Chrissie Gittins was born in Lancashire and lives in Forest Hill in South London. She studied at Newcastle University and St Martin’s School of Art, and worked as an artist and a teacher before becoming a freelance poet/writer. She writes poetry, radio drama, short stories, and poetry for children.
Her adult poetry collections are Armature (Arc, 2003) and I'll Dress One Night As You (Salt, 2009). Her most recent pamphlet collection is Professor Heger's Daughter (Paekakriki Press, 2013). She has read her adult poems at venues including the StAnza, Ledbury and Aldeburgh Poetry Festivals, Wordplay Shetland, the Royal Festival Hall and Cornelia Street Café in New York.
Her children’s poetry collections are Now You See Me, Now You... (Rabbit Hole, 2002) I Don’t Want an Avocado for an Uncle(Rabbit Hole, 2006), The Humpback’s Wail (Rabbit Hole, 2010), Stars in Jars (Bloomsbury, 2014) and Adder, Bluebell, Lobster(Otter-Barry Books, 2016). Both her first two children’s collections were shortlisted for the CLPE Award and three are Poetry Book Society Choices for the Children’s Poetry Bookshelf. Her children’s poems have been animated for Cbeebies TV and are widely anthologized. She has read her children’s poems at the Edinburgh, Hay, West Cork, Wigtown and Ilkley festivals, at the StAnza, Ledbury and Wenlock poetry festivals, and at the Poets House in New York.
In 2005 Chrissie was awarded an Arts Council Grant for the Arts to complete her short story collection Family Connections. Her second collection Between Here and Knitwear (Unthank Book, 2015) was shortlisted for the 2016 Saboteur Awards; it was also chosen by Helen Dunmore as one of her top 2 collections of 2015, and has received 15 appreciative reviews including reviews in The Sunday Times and the Times Literary Supplement. Chrissie has read her stories at Manchester Central Library, at Newcastle and Salford Universities, the Poetry Society, Clitheroe Castle, Brixton Book Jam and on BBC Radio Four. Her radio plays, which include Starved for Love, Life Assuranceand Dinner in the Iguanodon, have starred Patricia Routledge, Jan Ravens and Sorcha Cusack.
Chrissie visits schools and libraries giving readings and workshops; she has held residencies at the Refugee Council, Belmarsh Prison, Maidstone Borough Council and at 12 Southwark primary schools. In 2010 and 2013 she was Writer-in-Residence on the Shetland Islands. In 2016 Chrissie received a major Society of Authors’ Authors’ Foundation Award to travel in India for the month of November. She is a Hawthornden International Fellow and is included in the British Council Contemporary Writers database which ‘contains profiles of some of the UK and Commonwealth’s most important living writers’. www.literature.britishcouncil.org/writer/chrissie-gittins