Associate Artists

John Agard (Associate Artist)

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A unique and energetic force in contemporary British poetry,  Agard has won many awards including the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.  Born in Guyana, South America in 1949, Agard moved to Britain in the late seventies. Cultural differences, class divisions and subverted racial stereotypes abound in his poems from adoptig the Caribbean tradition of limbo dancing as a symbol of freedom, to darkly comic, bitingly sardonic pieces such as 'Half-caste', one of Agard's best-loved poems, which turns that phrase inside-out.

Dean Atta (Associate Artist)

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Dean Atta is a writer and performance poet. He has been commissioned to write poems for the Damilola Taylor Trust, Keats House Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and Tate Modern. Atta won the 2012 London Poetry Award and was named as one of the most influential LGBT people by the Independent on Sunday Pink List 2012. An ambassador for the Spirit of London Awards and co-host of Come Rhyme With me he teaches writing workshops across the UK.

Damian Barr (Associate Artist)

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Damian Barr is an award-winning writer, columnist and salonnière. Maggie & Me, his memoir about coming of age and coming out in Thatcher’s Britain, was a Radio 4 Book of the Week and Sunday Times Memoir of the Year winning the Paddy Power Political Books ‘Satire’ Award and Stonewall Writer of the Year.  Literary Editor of Soho House magazine, Damian writes columns for the Big Issue and the Sunday Times and often pops up on Radio 4.  Starting at Shoreditch House in 2008 and now based at Mondrian London, his sold-out Literary Salon premieres new work from emerging and established writers and guests include David Nicholls, Caitlin Moran and Bret Easton Ellis.  The Salon has toured to New York, Istanbul, Moscow, Sydney and Auckland with the British Council and is now podcast on British Airways.  The Guardian named him ‘one of the most connected men in publishing’. He’s currently writing his first novel and continuing his quest for the perfect Martini.

Polly Dunbar (Associate Artist)

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"There is such a buzzy feel about New Writing South, I'm delighted to be an associate.  It's great to see young people bursting with ideas are given the space, time and  confidence to capture them on paper"

Polly Dunbar is an author-illustrator. She attended Brighton University and lives in Brighton. Polly published Dog Blue and Flyaway Katie in 2004 and then worked with her mother, author Joyce Dunbar, on the picture book Shoe Baby.  Her book Penguin, won the Booktrust Early Years Awards and  silver award in the Nestle Children's Book Prize. Polly is  the illustrator for Here's A Little Poem which is on the IBBY honour's book list.

Alison MacLeod (Associate Artist)

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Alison MacLeod is a novelist, short story writer and essayist. She is the author of the novels The ChangelingThe Wave Theory of Angels and  Unexploded, which was nominated for the 2013 Man-Booker Prize. She is the author of Fifteen Modern Tales of Attraction – named one of the ‘Top Ten Books to Talk About’ in 2009. She won the Society of Authors' Short Story Award for ‘Dirty Weekend’, was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award for ‘The Heart of Denis Noble’ and long-listed for The International Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. Alison is Professor of Contemporary Fiction at the University of Chichester and Director of Thresholds International Short Story Forum. She was raised in Canada and has lived in the UK since 1987. She now lives in Brighton.


Stephen Wyatt (Associate Artist)

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"Honoured to be invited to become one of New Writing South's new Artistic Associates. I've enjoyed my times running courses on radio drama for NWS and have enormous respect for the terrific work Chris Taylor and her team do"

Stephen Wyatt has been a working playwright for over thirty years, writing for theatre, radio and television. He is the only writer to have won the Tinniswood Award for best original radio script twice – for Memorials to the Missing in 2008 and Gerontius in 2011. Memorials also won him his second Sony Radio Academy Award. He has written over twenty original plays for radio, including Double Jeopardy and Strangers on a Film, both with Patrick Stewart as Raymond Chandler.  A skilled adapter, Stephen’s many radio dramatisations include Tom Jones, Vanity Fair, Zweig’s Beware of Pity, The Talented Mr Ripley, four contributions to Radio 4’s Classic Chandler series and most recently his highly acclaimed version of Dante’s The Divine Comedy. In collaboration with his long-time producer, Claire Grove, he has also written So You Want to Write Radio Drama? published by Nick Hern Books.

His television work includes Dr Who, House of Elliot and Casualty and an original screen comedy Claws. Both his Dr Who stories Paradise Towers and The Greatest Show in the Galaxy have been released on DVD. His theatre work has been seen in York, Leicester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds and Coventry and in London venues ranging from the West End’s Apollo Theatre to the Bubble Theatre’s touring tent. In 2015 his comedy Told Look Younger had a successful run at the Jermyn Street Theatre. 

He also has a long-standing connection as dramaturge / dramatist with Brighton-based Krazy Kat Children’s Theatre, known for its ground-breaking work using integrated Sign Language Arts, making its shows accessible both to deaf children and their hearing peers. 

Mark Ravenhill (Patron)

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Mark Ravenhill is one of the most controversial and successful British writers to emerge in the 1990s. Within a decade, he moved from putting on small productions at fringe venues to becoming an Associate at the National Theatre in 2003. Growing up in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, Mark had a “pleasant and untroubled” childhood, and an early interest in theatre. Mark came to fame in 1996 with Shopping and F***ing, directed by Max Stafford-Clark for Out of Joint and the Royal Court.



Fay Weldon (Patron)

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Throughout her long career Fay Weldon’s writing has provoked opposing reactions of popular acclaim and critical controversy. Her work includes over twenty novels, five collections of short stories, several children's books, non-fiction books, magazine articles and a number of plays written for television, radio and the stage, including the pilot episode for the television series Upstairs Downstairs. Fay is currently Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University. She was awarded a CBE in 2001. Fay has previously worked with NWS as a guest speaker and workshop leader during our 2007 Writers teaching Writers conference at the University of Sussex.