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About Dr Ian Seed

As well as tutoring in Creative Writing, he has lectured in Italian language and literature. He is a poet, critic, fiction writer, editor and translator.

He has read at a number of events and venues, for example: The Anthony Burgess Foundation (Manchester), Dove Cottage (Grasmere), Enoteca Letteraria (Rome), Lancaster Litfest, Liverpool Blue Coat Arts Centre, The Manchester Writing School, Rose Theatre (Edge Hill), Sedbergh Literature Festival, The Storyhouse (Chester), and Swedenborg Hall (London).

Ian has published a number of collections of poetry and prose, including The Underground Cabaret (Shearsman, 2020), New York Hotel (Shearsman, 2018), which was selected by Mark Ford as a TLS Book of the Year, and Identity Papers (Shearsman, 2016), which was showcased on BBC Radio 3’s The Verb. His most recent essay is ‘Writing the Prose Poem: An Insider’s Perspective on an Outsider Artform’, in Prose Poetry in Theory and Practice, eds Anne Caldwell and Oz Hardwick (Routledge, 2022).

His work is featured in a number of anthologies, including The Best British Poetry 2014, ed. Mark Ford (Salt, 2014), The Forward Book of Poetry 2017, eds Liz Berry, Don Share, George Szirtes and Tracey Thorn (Faber & Faber, 2016), The Best Small Fictions 2017, ed. Amy Hempel (Braddock Avenue Books, 2017), and The Valley Press Anthology of Prose Poetry, eds Anne Caldwell and Oz Hardwick (Valley Press, 2019).

He is Assistant Director of the International Flash Fiction Association (IFFA), a member of the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE), and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Ian specialises in poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. 

He currently teaches on the BA Combined Honours Degree in Creative Writing and on the MA in Creative Writing: Writing and Publishing Fiction.


Following on from the critical success of his Shearsman quartet of prose poems and flash fictions – Makers of Empty Dreams (2014), Identity Papers (2016), New York Hotel (2018) (TLS Book of the Year) and The Underground Cabaret (2020), Ian is working on Night Window, a new collection of poetry and prose.

Makers of Empty Dreams was published in Italian as Sognatore di sogni vuoti (Edizioni Ensemble, 2018)

Ian has also published Operations of Water (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2020) a book of poetry based on collage techniques.

He promoted his books with a series of readings in Chester, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, London, and Rome, as well as broadcasts on BBC Radio Merseyside and BBC Radio 3.

After a favourable reception to The Thief of Talant (Wakefield, 2016), the first translation into English of Pierre Reverdy’s 1917 innovative ‘novel in verse’, and long‑listed (top ten in poetry) for the Millions Best Translated Book Award, Ian has translated Le Cornet à dés  (The Dice Cup), a major collection of ground-breaking prose poems by Max Jacob, due for publication in November 2023.

He has recently published two essays about prose poetry: ‘Discovery and Rediscovery: A Personal Reflection on Writing the Prose Poem’, in The Encounter: A Handbook of Poetic Practice, ed. Jon Thompson (Anderson, South Carolina: Parlor Press, 2021); and ‘Writing the Prose Poem: An Insider’s Perspective on an Outsider Artform’, in Prose Poetry in Theory and Practice, eds Anne Caldwell and Oz Hardwick (New York: Routledge, 2022).

Published Work

Full-length collections

  • The Underground Cabaret (Shearsman, 2020)
  • Operations of Water (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2020)
  • New York Hotel (Shearsman, 2018)
  • The Thief of Talant (a translation from the French of Pierre Reverdy) (Wakefield Press, 2016)
  • Identity Papers (Shearsman, 2016)
  • Makers of Empty Dreams (prose poetry) (Shearsman, 2014)
  • Shifting Registers (poetry) (Shearsman, 2011)
  • Anonymous Intruder (poetry) (Shearsman, 2009)



  • I Remember (Red Ceilings Press, 2021)
  • Distances (Red Ceilings Press, 2018)
  • Italian Lessons (LikeThisPress, 2017)
  • Fidelities (Red Ceilings Press, 2015)
  • Sleeping with the Ice Cream Vendor (poetry) (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2012)
  • Threadbare Fables (prose poetry and flash fiction) (Like This Press, 2012)
  • Amore mio (fiction) (Flax ebooks, 2010)
  • The straw which comes apart (translation from the Italian of Ivano Fermini) (Oystercatcher Press, 2010)
  • No-One Else at Home (translation from the Polish of Joanna Skalska) (Flax, 2007)
I Remember book cover

