Ian’s second poetry collection Tormentil (Nine Arches Press), due in September 2023, won a Royal Society of Literature ‘Literature Matters’ Award while in progress. His debut collection Zebra (Nine Arches) was nominated for the Portico Prize. Ian is the editor of Why I Write Poetry (Nine Arches), and the producer and co-editor of After Sylvia: Poems and Essays in Celebration of Sylvia Plath (Nine Arches) — a Poetry Book of the Month in The Guardian.

Ian is the current Writer in Residence at the Brontë Parsonage Museum (2023/24). His work has been highly commended in the Forward Prizes for Poetry and won first prize in the Hamish Canham Prize. Ian’s poems are widely published in journals and anthologies, including The Poetry Review, Poetry London, The RialtoAmbit, Magma, Butcher’s Dog, 100 Queer Poems (Vintage), The Forward Book of Poetry (Faber), and the Open University’s degree course book, Creative Writing: a Workbook with Readings (Routledge, 2022). He has written for the BBC.

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). He is a guest editor at Butcher’s Dog poetry journal which won Best Magazine at The Saboteur Awards in 2022. Why I Write Poetry and After Sylvia were both chosen as Poetry Book Society gift recommendations in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

His books have been reviewed in publications including The Guardian, The Poetry Review and Poetry London. His work has featured or been recommended in national media such as The Guardian, Morning Star, The New European, Big Issue, and on BBC.co.uk. His books have also appeared on reading/study lists of UK and international academic institutions, including Oxford University and New York University. Sky TV’s The Book Club presenter Simon Savidge chose Zebra as a book recommendation for Christmas 2021. In November 2021, Why I Write Poetry reached No. 1 in Amazon’s ‘Hot New Releases in Poetry’.

Ian has been published internationally, his work featuring in many overseas journals and anthologies, with two poems from Zebra selected for the world’s first international anthology of AIDS-related poems in Russian translation. Two of his poems have been longlisted in the National Poetry Competition, his fiction has been shortlisted three times for the Bridport Prize, and several of his poems for children have been published by The Caterpillar. In 2022, he was a Finalist in the Manchester Writing School’s ‘Quiet Man Dave’ Flash Fiction 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 BBC’s Contains Strong Language. An Arvon tutor – residential and online – he has led workshops for 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. Ian holds an MA in Creative Writing from MMU’s Manchester Writing School.

He has judged and co-judged several international writing competitions including The Sylvia Plath Prize, the Young Poets Network’s Sylvia Plath Challenge, a Poetry Society Members’ Competition (Summer 2022), and the Scottish Book Trust Ignite Fellowship 2023.

A resident of semi-rural West Yorkshire, Ian 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.

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.