Lavinia Greenlaw

(1962 / London)

Biography of Lavinia Greenlaw

Lavinia Greenlaw poet

Lavinia Greenlaw (born 30 July 1962) is an English poet and novelist.
Greenlaw was born in London into a family of doctors and scientists, but in 1973 when she was eleven years old, her family moved from London to a village in Essex. She has described the seven years there as "an interim time", with "memories of time being arrested, nothing much happening." She read modern arts at Kingston Polytechnic, studied at the London College of Printing and has an MA in art history from the Courtauld Institute. She has worked as an editor at Imperial College of Science and Technology and for the publishers Allison and Busby and subsequently Earthscan. She also worked as an arts administrator for the London Arts Board and the South Bank Centre. In 1994 she embarked upon a career as a freelance artist, critic and radio broadcaster. She has been writer in residence at the Science Museum, reader in residence at the Royal Festival Hall, and poet in residence at a firm of solicitors in London.
Her sound work, Audio Obscura, was commissioned in 2011 from Artangel and Manchester International Festival, and won the 2011 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry.
She lives in London and currently works as professor of creative writing at the University of East Anglia. She was a judge for the 2010 Manchester Poetry Prize. Updates


1980, I was returned to the city exposed
in black and white as the lights went on and on.
A back-alley neon sign, the first I'd seen,
drew us sweetly down and in to brightness:
A doll's parasol, a spike of green cherries,
the physic of apricot brandy, actual limes
and morning-to-night shades of rum.
Newly old enough and government-moneyed,
we knocked them back, melting the ice

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