Richard Price

Richard Price (b. 1966)
Photograph of Richard Price
Richard Price

Biography

Summary

Richard Price is increasingly recognized as one of the more important voices of his generation, a poet who moves comfortably between the lyrical and the avant-garde. His collection Lucky Day was shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Prize, and he was an influential figure in a literary movement which he named: Informationist poetry. In addition to his award-winning poetry, he has collaborated with sculptors, digital artists, and musicians.

Full Biography

Richard Price is increasingly recognized as one of the more important voices of his generation, a poet who moves comfortably between the lyrical and the avant-garde. His collection Lucky Day was shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Prize, and he was an influential figure in a literary movement which he named: Informationist poetry. In addition to his award-winning poetry, he has collaborated with sculptors, digital artists, and musicians.

Born in 1966, he grew up in Renfrewshire, and began writing poetry at the age of 14. After leaving school, he trained as a journalist at Napier College Edinburgh, before taking a degree in English and Librarianship at the University of Strathclyde. The year he graduated, Price not only got a first and came top of his year in each subject, he won the joint Glasgow universities creative writing prize.

Along with writers including Robert Crawford and W. N. Herbert, Price was the youngest member of a group associated with Informationist poetry, with Price coining the phrase. Informationists were interested in technology, jargon, and how the 'information society' worked, with their take in turn humorous, political, and disarmingly affectionate. In the 1990s Price co-edited the poetry magazines Gairfish, Verse, and Southfields. At this time he also ran the poetry publisher Vennel Press, publishing books by himself and his Informationist peers.

From 2003 to 2010 he was Head of Modern British Collections at the British Library in London, curating exhibitions which included Migrant and the Possibility of Poetry (centred on the magazine of the poet Gael Turnbull and artist’s books), and The Page is Printed, about Ted Hughes’s small press publications. During this period, his profile as a poet continued to grow: since 2005, alongside his work with small and artist’s presses, the major independent publisher Carcanet have published his poetry. He has published many books of poetry, his longer collections including Greenfields (Carcanet, 2007), shortlisted for the Sundial Scottish Arts Council Poetry Prize, and Lucky Day (Carcanet, 2004), shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Prize.

In 2012 his poem 'Hedge Sparrows' was chosen to represent the UK in the Olympics project The Written World. Later that year he published the collection Small World, also from Carcanet, which the poet Caroline Clark has hailed as an example of 'the new personal'.

Price has written a short story collection, A Boy in Summer (11:9 / Neil Wilson, 2002), a novel, The Island (Two Ravens, 2010), and is a vocalist and the principal lyricist for the musical project Mirabeau. His poetry been translated into French, Finnish, German, Hungarian and Portuguese.

He was European Poet in Residence at the University of Coimbra in 2013. He is Head of Content and Research Strategy at the British Library.

This poem, representing Great Britain, is part of The Written World – our collaboration with BBC radio to broadcast a poem from every single nation competing in London 2012.

'Great Crested Grebe' first appeared in Richard Price's collection Lucky Day (Carcanet Press).

'In Your Generous Hours' first appeared in Richard Price's collection Lucky Day (Carcanet Press).

Richard Price speaks to Sarah Stewart about the Informationist movement, which he was a key member of.