Born in London, Fiona Sampson grew up in the West Country, on the west coast of Wales and in Gloucestershire and was educated at Oxford and Nijmegen. She has published fifteen books - of poetry, on the philosophy of language and on the writing process - of which the most recent are her latest and fifth full poetry collection, Common Prayer (Carcanet, 2007), and Writing: Self and Reflexivity (Macmillan 2005) and a book of essays On Listening (2007). Her poem 'Trumpeldor Beach' was shortlisted for the 2006 Forward Prize, Common Prayer was shortlisted for the T.S.Eliot Prize, and she has been widely translated. She contributes to The Guardian, The Irish Times and other publications; and is the editor of Poetry Review. Her work is available at The Poetry Archive, the oldest and most widely-read poetry journal in the UK. She is also the director of Poetryfest - the Aberystwyth International Poetry Festival. Her awards include a Cholmondeley Award, the 2003 Zlaten Prsten for international writing (Macedonian Foundation for Culture and Sciences), a Hawthornden Fellowship, the Newdigate Prize and awards from the Arts Councils of England and Wales and the Society of Authors.