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Paul Farley

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Paul Farley

Born1965 (age 58–59)
Liverpool, England
Alma materChelsea College of Art & Design

Paul Farley FRSL (born 1965) is a British poet, writer and broadcaster.

Life and work[edit]

Farley was born in Liverpool. He studied painting at the Chelsea School of Art, and has lived in London, Brighton and Cumbria. His first collection of poetry, The Boy from the Chemist is Here to See You (1998) won a Forward Poetry Prize (Best First Collection) in 1998, and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize. The book also gained him the Somerset Maugham Award,[1] and in 1999 he won the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award.[2] From 2000 to 2002, he was the poet-in-residence at the Wordsworth Trust[3] in Grasmere. His second collection, The Ice Age (2002), received the Whitbread Poetry Award.[4][circular reference]

In 2004, Farley was named as one of the Poetry Book Society's Next Generation poets[5] His third collection, Tramp in Flames(2006), was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize,[6] a poem from which, ‘Liverpool Disappears for a Billionth of a Second’, was awarded the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem.[7] The same year he also published a study of Terence Davies' film, Distant Voices, Still Lives. In 2007, he edited a selection of John Clare for Faber's Poet to Poet series.

As a broadcaster he has made many arts, features and documentary programmes for radio and television, as well as original radio dramas, and his poems for radio are collected in Field Recordings:BBC Poems 1998-2008. He makes regular appearances on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Review, Front Row and BBC Radio 3's The Verb, and he presented the contemporary poetry programme The Echo Chamber on Radio 4 from 2012 to 2018. His book, Edgelands, a non-fiction journey into England's overlooked wilderness (co-authored with Michael Symmons Roberts) was published by Jonathan Cape in 2011; it received the Royal Society of Literature’s Jerwood Award,[8] the Foyles Best Book of Ideas Award 2012[9] and was serialised as a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week.[10] His fourth collection The Dark Film, was a Poetry Book Society Choice in 2012.

In 2009, he received the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters.[11] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature[12] in 2012.

He currently lives in Lancashire and is Professor of Poetry at Lancaster University.[13] His fifth collection The Mizzy has been shortlisted for the 2019 Costa Poetry Award[14] and the T. S. Eliot Prize 2019. [15]




  • The Boy from the Chemist is Here to See You (London: Picador, 1998) ISBN 978-0-330-35481-3
  • The Ice Age (London: Picador, 2002) ISBN 978-0-330-48453-4
  • Distant Voices, Still Lives (London: British Film Institute, 2006) (about the film of the same name by Terence Davies) ISBN 978-1-84457-139-0
  • Tramp in Flames (London: Picador, 2006) ISBN 978-0-330-44007-3
  • Field Recordings: BBC Poems (1998-2008) (London: Donut Press,[16] 2009) ISBN 978-0-9553604-6-6
  • The Atlantic Tunnel: Selected Poems (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010) ISBN 978-0-86547-917-3
  • Edgelands: Journeys into England's True Wilderness (with Michael Symmons Roberts) (London: Jonathan Cape, 2011) ISBN 978-0-224-08902-9
  • The Dark Film (London: Picador, 2012) ISBN 978-1-4472-1255-3
  • Selected Poems (London: Picador, 2014) ISBN 978-1-4472-2042-8
  • Deaths of the Poets (with Michael Symmons Roberts) (London: Jonathan Cape, 2017) ISBN 978-0-224-09754-3
  • The Mizzy (London: Picador, 2019) ISBN 978-1-5290-0979-8
  • Contributor to A New Divan: A Lyrical Dialogue Between East and West (Gingko Library, 2019). ISBN 9781909942554
  • Contributor to Refractive Pool: Contemporary Painting in Liverpool (contains The Studio) (Refractive Pool, 2021). ISBN 978-1-3999-0949-5

As Editor


External links[edit]