About

Ian’s debut collection, Zebra (Nine Arches Press, 2019) was nominated for The Portico Prize for Literature. He is the editor of creative writing guide Why I Write Poetry (Nine Arches Press, 2021), the producer and co-editor of a forthcoming anthology on Sylvia Plath (Nine Arches Press, 2022), and a guest editor at Butcher’s Dog poetry magazine. His work is widely published in journals and anthologies, including The Poetry Review, The Rialto, Ambit, Magma, The Forward Book of Poetry 2019 and Islands Are But Mountains – New Poetry from the United Kingdom (Platypus Press, 2019). A fellow of The Complete Works – which promotes diversity, quality and innovation in British poetry – Ian’s poems are showcased in Ten: Poets of the New Generation (Bloodaxe). His work has featured or been recommended in national and regional press including The Guardian, The Morning Star, The New European, The Yorkshire Times and The Lancashire Times.

Awards include first prize in the Poetry Society’s Hamish Canham Prize, highly commended in the Forward Prizes for Poetry, and two poems longlisted in the National Poetry Competition. Ian has been published internationally, his work featuring in overseas journals and anthologies, with two poems from Zebra translated into Russian by renowned academic and poet Dmitry Kuzmin. His fiction has been shortlisted three times for the Bridport Prize.

Ian has read at many literary and spoken word events, such as the London Literature Festival, Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, Birmingham Literature Festival, Poets and Players, Kendal Poetry Festival, Sheaf Poetry Festival, and the launch of The Poetry Review (winter issue, 2017). He was recently appointed a festival poet at the BBC’s Contains Strong Language. Ian has led workshops for numerous organisations, including the Manchester Writing School and Writing West Midlands. Commissions include a canal poem for The Poetry Society; a suite of poems inspired by the oral archive of West Yorkshire Queer Stories; and a poem, dance and film collaboration for BBC Arts, due to debut in September 2021. Podcasts and recordings include New Writing North’s Rich SeamsPoetry Everywhere (a public broadcast of poetry in sites across Sheffield city centre), and Two Minute Stories.

Ian was guest editor for issues 12 and 15 of Butcher’s Dog – ‘one of the country’s most beautifully produced small magazines’ according to the National Poetry Library in an article (December, 2019) which praised Issue 12: ‘Designed and edited with care, the line-up is bursting with the bodily and the physical.’ Ian also wrote the libretto for ‘You belong to me’, a mini-opera in collaboration with composer Peter Bajetta. He holds an MA in Creative Writing from MMU’s Manchester Writing School.

A resident of semi-rural West Yorkshire, he was born in Bedfordshire, raised in Cheshire, and has lived in Hong Kong, Sydney, Manchester and London. His mother’s mixed Asian, African and European heritage was rooted in the multiculturalism of Macau; his father was of Anglo-Irish descent.

Ian enjoys walking in the countryside, contemporary art (including street art), and when time permits, can be found tussling with a half-finished children’s novel.

Hear Ian reading from Zebra

Read Ian’s interview with Poets for the Planet

Sylvia Plath anthology

Please note: Ian does not have any poems (or videos) on the Poem Hunter website.