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The Faber Poetry Podcast: Fiona Benson & Julia Copus

In this week’s episode of the podcast, award-winning poets Fiona Benson and Julia Copus join Rachael and Jack in the studio and there are audio postcards from Morgan Parker, Bobby Parker and Wendy Cope.

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Show notes

Studio guests


FIONA BENSON won an Eric Gregory Award in 2006 and a Faber New Poets Award in 2009. She lives in Mid Devon with her husband and their two daughters. Her first collection, Bright Travellers, was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. It won the 2015 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and the 2015 Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Prize for First Full Collection. Her second collection, Vertigo & Ghost (Jonathan Cape), is shortlist for the 2019 Forward Prize for Best Collection.


JULIA COPUS was born in London and now lives in Somerset. Her previous collections, The Shuttered Eye and In Defence of Adultery, were both Poetry Book Society Recommendations and her third collection, The World’s Two Smallest Humans was shortlisted for both the 2012 T. S. Eliot Prize and Costa Prize for Poetry. She has won First Prize in the National Poetry Competition and the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem (2010). Her new collection, Girlhood, was published by Faber in 2019. 


Audio postcards

‘’Lilac Wine’ by Eartha Kitt vs. ‘Lilac Wine’ by Jeff Buckley’ written and read by Morgan Parker.
Morgan Parker’s latest collection, Magical Negro (2019) is published by Corsair.

‘Rocket’ written and read by Bobby Parker.
Bobby Parker’s Working Class Voodoo was published by Offord Road Books in 2018.

‘To My Husband’ written and read by Wendy Cope.
Wendy Cope’s most recent collection, Anecdotal Evidence (2018), is published by Faber & Faber.

About the presenters

Rachael AllenRACHAEL ALLEN is the poetry editor at Granta, co-editor at the poetry press Clinic and of online journal tender. A pamphlet of her poems was published as part of the Faber New Poets scheme, and her first collection, Kingdomland, was published by Faber in January 2019. She is the recipient of an Eric Gregory award and New Writing North’s Andrew Waterhouse award. @r_vallen 


JACK UNDERWOOD is a poet, who also writes short fiction and non-fiction. A recipient of the Eric Gregory Award in 2007, he published his debut pamphlet in 2009 as part of the Faber New Poets series. His first collection Happiness was published by Faber in 2015 and was winner of the 2016 Somerset Maugham prize. He is a lecturer in creative writing at Goldsmiths College and is currently writing a non-fiction book about poetry and uncertainty. Two pamphlets, Solo for Mascha Voice and Tenuous Rooms were published by Test Centre in 2018. @underwood_jack 



The Faber Poetry Podcast is produced by Rachael Allen, Jack Underwood and Hannah Marshall for Faber & Faber. Editing by Billy Godfrey at Strathmore Publishing. Special thanks to Fiona Benson, Wendy Cope, Julia Copus, Bobby Parker and Morgan Parker.

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