James Byrne (poet)

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James Byrne is a British poet, translator and Editor of The Wolf magazine.[1] He was born in Buckinghamshire in 1977.[2] His poetry collections include Blood/Sugar, published by Arc Publications in 2009, and White Coins in 2015.[3] He has also published pamphlets, including SOAPBOXES [4] and Myth of the Savage Tribes, Myth of Civilised Nations,[5] a collaborative work with the poet Sandeep Parmar. For many years James has been consistently talked of as 'one of the leading poets of his generation', endorsed by The Times as one of the 'ten rising stars of British poetry' in April 2009.[6] He lives in England after two years in New York City, where he received a Stein scholarship and an MFA from New York University. He was the Poet in Residence at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge from 2011-2012 and is a Lecturer at Edge Hill University where he teaches poetry.[7]

In 2008, James won the Treci Trg poetry festival prize in Serbia.[8] In 2009 his New and Selected Poems: The Vanishing House was published by Treci Trg (in a bilingual edition) in Belgrade. He is the editor of The Wolf: A Decade (Poems 2002-2012) and is the co-editor of Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century, an anthology of British poets, under 35, published by Bloodaxe in 2009.[9] Since becoming sole editor of The Wolf in April 2006, James has broadened the international reach of the magazine and this has affected some of his editorial work. In June 2012, Bones Will Crow: 15 Contemporary Burmese Poets[10] was co-edited and co-translated by James Byrne and ko ko thett and is widely recognised as the first anthology of contemporary Burmese poetry available in the West.

James's own poems have been translated into several languages, including Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, Slovenian,[11] Serbian and French. In 2009 he was invited by the British Council in Damascus to participate in the Al-Sendian arts festival in Syria. In 2012 he read his work at the inaugural Tripoli Poetry Festival in Libya and in 2013 he opened the Irrawaddy Literature Festival in Yangon, Burma. His work has been recommended by the Poetry Book Society (SOAPBOXES) and he won Tupelo's July Open Reading Competition in 2013. A collection of his poetry is forthcoming from Tupelo publishing house in the United States [12] which makes Byrne one of the first poets of his generation to have a developed transatlantic profile.

The poet John Kinsella wrote on the jacket for Blood/Sugar: ‘James Byrne is a phenomenon and Blood/Sugar is astonishing. Byrne has a razor-sharp wit, an acute intellect and a superb facility with language. The poetry he writes is both culturally and intellectually ‘learned’, but also rhetorically and lyrically confident. He is a complete original.’

His partner is Sandeep Parmar, also a poet, modernist scholar and Reviews Editor for The Wolf.


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