 Publications in Anthologies

  • ‘The House that Jack Built’ in The Valley Press Anthology of Prose Poetry, eds Anne Caldwell and Oz Hardwick, Valley Press 2019.
  • 'Nonsense and Wonder: An Exploration of the Prose Poems of Jeremy Over’ in British Prose Poetry: The Poems Without Lines, ed. Jane Monson, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
  • ‘Filer à l’anglaise’ in The Best Small Fictions 2017 (ed. Amy Hempel, Braddock Avenue Books, 2017.
  • ‘B&B’ in Funny Bone: Flashing for Comic Relief  (eds Peter Blair and Ashley Chantler, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Press, 2017).
  • ‘Smoke’ in Black Noise (eds Abigail Brookes and Ayesha Kinley, LikeThisPress, 2017).
  • ‘Russian Bar in Turin’ [prose poem] in The Forward Book of Poetry 2017, eds Liz Berry, Don Share, George Szirtes and Tracey Thorn (Faber & Faber, 2016).
  • ‘Recall’ [prose poem], in Poets in Solidarity with Refugees (Five Leaves Press, 2015).
  • ‘Prize-Giving’ [poem sequence], in The Best British Poetry 2014, eds Mark Ford and Roddy Lumsden (Salt, 2014).
  • ‘Faith’ [poem], in Tower of Babel, ed. Rupert M. Loydell (Like This Press, 2013).
  • From ‘The Straw which Comes Apart’ [translation of Italian poetry by Ivano Fermini], in Sea Pie: An Anthology of Oystercatcher Poetry, ed. Peter Hughes (Shearsman, 2012).
  • ‘Senza Risposta’ [poem], in Entanglements: New Ecopoetry, ed. David Knowles and Sharon Blackie (Two Ravens Press, 2012).
  • ‘All Kinds of Dust’, ‘Broken Window’ and ‘Recount’ [poems], in This Line is Not for Turning: An Anthology of British Prose Poetry, ed. Jane Monson (Cinnamon Press, 2011).

As Editor

  • Patches of Light: Short Stories from the Cheshire Prize for Literature 2015 (University of Chester Press, 2016).
  • Crossings Over: Poetry from the Cheshire Prize for Literature 2016 (University of Chester Press, 2017).

Flash Fiction: Stories and Reviews

  • ‘Daybreak’, Burning House (online) (May 2019).
  • ‘August’, Good Behaviour’, ‘Kiss’, and ‘Mind’, The Café Irreal, 70 (May 2019)
  • ‘When I was Eight’, A-level English Literature, English Review, Vol. 29, 3 (February 2019).
  • From ‘The Order of Things’, Tears in the Fence, 68 (Autumn 2018).
  • ‘Rome’, ‘View’ and ‘Passing’, The Café Irreal, 66 (Spring 2018).
  • ‘Country Holiday’, ‘Investment’, ‘Interruption’, ‘Verboten’, Flash: The International
  • Short‑Short Story Magazine, 10, 1 (October 2017)
  • Generation Gap’, ‘Free Will’ and ‘Loved’, The Café Irreal, 63 (online) (Summer, 2017).
  • ‘Nine Small Fictions’, The Fortnightly Review (online) (June, 2017).
  • ‘Reckoning’ ‘Festival’, ‘Capitalists’ and ‘Hollywood’, The Café Irreal, 59 (Summer 2016); online.
  • ‘New York Hotel’, ‘Existentialist’, ‘Interview’, ‘The New Therapy’, ‘History’ and ‘Early Promise’, The Fortnightly Review (June 2016); online.
  • ‘Boss’, ‘New Teacher’, ‘History’ and ‘The Poet’, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, 9.1 (Apr. 2016).
  • Review of Marcela Sulak and Jacqueline Kolosov (eds), Family Resemblance: An Anthology and Exploration of 8 Hybrid Genres (Rose Metal Press, 2015), Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, 9.1 (Apr. 2016).
  • ‘City’, ‘Sale’, ‘Chances’ and ‘The Test’, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, 8.2 (Oct. 2015).
  • ‘Nine Very Short Stories’, The Fortnightly Review (May 2015); online.
  • Review of Alan Zeigler (ed.), Short: An International Anthology of Five Centuries of Short-Short Stories, Prose Poems, Brief Essays, and Other Short Prose Forms (Norton, 2014), Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, 7.2 (Oct. 2014).
  • ‘Winter’, ‘A Life’ and ‘Investment’, The Café Irreal, 47 (Autumn 2013); online.
  • ‘Insect’ and ‘The Only Ones Awake’, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, 6.2 (Oct. 2013).
  • ‘Documentary’, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, 6.1 (Apr. 2013).
  • Review of Etgar Keret, Suddenly, a Knock on the Door (Chatto & Windus, 2012), Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, 5.2 (Oct. 2012).
  • Review of Vanessa Gebbie, Storm Warning: Echoes of Conflict (Salt, 2010), Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, 4.2 (Oct. 2011).
  • ‘Therapeutic Massage’, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, 4.1 (Apr. 2011).


