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Judith Willson

Judith Willson was born in London but grew up in Manchester and now lives in the Yorkshire Pennines. She studied English at Cambridge and at York universities and gained an MA in Middle Eastern Studies at Manchester University.  Before working for Carcanet Press, she had taught English and had a varied career in publishing, working freelance and full-time for a diverse range of presses including Routledge, OneWorld, Sheffield Academic Press, amongst others, and as assistant editor of the Journal of Semitic Studies. Judith joined Carcanet in 2002 as Managing Editor, overseeing the entire publishing cycle from manuscript acceptance to final print, and editing numerous contemporary poets. During her ten years there, she also published two editions of poetry by female poets from the nineteenth and eighteenth centuries whose work had remain largely neglected: Selected Poems: Charlotte Smith (Carcanet, 2003) and Out of My Borrowed Books (Carcanet, 2006). Upon retirement in 2012, Judith found the time to write her own poetry and had her first collection Crossing the Mirror Line published in 2017 by Carcanet.  A poem from this debut collection, ‘A Bone Flute’ was Guardian Poem of the Week  in January 2018. Her work has featured in magazines including Stand, Poetry London, the Rialto, the Fortnightly Review and PN Review, and in the anthologies New Poetries VI (Carcanet, 2015) and the Forward Book of Poetry 2019. Her second collection of poems is forthcoming from Carcanet in 2021. 

Interview 28 March 2019