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Caroline Bird

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  • Caroline Bird is an award-winning poet. She won a major Eric Gregory Award in 2002 and was short-listed for the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize in 2001. Her first collection, Looking Through Letterboxes, was published by Carcanet Press in 2002, when she was just fifteen. She was short-listed for the Dylan Thomas Prize in 2008 and 2010 for her second and third collections, Trouble Came To The Turnip, and Watering Can, and was the youngest writer on the list both times. Watering Can achieved a ‘Poetry Book Society Recommendation.’ She was one of the five official poets at London Olympics 2012. Her poem, ‘The Fun Palace’ which celebrates the life and work of Joan Littlewood, is now erected on the Olympic Site outside the main stadium. Her fourth poetry collection, The Hat-stand Union, will be published in 2013. She is also a playwright: her children’s musical, The Trial of Dennis the Menace, was performed at the Southbank Centre in February 2012. This autumn, her bold new version of Euripides’s The Trojan Women premiered at the Gate Theatre. 

    'Her poems burst with linguistic energy.'
    Stephen Knight, Times Literary Supplement
    'An astonishingly assured piece of work.'
    Ruth Padel, Financial Times
      'What an original captivating and spellbinding voice. Bird is fearless like 'the girl who dropped her ice-cream down a volcano and leaped in after it'. She’s dangerous and witty too with a rare quality of imagination. This is a wonder, a beautifully written book of poems.'
    Lemn Sissay
    'A carnival of characters spills out of these poems, chased by paparazzi, doing somersaults and cartwheels with language... Caroline Bird puts us on the inside looking deeper in, under the glittering skin to the place where laughter begins, where mothers are children, where people feel pain and speak in tongues, where tongues are knives and "Someone still has to stay here and die".'
    Imtiaz Dharker
    'Caroline Bird has always written wise, bitterly funny and intellectually bracing poems.What has developed over the course of four collections is a voice heartbreaking in vision while simultaneously consoling in its constant and inspired invention.'
    Luke Kennard
    'Bird is irrepressible; she simply explodes with poetry. The work erupts, spring-loaded, funny, sad, deadly - you don't know if a bullet will come out of the barrel or a flag with the word BANG on it.'
    Simon Armitage
    'Her poems burst with linguistic energy, and the book is profligate with striking lines and images.'
    Times Literary Supplement
    'The tone fuses knowing innocence and integrity; some poems are faux naif with a ballad lilt, others are sad, funny surreal; all are studded with fresh imaginative insights.'
    Ruth Padel, Financial Times
    Awards won by Caroline Bird Commended, 2004 Christopher Tower Poetry Prize Winner, 2000 Simon Elvin Young Poet of the Year Award Winner, 1999 Simon Elvin Young Poet of the Year Award Winner, 2002 Eric Gregory Award Winner, 2004 Peterloo Poets Competition (16-19 year-olds) Winner, 2003 Peterloo Poets Competition (16-19 year-olds) Winner, 2002 Peterloo Poets Competition (16-19 year-olds) Short-listed, 2001 Geoffrey Dearmer Prize Short-listed, 2008 Dylan Thomas Prize for young writers
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