Maggie Sawkins grew up in Leigh Park, a large housing estate north of Portsmouth, where she began writing poetry as a child. After returning to education at the age of thirty-five, she gained an MA with distinction in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester. She has facilitated creative writing projects in community and health care settings, including with prisoners, those affected by psychoactive substances and the refugee and asylum seeker community in Portsmouth. Her previous collections include Charcot’s Pet (Flarestack), The Zig Zag Woman (Two Ravens), Many Skies Have Fallen (Wild Mouse) and Zones of Avoidance (Cinnamon). Her live literature production Zones of Avoidance, described as ‘beautifully written and uncompromising’ by the judges, won the 2013 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry.