Patricia Debney

Picture of Author Patricia Debney
Photo by Nancy Wilson Fulton

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About the author

Patricia Debney was born in Texas and moved to the UK in 1988, soon after graduating from Oberlin College. Her first collection of prose poems, How to Be a Dragonfly (Smith Doorstop Books, 2005), was the overall winner of the 2004 Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition. She has also published a novel, Losing You (bluechrome, 2007). Her second collection of prose poems, Littoral, was written while on a residency in a beach hut, becoming a response to her young son’s diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes.

Her poems and short stories have appeared in anthologies and journals as well as online. Some of her poems have been set for solo voice and she has also translated and adapted texts to create libretti for chamber opera and small ensembles. She is a founding member of the publishing collective WordAid, and in 2007/08 she was the first Canterbury Laureate. Since then she has delivered readings and led numerous interdisciplinary writing projects, mainly in collaboration with city and local councils, universities, the Canterbury Festival and the Sounds New Contemporary Music Festival. She has taught creative writing for over 20 years across all levels and stages: for Arvon, adult education, in prisons and in schools. She is currently Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Kent, where she particularly relishes teaching prose poetry and translation. She lives in Canterbury with her composer partner and their two teenage children.

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