Alumni & Supporters

Chrissie Gittins

Freelance poet and writer (BA Arts 1975)

Chrissie Gittins writes poetry, short stories, poetry for children and radio drama. Her poetry collections include Armature (2003) and I’ll Dress One Night as You (2009). Her latest pamphlet collection is Professor Heger’s Daughter (2013).

Chrissie is the author of two short story collections: Family Connections (2007), and Between Here and Knitwear (2015) which has sold out its first print run and recently been reprinted.  Her radio plays for BBC Radio 4 include Poles Apart, Starved for Love, Life Assurance, and Dinner in the Iguanodon, and have starred Patricia Routledge and Bernard Cribbins.

Her first three children’s poetry collections were all choices for the Poetry Book Society’s Children’s Poetry Bookshelf; Now You See Me, Now You … (2002) and I Don’t Want an Avocado for an Uncle (2006) were also shortlisted for the CLPE Poetry Award, and her new and collected children’s poems Stars in Jars (2014) was a Scottish Poetry Library recommendation in 2014. Her most recent collection Adder, Bluebell, Lobster (2016) is based on 40 of the 110 nature words deleted from the Oxford Junior Dictionary; Gittins appeared on BBC Countryfile with this collections in 2017. Chrissie won the Belmont Poetry Prize for a single children’s poem and was a finalist in the first Manchester Children’s Literature Prize in 2014. Her children’s poems have been animated for Cbeebies TV, and she reads a selection on the Poetry Archive.

Chrissie visits schools and libraries; she was resident writer on Shetland in 2010 and 2013. Other residencies have included Maidstone Borough Council, the Refugee Council, twelve Southwark primary schools, Croydon Libraries, Bangkok Patana School and Belmarsh Prison.

Chrissie has received two Arts Council Writers’ Awards, a Hawthornden Fellowship, and awards from the Author’s Foundation and the Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust. In 2016 she won award from the Society of Authors to travel across Northern India. Chrissie has read at festivals around the UK, at the British Council in Bangkok, and at the Cornelia Street Café and Poets House in New York. She is included in the British Council directory of UK and Commonwealth writers.

Chrissie Gittins headshot