Press release: 25 November 2008
The Poetry Society announces Judith Palmer as its new Director

Judith Palmer has already had a long and happy association with the Poetry Society. She was its Chair from 1999 – 2001 and, as out-going Director Jules Mann says, “There is something wonderfully resonant about Judith coming back to lead the Poetry Society into its centenary”.

 An experienced and enthusiastic advocate for poetry, Palmer has had a wide-ranging career as a writer, broadcaster and arts manager. Her most recent post was at The Women's Library, London Metropolitan University, where she was Public Programme Manager. She has also just completed an oral history project for the Library, recording the experiences of women writers and magazine editors.

After beginning her career in publishing, she went on to work on the literature programme at the South Bank Centre where she was very involved with Poetry International and the Poetry Library. She has organised many international writers’ tours, including the Cowboy Poets, and promoted the first UK tours from New York’s Nuyorican Poets Café. Amongst other literary roles, she has also been Chair of The Poetry School and a judge on the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.

 Palmer is well known as a writer and commentator in the press and broadcast media. For BBC Radio 4 she has written and presented numerous poetry documentaries, including the regular series, Poetry Societies, and the 1968 anniversary programme Voices at 40. She has also written extensively on visual art and literature for The Independent, and contributed to publications including New Statesman, Dazed & Confused, The Scotsman, Sunday Telegraph and Art Monthly.

 From 2006 to 2007 she held a Senior Research Fellowship at Manchester Metropolitan University, as Critical Writer In Residence at MIRIAD (Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design). With a longstanding interest in interdisciplinary and collaborative arts, Palmer has organised events for art-science agency The Arts Catalyst, and created projects for The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. She has also published many essays exploring our cultural relationship with the natural world. Her book Private Views: Artists Working Today (Serpent’s Tail, 2004) compares the working lives of poets alongside artists from other disciplines.

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