Fiona Benson (Poetry, 2012)Fiona Benson. Photograph: Jill Mead

Fiona Benson

Shortlisted in 2012 for Poetry

Winning the Faber New Poets Award and a place on the Faber New Poets Scheme had a profound influence on Fiona Benson’s writing. “I was mentored by Alice Oswald, who continually challenged me to break out of my comfort zones, to expand and unsettle my models of poetry and to try to break through to something stranger and more uncomfortable.”

Fiona sees her poems as working in three directions. The first is about childbearing and rearing that draw on personal experience and on Greek myths of mothers and infants. The second is concerned with ecology and the natural world. Her third group is a long sequence of dramatic monologues addressed to Vincent Van Gogh that allows her to explore issues of depression, creativity and outsider identity.