Esther Morgan was born in Kidderminster, Worcestershire. She first started writing poetry while working as a volunteer at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, Cumbria. After completing an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in 1997, she taught on UEA’s undergraduate creative writing course and for the Department of Continuing Education. During her time at UEA Morgan edited four editions of the poetry anthology Reactions.
As well as freelance teaching and editing she helped set up The Poetry Archive, the world’s largest online collection of poets reading their own work, working as the site’s Historic Recordings Manager for several years: www.poetryarchive.org.
She received an Eric Gregory Award in 1998, and her first collection, Beyond Calling Distance, was published by Bloodaxe in 2001. It won the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and was short-listed for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Her second collection, The Silence Living in Houses (Bloodaxe Books, 2005), was largely inspired by her time caretaking a run-down Edwardian house in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. In 2010 she won the Bridport Poetry Prize for her poem ‘This Morning’, included in her third collection Grace (Bloodaxe Books, 2011), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, which was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Her fourth collection, The Wound Register, was published by Bloodaxe in 2018 and was shortlisted for poetry category of the East Anglian Book Awards 2018. It was runner-up for the 2019 New Angle Prize for Literature.
After four years in Oxfordshire she moved back to Norfolk where she lives with her husband and daughter and currently works for Norfolk Museums Service.
Author photo: Hayley Madden for the Poetry Society
Books by Esther Morgan