Simon Rae



Simon Rae is a poet, playwright, prose writer and broadcaster. For a decade he wrote topical poems for the Guardian, and for five of those years he presented Radio 4’s popular request programme, Poetry Please! In 1998, Faber published his definitive biography of W.G.Grace, and the following year he won the National Poetry Competition. His poetry collections include Soft Targets (with cartoons by Willie Rushton) (Bloodaxe), Rapid Response: Guardian Poems 1991-1996 (Headland), The Face of War (with Ronald Searle) (Previous Parrot Press) and Gift Horses (Enitharmon). He has written the libretti for two oratorios by the composer Michael Stimpson, one of which, The Angry Garden has been recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (2021).

After running his own theatre company, Top Edge Productions, for ten years, he turned to fiction, publishing the children’s novels Unplayable (Top Edge Press), Keras (David Fickling Books) and Medusa’s Butterfly (Corgi) before turning to crime. His Detective Inspector Dalliance has featured in Bodyline, The Pillbox Murders and most recently, Hangman, all published by Nine Elms Books.

He has edited several anthologies, including the Faber Book of Murder and the Faber Book of Christmas, as well as co-editing The Twentieth Century in Poetry (Ebury) with Michael Hulse.

He has been a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Warwick University, St Hilda’s College, Oxford and Hull University.

In 2020, he founded the media company Stretched Light with Simon Fielder.

He divides his time between Wales, Oxfordshire and Hull.

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Simon Rae



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  • University of Hull, 2021–2022
  • St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford, 2018–2019
  • St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford, 2015–2017
  • University of Warwick, 2000–2002