Ruth Padel (England) read at the 2014 John Hewitt International Summer School, alongside Tom Paulin.
Ruth was born in London and studied Classics at Lady Margaret Hall Oxford where she wrote her PhD on Greek poetry. At Wadham, she was among the first women to become a Fellow of formerly all-male Oxford colleges. She taught Greek at Oxford and Birkbeck, University of London, and opera in the Modern Greek Department at Princeton.
Known principally as a poet, she is also a conservationist, novelist and non-fiction writer. Her publishing career began with a pamphlet in 1985, while she was teaching Greek at Birkbeck, and since then her poetry collections include: “Angel” (1993), “Fusewire” (1996), “Rembrandt Would Have Loved You” (shortlisted for T S Eliot Prize, 1998), “Voodoo Shop” (shortlisted for Whitbread Prize and T S Eliot Prize, 2002), “The Soho Leopard” (shortlisted for T S Eliot Prize, 2004), “Darwin – A Life in Poems” (shortlisted for Costa Prize, 2009), “The Mara Crossing” (shortlisted for Ted Hughes Award, 2012), “Learning to Make an Oud in Nazareth” (shortlisted for T S Eliot Prize, 2014), “Tidings – A Christmas Journey” (2016), “Emerald” (2018), and "Beethoven Variations: Poems on a Life" (2020). 2020 also saw the paperback reissue of “The Mara Crossing”, entitled “We are all from somewhere else”, which takes account of how migration and environmental issues have moved on globally since 2011.
Ruth won the UK’s National Poetry Competition in 1998 and has served as a judge for, among others, the Forward Prize, the T S Eliot Prize, and the Costa Book Awards (Poetry). A Fellow of both the Royal Society of Literature and Zoological Society of London, in 2013 she re-joined academic life and is Professor of Poetry at King's College London.
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