William Bedford

'One of the finest poets and writers of our generation.’ Karen Maitland, Company of Liars and The Owl Killers

The Bread Horse

The Fen Dancing


WILLIAM BEDFORD left school at fifteen to work on the east coast fishdocks, fairgrounds and farms before moving with his family to an American nuclear rocket base in a remote area of north Lincolnshire. He trained briefly as a journalist but then joined the police as a cadet. At nineteen, he left Lincolnshire, and spent ten years working as a Lloyds Broker in the City of London, becoming administrative director of one of the largest brokers in East Anglia before turning to academic life.

He took First Class Honours in English Literature and a Ph.D at the University of Sheffield, and taught part-time for the University of Sheffield, Middlesex Polytechnic, The Open University, London University Extra Mural Dept and the University of Hull Extra Mural Dept during 1977-1985. He joined the Editorial Board of Poetry Salzburg Review in 2007. He was Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Oxford Brookes University 2008 - 2011. He became a full-time novelist and children’s writer in 1984.

He received an Arts Council Major Bursary for Poetry in 1978, Society of Authors Award in 1993, Yorkshire and Humberside Arts Award in 1993, Yorkshire Arts Award in 2000 for the publication of The Redlit Boys and a Royal Literary Fund Award in 2007. His first novel, Happiland, was runner-up for the 1990 Guardian Fiction Prize. Several of his short stories were broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Morning Story. “Orchards” appeared in the anthology God gives nuts to those who have no teeth (Heinemann, l990) and “Graceland” appeared in the anthology The Daily Telegraph Book of Contemporary Short Stories (Headline, 1995). In 1979 BBC Radio Sheffield broadcast his six-part musical drama The Man Who Invented Words, and in 2003 BBC Radio 4 broadcast his drama The Piano Player. His Collecting Bottle Tops: Selected Poetry 1960-2008 was published in 2009. His selected short stories and non-fiction – None of the Cadillacs Was Pink – was also published in 2009.

NEW: The Bread Horse

William Bedford's new collection of poems, recreating his mother's 1920s childhood in the east end slums of Sheffield.

NEW:  The Fen Dancing

William Bedford's new collection begins with poems about his father's 1920s childhood in a remote farming community in Lincolnshire, and ends with the Manhattan skyline and the literary world of Greenwich Village.

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Shortlisted for the 2014 London Magazine International Short Story Competition
Winner of the 2014 Roundel Poetry Prize
Winner of the 2014 London Magazine Poetry Prize


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William Bedford
William Bedford
William Bedford
William Bedford