  • ‘Together’, In My Absence’, ‘Promotion’ and ‘Book-keeping’ in Granta magazine (online, September 2020).
  • ‘From The Slippery Mouth’ (a collaborative poem with Jeremy Over), Molly Bloom, 19 (online) (Spring 2019)
  • ‘From Distances’,  Long Poem Magazine, 19 (Spring 2018).
  • ‘Ziggurat’, Shearsman, 115&116 (Spring 2018).
  • ‘Six Prose Poems’, Tears in the Fence, 65 (Spring 2017)
  • ‘Late’, ‘Country’, ‘Debt’, ‘Cottage’ and ‘Rogues’, Shearsman Magazine, 109&110 (October 2016).
  • ‘Beach’, ‘Church Steps’, ‘Certain Nakednesses’, ‘Varieties’, Molly Bloom, 11 (online) (September 2016).
  • ‘American in Rome’ and ‘Apparatus’, Decals of Desire, 1 (online) (September 2016);
  • ‘Vacation’, Stride (Aug. 2016); online.
  • ‘Differences’, Russian Bar in Turin’, ‘Mean-Spirited’, ‘Filer à l'anglaise’, ‘As of Old’, ‘Journey South’. Poetry Salzburg Review, 29 (Spring 2016).
  • ‘Place to Rent and Other Poems’. PN Review, 226 (November-December 2015).
  • ‘From Identity Papers’. Shearsman 105&106 (October 2015). 
  • ‘Absences’. Long Poem Magazine, 13 (May 2015).
  • ‘Tram in Milan’, ‘Incident’, ‘In the Pavilion’, ‘Changes’. Tears in the Fence, 61 (February 2015).
  • ‘Phantom Limbs’, ‘Greetings’, ‘Fidelities’. Poetry Salzburg Review, 25 (Spring 2014).
  • ‘Prize Giving and Other Poems’. PN Review, 214 (November 2013).
  • ‘Estate’, Recruit’ and ‘Fair’. Tears in the Fence, 58 (November 2013).
  • ‘Sale’. The Harlequin, 3 (online) (October 2013).
  • ‘The Excuse’. Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, 10 (October 2013).
  • ‘Bad Faith’. Free Verse, 23 (online) (October 2013.


  • Writing the Prose Poem: An Insider’s Perspective on an Outsider Artform’. Prose Poetry in Theory and Practice, eds Anne Caldwell and Oz Hardwick (Routledge, 2022)
  • ‘On Being Translated’. PN Review, 245 (January-February 2019).
  • ‘Discovery and Rediscovery: A Personal Reflection on Writing the Prose Poem’. The Fortnightly Review (online) (November 2018).
  • ‘Nonsense and Wonder: An Exploration of the Prose Poetry of Jeremy Over’. Without Lines: Essays on the Prose Poem in the UK (ed. Jane Monson) (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2018).
  • ‘The Commitment to Truth in the Early Resistance Short Fiction of Beppe Fenoglio. Italica 94.2 (2017).
  • ‘The Moral Realism of Beppe Fenoglio’s Appunti partigiani’Italica 92:3 (2015).


