The starlings lean
like woodsmoke on the fields
and blow away.
Jean Atkin’s poetry has appeared in Magma, Ambit, Poetry Salzburg, The North, ArtemisPOETRY, Earthlines, Envoi, The Moth, The Clearing, Under The Radar, Bare Fiction, Poetry Ireland Review, Dark Mountain, New Writing Scotland, Pushing Out The Boat, Northwords Now, Acumen and others. Read Grass Verge Near Soissons published on Ink, Sweat and Tears here. In 2015 her commissioned poem Bread Generations was featured on Radio 4’s ethical and religious discussion programme Something Understood. Her first collection Not Lost Since Last Time was published by Oversteps Books in 2013 and launched at StAnza International Poetry Festival.
In 2008, Jean Atkin won the Dartington Hall Ways With Words Poetry Competition, in 2009 won both the Torbay Open Poetry Prize and the Ravenglass Poetry Press Competition, and in 2010 was a winner in both the Mirehouse Poetry Competition and the Elmet Poetry Prize. In 2011 her pamphlet from Roncadora Press, ‘Lost at Sea’ was shortlisted for the Callum Macdonald Memorial Prize. She was shortlisted for the Magma Poetry Prize 2012, and Commended in the William Soutar Prize 2013. In 2015 she was Highly Commended in the Bristol Poetry Prize, 3rd in the Prole Laureate Prize, shortlisted for the prestigious Keats-Shelley Award, Commended in Battered Moons and winner of the Fire River Poets Open Competition.
Her poetry has been anthologised by Worple Press, Vanguard Poetry, Sidekick Books, Candlestick Press, Second Light Press, Grey Hen Press, Cinnamon Press and Fair Acre Press. She has contributed to six publications so far from Beautiful Dragons Press.
She has read at Poetry@TheIvory in Glasgow, Shore Poets in Edinburgh, Wigtown Book Festival 2012 and 2013, StAnza International Poetry Festival 2013, Wenlock Poetry Festival 2013 and Dartington Hall Ways With Words Festival 2013. In 2014 she read at Wenlock Poetry Festival and Ledbury Poetry Festival.
In 2015 Jean was Poet in Residence for Wenlock Poetry Festival, and read at the Finale event with Carol Ann Duffy and Imtiaz Dharker. She also performed at Cheltenham Poetry Festival, and in 2016 at Welshpool and Swindon Poetry Festivals.
Read Jean’s poem ‘What’s Human’, which was included in the tenth issue of Best Scottish Poems, an online selection of twenty of the best poems by Scottish poets to appear in books, pamphlets and literary magazines during 2013.
Jean is a member of Writing West Midland’s writer development programme, Room 204 and of Border Poets. On the first Tuesday of every other month, she organises The Poetry Lounge in The Sitting Room in Ludlow – an open mic with guest poets.