlisted for the Peggy Chapman-Andrews (Bridport) Novel Award in 2014. For a full list of all Claire’s publications, please click here.
Claire is also an experienced performer, and has read her work at events and festivals across the UK and beyond. She acted as an official Scottish “slambassador” for the 2011 City2Cities Literature Festival in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and has performed at Aye Write!, StAnza Festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival (2009 and 2014), and in the Free Fringe, to name but a few. Claire’s a Literary Death Match winner (Edinburgh, 2012), a co-convenor ofShore Poets, and an experienced poetry slam judge.
Russell Jones is an Edinburgh-based writer and editor. He is the author of four published collections of poetry: The Green Dress Whose Girl is Sleeping (Freight Books, 2015), “Our Terraced Hum” (in Caboodle, Prole Books, 2015), “Spaces of Their Own” (Stewed Rhubarb Press, 2013) and “The Last Refuge” (Forest Publications, 2009). He is the poetry editor and deputy editor at Shoreline of Infinity, a Scottish science fiction magazine, is the editor of Where Rockets Burn Through: Contemporary Science Fiction Poems from the UK (Penned in the Margins, 2012), was a guest editor for The Interdisciplinary Science Reviews and is the co-editor of Umbrellas of Edinburgh: Poetry and Prose Inspired by Scotland’s Capital City. Russell’s writing has been widely published internationally, winning recognition in awards and competitions including The Best Scottish Poems 2013 and 2015, The Eric Gregory Award, The Venture Award for Poetry, the Bridport Prize and The Charles Causley Poetry Competition. His YA novel, The Talkers, was shortlisted for the $50,000 Half the World Global Literati Award. Russell’s fiction writing is represented by Juliet Mushens of Caskie Mushens He has a PhD in Creative Writing from Edinburgh University and has published on the poetry of Edwin Morgan. Russell’s has also published travel writing and is currently working on writing novels for young adults. He can be followed at http://writerrusselljones.blogspot.co.uk/