Paul Kingsnorth

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Paul Kingsnorth

Paul Kingsnorth (born 1972 in Worcester) is an English writer and thinker. He is a former deputy-editor of The Ecologist and a co-founder of the Dark Mountain Project. He lives in the west of Ireland.


Kingsnorth was educated at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, and St Anne's College, Oxford, where he studied modern history. During this period he became involved in the British road protest movement at sites including Twyford Down, Solsbury Hill and the M11 link road protest in east London. Much of his writing is focused on issues of place, nature and environmental concern.[1][2]

In 1995, he worked briefly on the comment desk of the Independent, before leaving to join the environmental campaign group EarthAction. He has subsequently worked as commissioning editor for openDemocracy, as a publications editor for Greenpeace and, between 1999 and 2001, as deputy editor of The Ecologist. He was named one of Britain's 'top ten troublemakers' by the New Statesman magazine in 2001.[3]

In 2004, he was one of the founders of the Free West Papua Campaign,[4] which campaigns for the secession of the provinces of Papua and West Papua from Indonesia, where Kingsnorth was made an honorary member of the Lani tribe in 2001.[5]

He has written for or contributed to the Guardian, Independent, Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, Le Monde, New Statesman, London Review of Books, Granta, Ecologist, New Internationalist, Big Issue, Adbusters, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 2, BBC Four, ITV and Resonance FM.

His first book, One No, Many Yeses (Simon and Schuster, 2003), an investigative journey through the 'anti-globalisation' movement, was published in six languages in thirteen countries. His second book, Real England, was published by Portobello Books in 2008.

His first collection of poetry, Kidland and other poems, was published by Salmon in 2011.[2] He won the Poetry Life National Competition in 1998, and was named BBC Wildlife Poet of the Year in the same year.[citation needed] In 2012, he won the Wenlock Prize.[6] His second collection, 'Songs From The Blue River', will be published by Salmon in 2017.

In 2009, with writer and social activist Dougald Hine, Kingsnorth co-founded the Dark Mountain Project, 'a network of writers, artists and thinkers who have stopped believing the stories our civilisation tells itself.' Since 2009 it has run a series of summer festivals and smaller events, produced bi-annual anthologies of 'uncivilised' writing and art and built up a network of writers and artists across the globe who aim to 'offer up a challenge to the foundations of our civilisation.' [7] He is currently the Project's Editorial Director.

His first novel, The Wake, published via crowdfunding by Unbound in April 2014,[8] was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize[9] and the Folio Prize, shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and won the Gordon Burn Prize.[10] Film rights to the novel were sold to a consortium led by the actor Mark Rylance and the former president of HBO Films Colin Callender.

Kingsnorth's next two novels, comprising a loose trilogy beginning with The Wake, will be published by Faber and Faber. Announcing the deal, Faber's editorial director, Lee Brackstone, said: 'We are welcoming to Faber a writer who belongs in the tradition of past greats like William Golding, Robert Graves, David Peace and Ted Hughes. His sensibility sits comfortably with theirs and his literary achievement could well go on to be their equal. He is that good."'[11]


As editor:

  • Dark Mountain: issue 1, (2010, Dark Mountain Project) ISBN 0-9564960-0-8
  • Dark Mountain: issue 2, (2011, Dark Mountain Project) ISBN 0-9564960-1-6
  • Dark Mountain: issue 3, (2012, Dark Mountain Project) ISBN 0-9564960-2-4
  • Dark Mountain: issue 4, (2013, Dark Mountain Project)
  • Dark Mountain: issue 5, (2014, Dark Mountain Project)
  • Dark Mountain: issue 6, (2014, Dark Mountain Project)


  1. ^ "It's the End of the World as We Know It and He Feels Fine". New York Times. 20 Apr 2014. 
  2. ^ a b [1], author's website
  3. ^ [2], see Simon and Schuster author biographies.
  4. ^ [3], Free West Papua Campaign
  5. ^ [4], archived version of author's website
  6. ^ [5]
  7. ^ [6], The Dark Mountain Project home page
  8. ^ [7], 'The Wake' page on
  9. ^ [8]
  10. ^ "Mark Rylance-backed novel wins £5,000 literary prize". BBC News. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ [9], "Uncivilisation" online text at the Dark Mountain Project

External links[edit]