Alison Brackenbury was born in Lincolnshire in 1953. She is descended from generations of skilled farm workers, including a dynasty of prize-winning shepherds. She won a scholarship to Oxford and left with a First in English. She then married and moved to a small town in Gloucestershire, where she combined writing with horse-keeping, parenthood, grassroots politics and a variety of non-academic jobs. For twenty-three years, until retirement, she worked as a manual worker and bookkeeper in her husband’s family metal finishing firm.
She has published nine collections of poetry. The first, Dreams of Power, (Carcanet, 1981) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. The most recent, Skies, (Carcanet, 2016) was chosen by ‘The Observer’ as one of its Poetry Books of the Year. Her work has been awarded an Eric Gregory Award and a Cholmondeley Award by the Society of Authors. For over thirty years, her poems have appeared in Britain’s major poetry journals. She also reviews poetry for a wide range of publications. Her work has frequently been featured on Radios 3 and 4. She has written six full-length radio features, including Singing in the Dark, about the stubborn survival of traditional song, which was a Radio Times Choice. She contributes regularly to Radio 4’s arts programme, Front Row, and has recently read her work live on Radio 4’s Today programme. Alison is noted for her interest in promoting poetry on the internet. She is active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. New poems not included in her Selected Poems can be found on her website: www.alisonbrackenbury.co.uk