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About the Author



Welcome to the website of the English poet and critic, Ben Wilkinson.

Ben was born in the English Midlands and now lives in Sheffield, Yorkshire. He received his first degree from the University of Sheffield, and holds an MA and PhD from Sheffield Hallam University. He has won numerous awards for his poetry, including the Poetry Business Competition and a 2014 Northern Writers' Award. His poems have frequently appeared in many publications, including The Guardian, The Poetry Review, The Rialto, The Spectator, and the TLS.   

His debut full collection of poems, Way More Than Luck, appeared from Seren Books in 2018, and was highly commended in the Forward Prizes for Poetry that year. A second collection is due in 2022.

With Kim Moore and Paul Deaton, he edited the anthology The Result is What You See Today: Poems About Running (smith|doorstop, 2019), endorsed by Jo Pavey MBE.

He is a keen distance runner, lifelong Liverpool Football Club fan, and among other things he has worked as a freelance poetry critic for The Guardian and other publications for over a decade. You can find many of his reviews on this site.

To contact Ben about readings, workshops and commissions, you can drop him a line at benwilko(at sign)gmail.com. Unfortunately, Ben is not able to consider unsolicited requests from publishers or authors for book reviews.

You can follow Ben on Twitter - @BenWilko85 - and on Facebook.

You can find Ben's 'Power of 10' British Athletics profile here.



 

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Poetry in Motion

POETRY IN MOTION
Why one Reds supporter is committing his love for Liverpool FC to verse


Liverpool FC and poetry have a lot of previous – from John Toshack’s Gosh It’s Tosh collection in the late 70s, to the verse of Dave Kirby and Peter Etherington in the fanzine Red All Over the Land, to the lines written by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, a University of Liverpool graduate, in the aftermath of 2012’s Hillsborough findings. Now there’s Ben Wilkinson, Reds fan and book critic for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement, who’s compiling a series of poems commemorating the club’s legends. “Football is part of the fabric of life, and anything that’s important to people finds its way into poetry,” he says. “Wilfred Owen’s poem 'Disabled' describes a soldier who loses the use of his legs, meaning he can never play football again. Philip Larkin’s 'MCMXIV' compares boys queuing to join the army to fans outside Villa Park. These poems have stood the test of time because t…

Way More Than Luck: 27.2.18 - the launch

Louis MacNeice

‘World is crazier and more of it than we think, incorrigibly plural’. Even if you’re not that well-versed in modern British and Irish poetry, chances are you’ll still know ‘Snow’, or a line or two from the poem will seem naggingly familiar. While still in his twenties, Louis MacNeice wrote it in 1935, and since then, it’s been a favourite with readers, writers and editors, cropping up in every kind of poetry anthology.

Weird, then, that MacNeice’s work has often been seen as a footnote to that of his illustrious pal W.H. Auden, when he’s so clearly a hugely original poet in his own right. And when, among more recent generations, the likes of Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Don Paterson and Conor O’Callaghan have all cited him as a major influence in their own writing. It’s not like ‘Snow’ was a one hit wonder, either. Despite some of the less exciting – and often lengthy – stuff he wrote in the early 50s, MacNeice only got better, perfecting his moving, atmospheric and pow…