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Lawrence Sail

Poet, Non-fiction writer, Translator
University of Exeter, Faculty of Law

Lawrence Sail has published thirteen collections of poems, including Waking Dreams: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2010), a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation, and most recently Guises (Bloodaxe Books, 2020). His writing is characterised by a scrupulous attention to detail alongside more general reflections: among his themes are childhood, memory, nature and the environment. Much of his work is informed by his wide travel and his love of the sea. He received a Cholmondeley award in 2004 for his poetry, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

He has edited numerous anthologies, among them First and Always: Poems for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, and The Heart’s Granary: Poetry and Prose from Fifty Years of Enitharmon Press. A critic, translator and broadcaster, he has also written two books of essays and a memoir of childhood. A forthcoming prose book, Accidentals, will celebrate moments of truth and experiences that have brought lasting delight over the years.

Before becoming a freelance writer in 1991, Lawrence Sail taught French and German, firstly in Kenya and then in England. He has been chairman of the Arvon Foundation, and has extensive experience of reading and lecturing overseas for the British Council, including a month-long solo tour of India. He directed the Cheltenham Literature Festival in 1991 and was a co-director in 1999; from 1994 to 1996 he was on the jury of the European Literature prize. He relishes the opportunity offered by the RLF fellowship to work with a younger generation.

Lawrence Sail


University of Exeter, Faculty of Law 2020-22
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