George Szirtes was born in Budapest in 1948 and came to England as a refugee with his family, following the Hungarian Uprising of 1956. Trained in Fine Art, his first book, The Slant Door was joint winner of the Faber Prize in 1980. He has published a dozen books of poetry since then that have brought him the Cholmondeley Award and, most recently, the T S Eliot Prize for Reel (2004). His New and Collected Poems were published in 2008 and named one of The Independent’s Books of the Year, and a new book, The Burning of the Books and Other Poems (2009) was also shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1982 and of the English Association in 2004. His thirteen books of translation from Hungarian of novels and poetry have won him various awards. His Bloodaxe Lectures, Fortinbras at the Fishhouses was pubiished in 2010. George Szirtes is Reader in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.