Nancy Campbell writes poetry, essays and non-fiction, and makes artist’s books, and her writing is driven by empathy with the environment combined with a fascination for the material form of the book. Campbell grew up in the Scottish Borders and Northumberland, places where the culture of illuminated manuscripts such as the Lindisfarne Gospels and contemplative retreat to the wilderness still felt very present. She began her career as an apprentice to master craftsmen in letterpress studios in British Columbia and Brooklyn, and has written, designed and published a number of limited edition books including How To Say ‘I Love You’ In Greenlandic: An Arctic Alphabet.
A series of residencies with Arctic research institutions between 2010 and 2017 has resulted in many projects responding to the environment, including The Library of Ice: Readings in a Cold Climate, which was longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2019. Nancy’s first poetry collection Disko Bay was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2016 and the 2017 Michael Murphy Memorial Prize. In 2018/19 she was appointed the UK’s Canal Laureate by the Canal & River Trust and The Poetry Society; the resulting poems were published as a pamphlet, Navigations. She received the Royal Geographical Society Ness Award in 2020 and the Birgit Skiöld Award in 2015, and was a MarieClaire ‘Wonder Woman’ in 2016. Her latest book, Fifty Words for Snow, is published this winter.