  • ‘Poem in a Taste which is not Mine’, ‘Poem Lacking Unity’, ‘Poem’, and ‘The Pleasures of the Poor’ (from the French of Max Jacob), The Fortnightly Review (online) (April 2019).
  • ‘Frontispiece’, ‘Hellish Night’, ‘Translated from the German or the Bosnian’, ‘Romance’, ‘How Confession Works’, ‘Movie’, and ‘A Little Theosophy, Unforeseen but not Unforeseeable’, (from the French of Max Jacob) The Fortnightly Review (online) (January 2019).
  • From Bitter Grass’ (translations from the Italian of Gëzim Hajdari), Poetry Salzburg Review, 32 (Spring 2018).
  • Small Poem’, ‘Titleless’,An Israelite Literary Man’, ‘Travels’, Mystery of the Sky’, ‘Contagion, or Imitation’, and ‘True Ruin’ (from the French of Max Jacob),  The Fortnightly Review  (online)  (April 2018).
  • ‘To the Memory of Dostoievski’, ‘Another Paperback Novel’, ‘Labor Improbus’, Dawn or Dusk’, and ‘True Poem’ (from the French of Max Jacob). Decals of Desire, 3 (Summer 2017).
  •  ‘From Bitter Grass’ (translations from the Italian of Gëzim Hajdari). The Fortnightly Review (online) (October 2016).
  • ‘In a Foreign Country’, ‘Figures’, ‘Fish’, ‘A Poet’, and ‘He Alone’ (translations from the French of Jules Supervielle). The Fortnightly Review (online) (October 2014).
  • ‘From Banished White’ (translation from the Italian of Ivano Fermini). Shearsman, 99-100 (Spring 2014).
  • From ‘the straw which comes apart’ (translation from the Italian of Ivano Fermini). Poetry Wales 49, 2 (September 2013).

Poetry Reviews

  • Menno Wigman, The World by Evening, trans. Judith Wilkinson (Shearsman, 2020), PN Review, 256 (November, December 2020)
  • Judita Vaičiūnaitė, Vagabond Sun (Selected Poems), trans. Rimas Uzgiris (Shearsman, 2020), PN Review, 256 (November, December 2020)
  • Mario Martín Gijón, Sur(rendering), trans. Terence Dooley (Shearsman, 2020), PN Review, 256 (November, December 2020)
  • Mária Ferenčuhová, Tidal Events: Selected Poems, trans. James Sutherland-Smith (Shearsman, 2018), PN Review 244 (November-December, 2018).
  • Luljeta Lleshanaku, Negative Space, trans. Ani Gjika (Bloodaxe, 2018), PN Review 244 (November-December, 2018).
  • Jordi Doce, Nothing is Lost: Selected Poems, trans. Lawrence Schimel (Shearsman, 2017), PN Review 240 (March-April 2018).
  • Ron Winkler, Fragmented Waters, trans. Jake Schneider (Shearsman, 2017), PN Review 240 (March-April 2018).
  • Kenneth Patchen, The Journal of Albion Moonlight (New Directions, 2016), PN Review, 237 (September October, 2017)
  • James Tate, Dome of the Hidden Pavilion (Harper Collins, 2016). PN Review, 234 (March-April, 2017)
  • Em Strang, Bird-Woman (Shearsman, 2016). PN Review, 234 (March-April, 2017)
  • Will Eaves, The Inevitable Gift Shop: A Memoir by Other Means (CB Editions, 2016). PN Review, 231 (September-October 2016).
  • Carole Coates, Jacob (Shoestring Press, 2016). PN Review, 230 (July-August, 2016).
  • Martin Stannard, Poems for the Young at Heart by Martin Stannard (Leafe Press, 2016). PN Review, 230 (July-August, 2016).
  • Andrew Crozier (ed. Ian Brinton), ‘Free Verse’ as Formal Restraint: An Alternative to Metrical Conventions in Twentieth Century Poetic Structure. PN Review, 228 (March-April, 2016).
  • Harriet Tarlot,  Poems 2004-2014. PN Review, 228 (March-April ,2016)
  • Nikolai Duffy, Relative Strangeness: Reading Rosmarie Waldrop. PN Review, 215 (January-February, 2014).


