Trustees

Jesper Groenvold (Chair) is a Danish business executive with a background in insurance, finance and consulting and leadership positions in, amongst other places, Germany, the US and London. He now concentrates on trustee roles in arts organisations and non-exec roles in start ups. Apart from music and literature, his main subject in the arts is photography. Jesper is also an avid traveller with a special interest in South and Central America.

Kathryn Gray (Deputy Chair) has previously been editor of New Welsh Review, publishing editor of Welsh indie press Parthian, a trustee of Ty Newydd, and a researcher for the Leverhulme-funded Devolved Voices project, investigating Welsh poetry in English since 1997. She has tutored for both the Arvon Foundation and the Poetry School. Kathryn received an Eric Gregory Award in 2001, and her debut collection, The Never-Never (Seren), was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the T.S. Eliot Prize. Her latest publication is a pamphlet, Flowers (Rack Press).

Lizzie Crump currently runs the Cultural Learning Alliance, acts as the Strategic Lead for the What Next? movement, and is a trustee of the English and Media Centre. She has a Master’s degree in Teaching and Practice of Creative Writing from Cardiff University.

Sarah Ellis is Director of Digital Development for the Royal Shakespeare Company. As a producer, she has worked with the Old Vic Tunnels, Battersea Arts Centre, Birmingham REP, Contact, Freeword, Improbable, Southbank Centre, Soho Theatre and Shunt. She was previously Head of Creative Programmes at the Albany Theatre and Programme Manager for Apples & Snakes.

Mairi Johnson is an architect specialising in design for education facilities. She has extensive experience on both the client and supply side of well-designed projects, having worked for central government as Head of Design at the Department for Education and most recently for international built environment consultancy, AECOM as global lead for their work in the education sector. She is a lifelong lover of poetry. 

Neil Reeder is a researcher on public services, assessing ways that local authorities, social enterprises and others can tackle issues such as youth unemployment and homelessness. A Fellow of the Young Foundation and trustee at Westminster Citizens Advice Bureau, he has an extensive background in business planning and public policy, working in a range of organisations from London Transport to HM Treasury. Neil’s poetry has been published in several magazines.

Andrew Smardon is an audit manager with a firm of accountants in Oxfordshire, specialising in the charity and not-for-profit sector. He has spent over ten years assisting charities to understand and fulfil their statutory obligations. Before qualifying as a chartered accountant, he studied English and Medieval Studies at the Universities of Oxford and York. He attends poetry workshops in Oxford and London and his poems have been published in a number of magazines.

Sarah Thomson holds an English Literature degree and a Masters in Teaching and Practice of Creative Writing, where she focused particularly on modernist poetry and wrote a portfolio of poems for review. Since then, she has worked for publications including Time Out and The Times and The Sunday Times, where she specialises in finding new audiences of people to engage with publications and, in particular, overcome the challenges of getting quality content to as wide an audience as possible in a digital age.

Isabel White has two published collections and has won several poetry prizes. She has performed her work at a variety of UK festivals, in France and the Netherlands. Isabel has curated multi-disciplinary events with a variety of partners and when not working on her poetry runs her own fundraising consultancy.

Emma Wright founded the Emma Press in 2012. As a woman of colour, increasing the diversity and accessibility of the UK poetry scene has been essential to her goals as a publisher. In a culture which is still dominated by privileged groups, she has developed from a newcomer with an interest in promoting fresh voices into the face of a recognisable, award-winning brand (Michael Marks 2016). Since working in e-book production for Orion Publishing Group, she has diversified her skillset into all aspects of the business. As such, today she is one of the few poetry publishers in the UK to be independently financially viable.