Paul Stephenson was a winner in the 2014/2015 Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet competition judged by US poet Billy Collins. His resulting first pamphlet ‘Those People‘ was published in May 2015 by Smith/Doorstop. His second pamphlet ‘The Days that Followed Paris‘, written in the wake of the 2015 terrorist attacks, was published by HappenStance in October 2016 and included as one of the Poetry School’s Books of the Year 2016. His third pamphlet ‘Selfie with Waterlilies‘ won the Paper Swans Press pamphlet competition and appeared in September 2017.
Paul was born and grew up in Cambridge, England. He studied modern languages and linguistics then European Studies. He has lived in London, Paris and Brussels and – with teaching in the Netherlands – has been a Eurostar Frequent Traveller for over a decade. He has published poems in journals including Magma, Poetry London, The Rialto, Bare Fiction and The Interpreter’s House, as well as the experimental anthology ‘Adventures in Form‘ (Penned in the Margins, 2012). He has reviewed for the The North, Sphinx and PN Review. He interviews poets about their first collections. He co-edited issue 70 of Magma on ‘Europe’, published in May 2018. He has co-curated Poetry in Aldeburgh from 2018 to 2020 and teaches occasionally for the Poetry School.
Paul was a member of the monthly workshop group ‘Highgate Poets‘. He currently meets regularly with the ‘Lamb Poets’ online as well as his Cambridge and NNC group. He took part in the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Scheme 2013-14, mentored by Patience Agbabi and ‘graduated’ from the Poetry Business Writing School in Sheffield run by Peter Sansom and Ann Sansom. He has attended writing weeks run by Anne-Marie Fyfe. In November 2014, he was one of the Aldeburgh Eight. He has a PG Cert in Translation from UWE and completed an MA in Creative Writing (Poetry) with Pedagogic Studies with the Manchester Writing School, his portfolio supervised by poet and Professor of Creative Writing, Jean Sprackland.
“Paul Stephenson is another poet who has been winning national awards and publishing widely in journals. Paul’s work is often highly experimental, pushing the boundaries of forms received and invented […] Other, more personal poems, tease out the liminal awkwardness of adolescence. Using words as footholds, Paul’s poems stride confidently into thrilling, uncharted terrain.” Robert Peake, The Huffington Post, January 2013.
Interviews with poems (online)
Lockdown interview with Sue Burge, Live Canon, June 2020.
Poetry and Crisis, The Kindling, issue two, 2017.
5 Questions for Paul Stephenson, Paper Swans Press, September 2017.
The Scores, interview (16 minute audio) with Suzannah V. Evans at StAnza, March 2017.
Poetry Spotlight, interview with Paul Clyne, November 2016.
Poetry in Aldeburgh, interview with Ben Rogers, October 2016.
Words Unlimited, interview with Pam Johnson, July 2015.
Magma, interview about the competition with Lisa Kelly, 2015.
You can contact Paul via twitter: @stephenson_pj / instagram: paulstep456