  • Prose Poetry Symposium, Leeds Beckett University, with Cassandra Atherton, Paul Hetherington, and Jane Monson (13 July 2019).
  • The Herbarium, Lancaster Litfest, with Catherine Smith (16 March 2019).
  • Enoteca Letteraria, Rome, with Iris Hajdari and Thanas Jorgji (December 19, 2018).
  • Chester Literature Festival at the Storyhouse, with William Stephenson (27 November 2018).
  • Swedenborg Hall, London. Shearsman Book Launch Series, with Lila Matsumoto (13 February 2018).
  • Abbot’s Hall Hotel, Grange Over Sands, for the 2017 Residential Poetry Carousel, with Polly Atkin (9 December 2017).
  • Manchester Writing School, in association with Manchester Metropolitan Writing School, with Nicholai Duffy (30 March 2017).
  • Lancaster Library. April Poets Series, with Barbara Hickson and Andrew McMillan (11 September 2016).
  • Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal. Brewery Poetry Readings, with Jennifer Copley and Pauline Yarwood (4 November 2016).
  • The Room, London. The Room Reading Series, with Helen Mitsios, Christopher Reid and Kit Wright (2 July 2016).
  • BBC Radio 3, The Verb (17 March 2016).
  • Swedenborg Hall, London. Shearsman Book Launch Series, with Gezïm Hajdari (9 February 2016).
  • Rose Theatre, Edge Hill University. Edge Hill Poets Series (11 March 2015).
  • Edward Storey House, Lancaster. Lancaster Litfest, on theme of ‘The River and the City’, with Mike Barlow, Elizabeth Burns, Carole Coates, Sarah Hymas and Jane Routh (13 June 2014).
  • The Lancaster Society of Friends, with Elizabeth Burns and Carys Davies (September 2013).
  • UEA, Lancaster (September 2013).

Excerpts from some reviews of Ian’s work

  • ‘I greatly enjoyed the latest collection of Ian Seed’s beautifully-crafted prose poems, New York Hotel. Seed’s micro-narratives and oblique parables are at once droll and haunting, as unpredictable as quicksand, and as elegant as the work of those masters of the prose poem, Max Jacob and Pierre Reverdy.’ Mark Ford, Times Literary Supplement.
  • ‘Ian Seed’s translation of Pierre Reverdy’s prose poem [The Thief of Talant] captures the spellbinding effect of this inner-landscape narrative’. Ramona Fotiade, Times Literary Supplement.
  • ‘The delight of Ian Seed’s brilliantly droll poems is that they are not entirely droll. They look and sound normal, like brief prose anecdotes told in a bar but the apparent normality is edged with disorientation, menace and anxiety. We slip over the edge in an instant and look to recover our balance but can’t quite. The world has gone, leaving behind a comical void. And that, we understand, is the nature of the world. The voice is controlled, in fact it’s perfect. It’s just that nothing else is.’ – George Szirtes, back cover of New York Hotel.
  • Reverdy was a master of playing with space and language, simultaneously using one to alter the other a quality that has garnered him a reputation for being notoriously difficult to translate. That capability is on full display throughout The Thief of Talant in Ian Seed’s taut and lonely translation.’ – Jarrod Annis, for Judging Panel Best Translated Book Award 2017 (poetry).
  • ‘His work should really come with some kind of health warning, for these poems are not only intoxicating  – they are addictive’  – Mark Ford (from back cover of Identity Papers)
  • 'We are in a dreamlike world in these poems which is always peopled and full of activity, yet strangely and rather beautifully empty' - Jeremy Over, PN Review.
  • 'Beauty, in Seed's debut, never loses its power, and is everywhere pressing, active'  - Virginia Konchan, Jacket Magazine.
  • 'The mystery and sadness of empty rooms, chance encounters in the street, trains traveling through a landscape of snow become magical in Ian Seed's poems' - John Ashbery (back cover of Shifting Registers).
  • 'The voices and landscapes in Anonymous Intruder are both elusive and yet hauntingly present' - Paul Wright, Writing in Education.
  • ‘There is a warm confidentiality and nakedness to Seed’s prose that will sate the appetite of most flash enthusiasts. At his best, he is among the better short-short authors writing today’ - Emily-Jo Hopson, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magagazine.
  • 'These poems and prose poems are full of atmosphere, fractured stories and suggestive directions' - Steven Waling, The North.
  • 'Journeys haunt this collection of poems [...] Ian Seed allows the reader a glimpse of what is already gone, a return to what is no longer there, a teasing echo' - Ian Brinton, Tears in the Fence.
  • 'There is something in Ian Seed's poems of the atmosphere of [De Chirico's] vast, empty plazas, something of their dream-like stillness & otherness, their brooding, uninterrogated menace. But there's a real enthusiasm and delight in here as well, an unforced pleasure in pushing at the language to open up new spaces and cast new light on the kaleidoscopic fragments of our experience' - C.J. Allen, Leafe Press.
  • ‘These are superb pieces that give us a glimpse into some kind of translated backlit European hinterland full of the music of menace and desire. I read them in my conservatory in Barnsley and I was instantly transported to a city that I half-knew, full of people I wanted to meet or avoid. Prose poetry at its very best.’ —Ian McMillan (back cover of Makers of Empty Dreams)


BA Hons, MA, PhD, FHEA.