Marjorie Lotfi Events

Marjorie Lotfi Events

Winner of the James Berry Poetry Prize


‘Lotfi’s imagistically rich debut collection moves from her childhood in Iran, where her family were uprooted by the revolution, to her youth in America and her current home in Scotland … Again and again her radiant language turns over the loss of family intimacy and identity caused by political upheaval and violence…’ - Rebecca Tamás, The Guardian


Marjorie Lotfi’s award-winning first full collection The Wrong Person to Ask is a book of two halves, each a meditation on the idea of home, both the places we start and end up in our lives. Spanning a childhood in Iran dislocated by revolution, through years as a young woman in America, to her current home in Scotland, these poems ask what it means to come from somewhere else, what we carry with us when we leave, and how we land in a new place and finally come to rest.

Marjorie Lotfi was one of the three winners of the inaugural James Berry Poetry Prize in 2021, and her first book-length collection, The Wrong Person to Ask (Bloodaxe Books, October 2023) is a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation.  Marjorie gave pre-publication readings at Edinburgh International Book Festival and Wigtown Book Festival, and gave launch readings at Portobello Bookshop in Edinburgh and at Berwick Literary Festial in October 2023.


A full-page interview with Marjorie Lotfi featured in the October 2023 issue of The Skinny.  Available online here.  ‘Books meets author Marjorie Lotfi, whose new poetry collection explores ideas of place, home, migration.’

Four powerful poems from The Wrong Person to Ask were featured online in the autumn 2023 issue of BooksfromScotland to mark the book's publication.


The Wrong Person to Ask was very well reviewed by Rebecca Tamás in The Guardian's best recent poetry round-up. In print in Saturday magazine of 4 November 2023 and online here.


Marjorie Lotfi's poem 'Packing for America' from The Wrong Person to Ask is featured on Poems on the Underground posters in London Underground and Overground trains during March 2024.

See the poster here:






James Berry Poetry Prize Winners' Reading, Thursday 9 November 2023, 7pm, Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts

Marjorie Lotfi joined fellow James Berry Prize winner Kaycee Hill for this special event at Newcastle University on 9 November 2023, hosted by Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley and poet and director of the Newcastle Poetry Festival Theresa Muñoz. Their readings were followed by a Q&A, with Neil, Theresa and the audience asking the questions.

The James Berry Poetry Prize is the UK’s first poetry prize offering both expert mentoring and book publication for young or emerging poets of colour. Organised by NCLA with Bloodaxe Books, and supported by special funding from Arts Council England, the prize was launched in April 2021.  Marjorie and Kaycee were joint winners along with Yvette Siegert, whose debut will be published in 2025. 

Details of the second James Berry Poetry Prize were announced at this event.  Submissions will open in April 2024.





Marjorie Lotfi on Rattlecast #74

Marjorie Lotfi introduces her work and reads from her pamphlet Refuge in this Rattlecast edition livestreamed on 5 January 2021. She was interviewed from her home in Edinburgh by Timothy Green from San Bernadino, California. Her section runs from 3:55 to 1:04:52. 

Marjorie reads some poems which will be published in The Wrong Person to Ask, including 'Gift' (now called 'Mama Bozorg') and 'The gun in its holster'. She speaks about her experiences of having to flee Iran, of growing up in the US and finally moving to Scotland.

[20 July 2023]

Back to Poetry Events






View Larger Text