Award winning poet at Keele


Posted on 26 April 2010 Award winning poet Michael Symmons Roberts will give a public reading of his work at Keele University on Monday 10 May at 7.30pm in The Charles Strasser Theatre, Chancellor's Building. Michael is a Whitbread Award winning poet and has twice been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize.
Michael was born in 1963 in Preston, Lancashire, UK, and spent his childhood in Lancashire before moving south with his family to Newbury in Berkshire in the early ‘70’s. He went to comprehensive school in Newbury, then to Oxford University to read Philosophy & Theology. After graduating, he trained as a newspaper journalist before joining the BBC in Cardiff as a radio producer in 1989. He moved with the BBC to London, then to Manchester, initially in radio, then as a documentary filmmaker. His last job at the corporation was as Executive Producer and Head of Development for BBC Religion & Ethics, before he left the BBC to focus on writing.

His 4th book of poetry – ‘Corpus’ – was the winner of the 2004 Whitbread Poetry Award, and was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize, the Forward Prize for best collection, and the Griffin International Prize. He has previously received the Society of Authors’ Gregory Award for British poets under 30, the K Blundell Trust Award, and was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize for his 2001 collection ‘Burning Babylon’. In 2007 he received a major Arts Council Writers Award.

His continuing collaboration with composer James MacMillan has led to two BBC Proms choral commissions, song cycles, music theatre works and a new opera for the Welsh National Opera – ‘The Sacrifice’ – which won the 2008 Royal Philharmonic Society Award.

His work for radio includes ‘A Fearful Symmetry’ - for Radio 4 - which won the Sandford St Martin Prize, and ‘Last Words’ commissioned by Radio 4 to mark the first anniversary of 9/11. His first novel – ‘Patrick’s Alphabet’ – was published by Jonathan Cape in 2006, and his second – ‘Breath’ – in 2008. He teaches at the Writing School of Manchester Metropolitan University.

Tickets are priced at £4, or £3 for students, senior citizens or unwaged, and are available from Chancellor's Building Reception

You can also reserve tickets to collect on the evening if you prefer. Please call Julie Kershaw on 01782 734169; Email