Chair of the Board of Trustees
Gwendolyn Tietze is a professional development coach and arts fundraiser, assisting the development of individual artists and the resilience of organisations working with them. Originating from Vienna, Austria, she currently lives in London. She was Development Director at Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, creative writing charity Arvon, and at NMC Recordings. She holds a doctorate in Historical Musicology from King’s College London and is accredited as a Relational Dynamics Coach. She is Lecturer in Professional Development at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She is Partner Ambassador for PACE, the Pan-African Creative Exchange.
Trustee and Treasurer
Oliver Rivers is CFO of Tapdaq, an online mobile advertising exchange, FD of BRITDOC Foundation, which supports documentary filmmakers globally, FD of Kamm & Sons, a drinks company, a director of Princi UK, a café business, and a trustee of the Legal Action Group, which campaigns for equal access to justice for all. He studied piano at the Royal College of Music, London, conducting at the Hochschule für Musik, Cologne, and holds an MBA from London Business School.
Jessica Clark is a publishing lawyer. She worked for Penguin Books for several years, and since 2001 has been in-house counsel for a major academic publishing company which publishes medical and scientific journals, textbooks and reference works. She is also a trustee of the London Legal Support Trust and the Music of Life Foundation.
Louise Bangay trained as an actor at the Drama Studio, London after taking a BA in English & Drama at Hull University and a Post Graduate in Movement and Dance at the Laban Centre, Goldsmith’s College. She co-founded European Stage Company, whose work included British premieres by Vaclav Havel and August Strindberg, and later Damned Poets Theatre Company, committed to staging plays in verse, producing a repertory of five rarely performed Yeats plays, Glyn Maxwell’s first stage play, Shelley’s The Cenci and the British premiere of a specially commissioned and published translation of Corneille’s Horace by Alan Brownjohn at the Lyric. Acting work includes television, film, the West End and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Sophia Blackwell was born in Newcastle and read English at Oxford, where she started performing poetry in 2003. Since then, she has performed at Glastonbury, Edinburgh and many more of the major festivals. Her first poetry collection, Into Temptation, was published in 2009 and her novel, After My Own Heart, in 2012.
Sophia has worked in marketing within the publishing industry for over ten years and has experience in managing and promoting trade, academic and professional titles and a background in digital content marketing and publicity.
Isobel Dixon grew up in South Africa, where her debut poetry collection Weather Eye won the Olive Schreiner Prize. She completed her post-graduate study in Edinburgh and works in London, where she is a director of the Blake Friedmann Literary Agency. Her further collections are A Fold in the Map and The Tempest Prognosticator and she co-wrote and performed in The Debris Field, a multi-media show about the RMS Titanic. Her work has been recorded for The Poetry Archive and in 2016 Mariscat will publish a pamphlet The Leonids and Nine Arches will publish her new collection, Bearings.
Photo by Jack Ladenburg
Alex Pryce holds a doctorate in contemporary poetry from the University of Oxford. She works in research communications and teaches contemporary literature in Higher Education. She edited Magma Poetry 59, and is a regular reviewer and feature writer for UK literary magazines.
Karen McCarthy Woolf
Karen McCarthy Woolf holds an Arts and Humanities Research Council doctoral scholarship at the University of London, Royal Holloway where she is researching new ways of writing about nature and politics in the face of climate change. Her book An Aviary of Small Birds, published by Oxford Carcanet is A Poetry Book Society Recommendation and Forward Prize Best First Collection nominee. She was the recipient of a Prairie Schooner Glenna Luschei Award in 2015.
Mali Morris RA is a painter. She was born in North Wales, studied Fine Art at Newcastle University and the University of Reading, and has lived and worked in London since the early 1970s. She is a Founder Member of the artist-run charity Art in Perpetuity Trust, and in 2010 was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts. She has exhibited worldwide in over thirty solo shows and many group exhibitions, and is represented in private and public collections including Arts Council England, British Council, Contemporary Arts Society, Government Art Collection, and Museum of Wales, Cardiff. In 2013 she was Selector/Mentor for Jerwood Painting Fellowships, and in 2014 a Selector at the John Moores Painting Prize China in Shanghai. Her enjoyment of poetry dates from the mid 1960s, when as a student she heard readings by Basil Bunting, Allen Ginsberg and others at Tom and Connie Pickard’s Morden Tower Book Place, in Newcastle upon Tyne. www.malimorris.co.uk
Photo by Chris Morphet
Aki Schilz is the Director of The Literary Consultancy, the UK’s longest-running editorial consultancy for writers, providing editing services, mentoring and literary events. Since 2015, she has been a shortlist judge for both the Bridport First Novel Award and the Creative Future Literary Awards for marginalised writers. Aki is a member of the #BAMEinPublishing network, and an advocate for improved inclusivity, accessibility and transparency in the literature sector. In 2018, in recognition of her work at TLC her #BookJobTransparency campaign, she was named as one of the FutureBook40, a list of 40 innovators in UK publishing. Aki is also a prize-winning writer of poetry, short stories and experimental non-fiction, with work featured in a range of publications including Synaesthesia Magazine, Year’s Best Weird Fiction IV, Popshot, InkSweatTears, CHEAP POP, and And Other Poems. She is co-founder of the Saboteur Award-shortlisted #LossLit digital literature project with Kit Caless (Influx Press), and an editor at LossLit Magazine.