And the 2015–16 Faber New Poets are…

FNPs all threeFaber & Faber with Arts Council England announce the recipients of the Faber New Poets scheme 2015–16

Now in its fourth incarnation, the Faber New Poets scheme exists to encourage new writers at a crucial point in their career. Open to those who have yet to publish a first collection or pamphlet, the scheme offers mentorship, pamphlet publication and financial support. This year, the scheme welcomed an incredible nine hundred manuscript submissions.

Now we, alongside Arts Council England, are delighted to be able to announce that the four Faber New Poets 2015–16 are:


Elaine Beckett 

Elaine Beckett photo 2 Elaine grew up in Kent, and studied music, film, and architecture in London. She has mainly worked as a university lecturer. In 2008 she moved to Dorset where by chance she joined a poetry group led by Annie Freud. Her poems have been longlisted for The Bridport Prize, and in 2012 she won the Bridport’s Dorset Award. Her poems have been published in Templar’s Skein anthology, South Bank Poetry, and the Bloodaxe Raving Beauties anthology, Hallelujah For Fifty-Foot Women. She currently studies with Greta Stoddart via The Poetry School.




Crispin Best 

Crispin Best

Crispin lives in London and at He edits For Every Year, an online project aiming to collect a piece of art or writing in honour of every year since 1400. His writing has appeared in The Best British Poetry 2015 (Salt), the QuietusDazed & ConfusedPoems in Which, and clinic, among other places. He has performed his poetry to audiences in New York, Chicago, Berlin, Melbourne, Edinburgh, and at the Serpentine Gallery in London.





Sam Buchan-Watts 

Sam was born in London i20151110_103731n 1989. He studied English Literature at Goldsmiths and Creative Writing at UEA. He is a co-editor of the poetry anthology series, clinic. His poems have appeared in Poetry London and Salt’s Best British Poetry series, and his articles in PN Reviewi-D and elsewhere.






Rachel Curzon 

Rachel Curzon

Rachel was born in Leeds in 1978. She studied English at Oxford, and now teaches in a Hampshire school. In 2007, she received an Eric Gregory award. Her poems have appeared in The RialtoPoetry London and The Bridport Anthology.






Their pamphlets will be published in April 2016 and the Faber New Poets will be on tour, reading and performing at a number of venues, festivals and universities across the country in the Spring. Stay tuned for the details, dates and locations soon.

In addition to the four New Poets, ten Highly Commended entrants have been identified to receive a bespoke package of support to be individually tailored to their needs. These ten are:

  • Edwina Attlee
  • Nicola Bray
  • Hannah Copley
  • Edward Doegar
  • Anna Kisby
  • Alex MacDonald
  • Richard Scott
  • Chloe Stopa-Hunt
  • Will Tyas
  • Ralf Webb

Previous participants in the scheme were: Fiona Benson, Toby Martinez de las Rivas, Heather Phillipson and Jack Underwood in 2009; Joe Dunthorne, Annie Katchinska, Sam Riviere and Tom Warner in 2010 and Rachael Allen, Will Burns, Zaffar Kunial and Declan Ryan in 2014.

Listen to Will Burns and Declan Ryan reading from their Faber New Poets pamphlets here

The 2015-16 Faber New Poets were selected from a final longlist of sixty manuscripts by the judging panel. On the panel were:

  • Matthew Hollis (Faber Poetry Editor)
  • Luke Brown (Arts Council England)
  • Jackie Kay
  • Helen Taylor
  • Jack Underwood
  • Karen McCarthy Woolf

Matthew Hollis, Poetry Editor, Faber & Faber, commented:

‘Some years ago, before my own debut collection was published, a friend and I devised a road trip for new poets, which, with the help of Sian Williams and Arts Council England, was realised in a bustling national tour. That experience taught me the transforming value for emerging writers of a supportive and collaborative culture, and became the inspiration for Faber New Poets.

Now in its fourth incarnation, Faber New Poets has substantially aided a dozen new writers in the development of their work, and it is with particular excitement that we invite this year’s quartet of talents onto the programme. Supported by Arts Council England, Faber New Poets is a not-for-profit scheme and a chance to do good: to encourage, support, inform and direct. It aims not only to give an underpinning to those on the scheme, but, in time, to help grow audiences for new writing in poetry.’

Antonia Byatt, Director of Literature and the South East, Arts Council England, said:

‘Faber New Poets finds some of the most exciting new voices in poetry and helps them take that important first step of being published. We are delighted to be able to support a scheme which introduces the next generation of poets to readers.’

Jack Underwood, former Faber New Poet recipient and a judge on this year’s panel, said:

‘When I was selected for the Faber New Poets scheme in 2009 I was in that frustrating period of time between having published a few poems, but not having enough for a book. I was in a bit of a rush, and was beginning to fall into the trap of trying to repeat the same poetry tricks. Faber New Poets interrupted that for me. It validated some of the work I had, but also helped me recognise the work that wasn’t good enough. The mentoring reminded me that poems are a way of exploring things, rather than decorating them, and I was encouraged to be adaptable, and not limit my approach to writing. The other poets on the scheme were inspiring and reassuring peers, and our week long tour was the closest I’ve come to a holiday romance.

To be one of the judges on this year’s panel, and play a role in rewarding new work, that shows originality in thought and is prepared to take imaginative risks, has been a privilege. It’s a rigorous, open-minded and exciting scheme, and I’m delighted to have been part of it.’

Faber New Poets is a not-for-profit promotion that is made possible by the support of Arts Council England.

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