Jack Underwood was born in Norwich in 1984. He graduated from Norwich School of Art and Design in 2005 before completing an MA and PhD in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths College, where he now teaches English Literature and Creative Writing. He was awarded an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 2007 and Faber published his debut pamphlet in 2009 under the Faber New Poets scheme. He was awarded a Jerwood Opera Writing Fellowship in 2009 and wrote the libretto for the opera The Commission, (comp. Elspeth Brooke) which was performed at Aldeburgh Music, The Royal Opera House and Opera North in 2014. He was co-founder of the leading anthology series Stop Sharpening Your Knives and his work has also appeared in the anthologies Voice Recognition (Bloodaxe, 2010), Dear World and Everyone In It (Bloodaxe, 2012) and Best British Poetry (Salt, 2014 & 2015) among others. He has published widely in UK magazines, written criticism for Poetry Review, Poetry London, Five Dials and Prac Crit and has been commissioned to produce new work by Tate magazine, the Centre for Contemporary Art, Derry and Sprüth Magers. His debut collection Happiness was published by Faber in 2015 and is winner of the 2016 Somerset Maugham prize.
Sally Festing’s four poem collections followed ten years of journalism, radio plays, academic studies, Penguin biographies of Gertrude Jekyll and Barbara Hepworth, and other non-fiction books. Her prizes include the CafeWriter’s Norfolk slot 2015. Salaams was published by Happenstance; Font, and Doors Opening (Oversteps) were out last year. (www.sallyfesting.info) She runs Saltmarsh Poetry in North Norfolk’s Burnhams (www.saltmarshpoetry.co.uk).