Gillian Allnutt has published eight collection of poetry, six of them with Bloodaxe. How the Bicycle Shone: new & selected poems (2007) includes work from Nantucket and the Angel (1997) and Lintel (2001), both shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot prize.She worked as poetry editor of City Limits magazine from 1983–88 and this led to further freelance journalism, reviewing and interviewing writers and other artists about their work. Her chief source of income has been teaching: which, for her, is as much a vocation as writing; and which, for the past 35 years, has been mainly about creative writing. She has worked in a wide variety of contexts, including many schools and several universities across North-east England where she lives.
Gillian’s most interesting residencies have taken place in community-based projects. In 2004 she worked, together with a weaver, with women from the Orthodox Jewish community in Gateshead, producing a book and tapestry entitled Journeys to Gateshead; and in 2009–10, in a residency with Freedom From Torture, she worked with asylum seekers in Newcastle and Stockton, producing the anthology The Galloping Stone — both projects reflecting, perhaps, her own lifelong sense of exile and unbelonging. She is, though, hugely grateful for the recognition and support she has received not only from the RLF but also in the form of the Northern Rock Foundation Writer’s award in 2005, a Cholmondeley award in 2010 and The Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry 2016.