Samantha grew up in New Quay, Ceredigion where she still lives. She read Classics at Cambridge followed by an M.A. in the Teaching and Practice of Creative Writing at Cardiff University. Samantha's first book, Rockclimbing in Silk was published by Seren in 2001 and described by Patrick McGuinness in Poetry Wales as “one of the finest collections (first or otherwise) to appear this year”. She is the first Welsh poet to reach the Picador list and both of her Picador collections, Not in These Shoes (2008) and Banjo (2012) were shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year.
Poems from her books were chosen for inclusion in the Forward Anthology 2002 and 2009. Awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2005. In 2014 her pamphlet Lime & Winter was published by Rack Press and was a finalist for the Michael Marks Award. Her poems have been published in Agenda, Granta, the Financial Times, the Independent, Magma, New Welsh Review, Planet, Poetry London and Poetry Wales.
Samantha has held residencies at the Dylan Thomas Boathouse and at the National Wool Museum. She is the recipient of a Hawthornden Fellowship and a Creative Wales Award.
clare e potter
clare e potter is a poet, playwright, collaborator and educator, originally harking from Blackwood, South Wales. She taught and lived for several years in New Orleans, where she was a consultant for the New Orleans Writing Project. Her collection, ‘spilling histories’ (Cinnamon, 2006), is based around the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
She is renowned for her performances, a quality that was recognised when she won the John Tripp Award for spoken poetry, one of the premiere prizes for performed work.
She also writes and performs her poetry in Welsh. Her poems have been widely published.
photo credit Noel Dacey
Crystal Jeans was born and brought up in Cardiff. She lived in Bristol before doing first a Creative Writing BA then an MPhil at the University of Glamorgan. She works in a care home, which inspired a collection of poetry about dementia (Mulfran Press). She has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize (2010), had poetry published by Seren Press, and two short stories accepted by New Welsh Review.
She has published a novel The Vegetarian Tigers of Paradise, an occasionally scabrous insight into growing up wild in the 1990s when your family didn’t quite fit in – a perceptive and witty debut from a talented and unusual voice.
Eloise Williams is returning to the Edge Festival after running a hugely successful workshop for children.Eloise was born in Cardiff and grew up in Llantrisant. She now lives in Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire.
She worked in the theatre in various odd jobs before going on to study Drama at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Guildford School of Acting. After working for over ten years as an actor, she decided to change path a little and take a Masters in Creative Writing at Swansea University. She now has a scholarship for a PhD in Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University.