Richard Price (poet)

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Richard John Price (born 1966 Reading, England)[1] is a British poet, novelist, and translator.[2]


He grew up in Renfrewshire.[3] He studied at Napier College, in journalism, and graduated the University of Strathclyde in English and Librarianship, with a joint first.[4][5] He earned a PhD at University of Strathclyde.[6]


He has worked with artists in sculpture, digital art, artist's books and music. His collaborators include Julie Johnstone, Simon Lewandowski, Karen Bleitz, Caroline Trettine and Ronald King. He is a lyricist and vocalist in the band Mirabeau.

His translations include the Guillaume Apollinaire poems in Eftirs / Afters (with translations of other French modernists by Donny O'Rourke, Au Quai, 1996) and the Louise Labé poems in Lute Variations (Rack Press, 2005).

In the 1990s he co-edited the poetry magazines Gairfish (with W. N. Herbert), Verse (with Robert Crawford, Henry Hart, David Kinloch, and others) and Southfields (with Raymond Friel). At this time he also ran the poetry publisher Vennel Press with Leona Medlin, publishing books by W.N. Herbert, Elizabeth James, David Kinloch, Peter McCarey, Medlin and Price themselves, and others. He was one of the group associated with Informationist poetry, coining the phrase. He introduced Informationist ideas in 1991 in the magazine Interference and, later, in his introduction to the anthology of Informationist poetry Contraflow on the Superhighway, co-edited with Herbert (Gairfish and Southfields, 1994).[7] He currently edits the magazine Painted, spoken.[8][9]

From 2003 to 2010 he was Head of Modern British Collections at the British Library, London, curating exhibitions that included Ted Hughes: The Page is Printed (2004) [10] and The Possibility of Poetry: From Migrant magazine to artists' books (2007).[11] He has written on the history of the modern literary magazine in the United Kingdom, co-authoring with David Miller British Poetry Magazines 1914-2000: A History and Bibliography of 'Little Magazines' (British Library, 2006).[12] From 2010 to 2014 he was the Head of Content and Research Strategy at the Library, before becoming the first Head of Contemporary British Collections there, a department devoted to print, digital, manuscripts and sound.

Lucky Day which reflects on the disability of his daughter, who has Angelman syndrome, was shortlisted for the Forward First Collection Prize, the Jerwood Aldburgh Prize and the Whitbread prize. Rays (Carcanet), containing many love poems as well as variations on the sonnets and canzone of Louise Labé and Guido Cavalcanti was shortlisted for a Scottish Book Award.

In 2010 he published The Island (Two Ravens Press) a novel about a father and young daughter who, as an act of revenge, steal a car. It draws on characters who first appeared in his short story collection A Boy in Summer (Neil Wilson / 11:9, 2002).

In 2011 the musical project for which he is the principal lyricist, Mirabeau, released its first album, Golden Key. Several of the songs are settings of poems from his earlier poetry collections while others are closer to rock and folk genres of songwriting. Mirabeau comprises Price (as lyricist and vocalist) and the singer-songwriter Caroline Trettine with contributions by various musicians including Ian Kearey (of The Blue Aeroplanes).

In 2012 his poem "Hedge Sparrows" was chosen to represent Great Britain in the Olympics project the Written World, and recorded for BBC radio by the actor Jim Broadbent.

In the same year his collection Small World (Carcanet) was published, a collection of poems about fatherhood and daughters and their changing relationship, and, in a final, suspenseful sequence, a catastrophe which brings all the lives in the book into perspective. Small World won Price's first major award to win the poetry category of the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards. A poem from the collection, 'An old drawer up beyond the children', was subsequently produced as an animation by Michael Hughes.

In 2013 Price was Poet in Residence at the University of Coimbra, in association with Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal.

In 2013 and 2014 he toured with Iain Bamforth, David Kinloch, Peter McCarey as "The Last Men on Mercury", appearing in Manchester, London, Geneva, Stasbourg and Glasgow and featuring guest poets including Lucy Burnett, Dorothy Lehane, Hannah Lowe, and Peter Manson. In 2014 the Slovakian film-maker Viera Čákanyová made a short film about his work, filming while he was on tour in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland.

In 2016 he published Is This A Poem? (Molecular Press), selected essays on lyric poetry, little magazines, and artist's books.

In 2017 his collection Moon for Sale (Carcanet) was published and subsequently shortlisted for the Saltire Society's Poetry Book of the Year.

Awards and Shortlistings[edit]

  • 1987 Winner, Keith Wright Memorial Prize for Poetry, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
  • 1988 Winner, Keith Wright Memorial Prize for Poetry, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
  • 1988 Winner, STV Creative Writing Prize, Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde
  • 1997 Paul Hamlyn Poetry Award, Runner Up for pamphlet Hand Held
  • 2005 Forward Felix Dennis First Collection Prize (shortlist) for Lucky Day
  • 2005 Whitbread Poetry Book of the Year (shortlist) for Lucky Day
  • 2005 Jerwood/Aldeburgh First Collection Prize (shortlist) for Lucky Day
  • 2008 Scottish Arts Council Poetry Book of the Year Award (shortlist) for Greenfields
  • 2010 Scottish Arts Council Poetry Book of the Year Award (shortlist) for Rays
  • 2013 Winner, Creative Scotland SMIT Poetry Book of the Year for Small World
  • 2017 Saltire Society Poetry Book of the Year (shortlist) for Moon for Sale



  • Tube Shelter Perspective (Southfields, 1993)
  • Marks & Sparks (Akros, 1995)
  • Hand Held (Akros, 1997)
  • Perfume & Petrol Fumes (Diehard, 1999)
  • Lucky Day, Carcanet, 2004, ISBN 978-1-85754-761-0
  • Greenfields, Carcanet 2007, ISBN 978-1-85754-920-1
  • Rays, Carcanet 2009, ISBN 978-1-84777-010-3
  • Small World, Carcanet 2012, ISBN 978-1847771582
  • Moon for Sale, Carcanet 2017


*Richard Price, directed by Viera Čákanyová, (Česká televize, 2015)

Short Stories[edit]



  • The Fabulous Matter of Fact: The Poetics of Neil M. Gunn Edinburgh University Press, 1991. ISBN 978-0-7486-0259-9
  • David Miller, Richard Price (eds), British Poetry Magazines 1914-2000: A History and Bibliography (Oak Knoll Press/The British Library, 2006). ISBN 978-1-58456-197-2
  • David Kinloch, Richard Price (eds), La Nouvelle Alliance: influences francophone sur la littérature écossaise moderne (Ellug, 2000)
  • James McGonigal, Richard Price (eds) The Star You Steer By: Basil Bunting and British Modernism (Rodopi, 2000)
  • Richard Price, Is This A Poem? (Molecular, 2016).



External links[edit]