The Board of Poetry London has elected Astrid Alben as Chair of Trustees, succeeding Sophia Blackwell. The appointment took effect on 22 March, 2021.

Astrid Alben is a poet, editor and translator. Most recently she was the acting CEO and trustee of the Poetry Translation Centre and the co-founder and artistic director of the arts and sciences organization PARS. Alben worked as head of production at Saatchi & Saatchi Amsterdam. Alben is a graduate of the prestigious Clore Leadership Programme, a Wellcome Trust Fellow, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Rijksakademie alumnus and a member of the Society of Authors and English PEN. Her most recent collection, Plainspeak, was published by Prototype Publishing in 2019.

Outgoing Chair, Sophia Blackwell said: ‘Poetry London is one of the leading poetry magazines in the English-speaking world. It has a significant role celebrating new voices. I am delighted that when I step down in March, Poetry London will have an experienced Chair, knowledgeable about the organisation and passionate about what matters most: the poetry that the magazine showcases.’

Astrid Alben said: ‘André Naffis-Sahely’s vision of making poetry relevant and enriching to the widest possible audience has never been more important than it is today. I have a lifelong passion for poetry and been a reader of Poetry London for two decades. It’s a great honour to support Poetry London in this way.’

Poetry Editor André Naffis-Sahely said: ‘Since Astrid joined as a trustee in 2019, she has been a vital part of shaping our future vision for Poetry London. I am delighted that she will be succeeding Sophia as Chair and that we will be working closely to bring Poetry London’s ambitions to fruition.’

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