Paul Munden

Paul Munden is a poet, editor and screenwriter living in North Yorkshire. A Gregory Award winner, he has published five poetry collections, including Analogue/Digital: New & Selected Poems (Smith|Doorstop, 2015), The Bulmer Murder (RWP, 2017) and Chromatic (UWA Publishing, 2017), and six prose poetry chapbooks. He is editor (or coeditor) of various anthologies, including Metamorphic: 21st century poets respond to Ovid (RWP, 2017) and Divining Dante (RWP, 2021), and is the current poetry editor of Westerly Magazine. For the British Council he has covered a number of scientific and humanitarian themes, as conference poet, and edited the anthology, Feeling the Pressure: Poetry and science of climate change (British Council, 2008). He was director of the UK’s National Association of Writers in Education, 1994-2018, and is now a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Leeds. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Canberra, Australia, where he established the ‘Poetry on the Move’ festival. Having worked throughout the 1990s as reader for Stanley Kubrick, he has recently returned to the world of film as writer and co-developer of adapted and original screenplays.

Author's books

Unclassified: Nigel Kennedy in Chapters & Verse

As my book became increasingly eccentric, I thought ‘yes, that’s as it should be’. How else to do justice to a maverick musician, described by his one-time girlfriend Brix Smith as ‘a cross between Mozart and Keith Moon’?
—Paul Munden
For all its eccentricity, this book – the first ever study of Nigel Kennedy’s exceptional talent – delves into complex questions: about the relationship between so-called genius and unconventional behaviour; the true purpose of education; the freedom of the interpreter; connections between music and poetry, music and sport; and the role of the artist as advocate of political and humanitarian causes.
This is a book that revels in the non-conformative nature of its subject, and the principle of living life with truly individual purpose. It speaks to fans and detractors alike; to musicians, both professional and amateur; also to the general, curious reader not only about music but a wealth of associated cultural issues.



Whether in the Venetian footsteps of Vivaldi, at the birth of the Owen and Sassoon violins or the score of a Sam Peckinpah film, these poems present a wealth of musical scenarios, all interconnected in their themes, tonality and form. Their reverberations reach across time and space, from England and Italy to the Australian outback, with the visual arts also in the mix. And yet the core of this book is deeply personal, the poet present as a ten-year-old boy, lover, grandfather – or anachronistic witness – at the various trials of life through which creativity and even humour somehow flourishes.

Five Ages


Hesiod’s Five Ages famously proides a vision of the decline of human society that has resonated for many centuries. In this anthology, five poets take Hesiod’s versions of the golden, silver, bronze, heroic and iron ages as their starting points to craft five individual ‘chapbooks’ of prose poetry – not only exploring notions from Hesiodbut also venturing into many new concepts that reconceptualise these ages.These twenty-first century poems challenge many of the archaic Greek poet’s assumptions and ideas, writing back to the ancient world with bravura while employing quintessentially contemporary inflections and preoccupations.

No News: 90 Poets Reflect on a Unique BBC Newscast


90 poets from across the world reflect on a this marker of a time before the 24-hour news cycle, before the ubiquity of news and information that seems to haunt us through our daily lives. Through this anthology there are poems that capture that moment of nothing but piano music making up an evening news bulletin, poems that contrast this with today’s news, and personal stories grounded in the intervening years.

Giant Steps: Fifty poets reflect on the Apollo 11 moon landing and beyond


On 21 July, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to step foot on the moon, uttering those famous words: ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.’ To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, 50 poets from around the world were asked to reflect upon the achievement of Apollo 11 and our constantly evolving notions of ‘space’.

The Bulmer Murder


The title poem of this collection chronicles the eighteenth-century trial of Captain John Bolton for the murder of his apprentice girl, Elizabeth Rainbow, in a small village in the north of England where Paul Munden has spent most of his life. The poem’s reflection on the life writing process is complemented by other shadowings, glimpses of strange complicities and dark pastoral musings