BA First class honours, English, Sussex, 1998; MA, C20th Eng Lit, Sussex, 1999; PGCertHE, Middlesex, 2007; Cert Leadership, Enterprise & Citizenship, Middlesex, 2007; DPhil Creative and Critical Writing, Sussex, 2009. FRSA, 2008. Royal Literary Fund Fellow, Royal Holloway, 2008-10.

Dr Sarah Wardle joined Middlesex University in 2003. She was previously a tutor for Sussex and Kent universities. She read Literae Humaniores at Lincoln College, Oxford, and chaired the Conservative Association in Trinity, 1989. In 1999 she won the Poetry Society's Geoffrey Dearmer Prize.

She is a British Council Writer, former Poetry Society/Poetry Review New Poet of the Year, has been shortlisted for a Forward prize, been poet-in-residence for Bedgebury National Pinetum, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, the British Council Berlin, and Transport for London at Embankment Station, has led writing workshops for NBFA Assisting the Elderly and the Royal Hospital Chelsea, has been Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Royal Holloway, and is lecturer in poetry at both Middlesex University and Morley College.

Sarah has written four books of poetry, all published by prestigious international poetry publisher Bloodaxe Books:Fields Away (2003); Score! (2005); A Knowable World (2009); and Beyond (2014).

She has read at leading literary festivals and broadcast her work on national and international radio and television. She has a chapter on ‘Lyric voice: ‘the music of being human’’ in Poetry and Voice, ed. Stephanie Norgate (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012), has given papers at conferences and had poems, papers, articles and book reviews published in anthologies, journals, magazines and newspapers, including Poetry Review and The Spectator, The Times Literary Supplement and The Times Higher Education Supplement, The Evening Standard, The Guardian, The Independent and The Observer. Her work has been widely reviewed since 1999, including in Poetry Review, The Times Literary Supplement, The Sunday Telegraph, The Guardian and The Sunday Times.

She has recently written and submitted to publishers and producers a long prose poem sequence, children's verse, short fiction and verse drama, and for a decade and a half has written and published book reviews and journalism. Information about Beyond (Bloodaxe Books, 2014) can be found via the following link, where her filmpoem -- starring Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville -- can also be viewed, A Poetry Political Broadcast (2010), produced and directed by Benjamin Johns and which genders poetry as female and depicts it as a feminine rationality in decision-making processes, like that which Athene represents at the close of The Oresteia:

A recent interview Sarah did for BBC Radio 4's Today programme can be found at:

Poetry writing; poetics and literary criticism; poetry of the Romantic and contemporary periods; the psychology of creative writing; memory writing workshops with the elderly and old age health; poetry writing and adult and child cognitive and affective health; poetry writing and teaching in writing residencies; writing workshops and social enterprise; student-led writing-workshop work placements, student employability and curriculum development; coursework, examinations and work placements and options for university assessment; children's picture book verse; filmpoems; verse drama; book reviewing; memoir; short fiction; screenwriting; work-based writing; discourse and professional register; rhetoric; the history of women’s writing and the history of women’s education; feminisms and femininities; female discourse, female writing and male canonical forms; poetry and the female gaze; female characters in classical and contemporary verse drama; feminine rhetoric, political activism and female participation.

Please also see Biography and Teaching and Learning.

Sarah's first two Bloodaxe books formed part of her School's RAE submission. Her main REF submissions for her School are:

Beyond (Bloodaxe Books, 2014). Although this book has not yet been printed, many of its poems have already been published in internationally distributed journals, with one having appeared in The Spectator (‘Night Watch’, 28 November, 2009) and three forthcoming in The Spectator (‘Finding’, ‘The Passage’ and ‘On Lambeth Bridge’), one in South Bank Poetry (‘The Listeners’ in Issue 13), five poems in Poetry Review (‘Keeping Going’ in Vol. Spring 2010; ‘Chinese Calligraphy’ in Vol. Spring 2012; and ‘Single’, ‘Full English’ and ‘Freeman’ in Vol. Autumn 2013) and five poems having appeared in The Times Literary Supplement (‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘Drift’ in Vol. 12 November, 2010; ‘Country Life’ in Vol. 22 April, 2011; ‘Management Logic’ in Vol. 3 June, 2011; and ‘National Speed Limit’ in Vol. 12 April, 2013) with a sixth forthcoming in The TLS (‘Freshers’), as well as one poem having appeared on the site of British charity NBFA Assisting the Elderly (‘Give’ in spring 2012). The poet was the highlighted guest reader and read from some of the poems in this book at the University of London’s Institute of English Literary London Conference in July 2012 at Senate House.

A Knowable World (Bloodaxe Books, 2009). This book was reviewed in Poetry London, Poetry Review, The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian (24 January, 2009) and The Sunday Times (12 April, 2009). Poems from A Knowable World appeared prior to its publication in magazines and journals, including two poems in Earls Court (‘Solitude’, ‘Christmas in October’), one in The Interpreter’s House (‘To My Grandmother’), three in The London Magazine (‘Turquoise’, ‘Peace’, ‘Magnetic Resonance Imaging’), one in Magma (‘Escape Route’), three in Poetry Review (‘Found Audience’, ‘Healing’, ‘Snow From Ebury Ward’), one in Read This Magazine (‘Psychiatrists Ask Questions’) and six in The Times Literary Supplement (‘Exchange’, ‘Life-Life Balance’, ‘After Ralph Vaughan Williams’, ‘Subject’, ‘Is’, ‘Leave’). One of the poems, ‘Hotel Gordon’, was translated into Scots and both were part of a diversity project for ‘The Language of Equality’: The Mayor’s Annual Equalities Report 2006/07 (Mayor of London). The first six poems of the book were broadcast from the London Poetry Festival on Channel S Television UK, while ‘Sarah, wife of Abraham’ was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in February 2009. In addition, some of the poems were written as part of a writing residency in September, 2005, at the British Council, Berlin, and one of the poems was anthologised in the international anthology, Women’s Work: Modern Women Poets Writing in English, ed. Eva Salzman and Amy Wack (Seren, 2008). In terms of social impact, the poet read widely from it after publication for not only festivals, but also British charities including Survivors’ Poetry, Poet in the City and Rethink; the book was featured in mental health magazines, Time Together (Issue 3) and Equilibrium (Issue 19); the collection was mentioned on Mind charity champion Alastair Campbell’s blog, and one of the poems and an author interview appeared on; and a consultant psychiatrist and academic, Professor Femi Oyebode, who is also a Nigerian poet and scholarly author of Mindreadings: Literature and Psychiatry (2009), reviewed Wardle’s book in The British Journal of Psychiatry (2010).


Authored Books:

Wardle Sarah, Beyond (2014), Bloodaxe Books: Tarset.

Wardle, Sarah, (2009) A Knowable World, Bloodaxe Books: Tarset.

Wardle, Sarah, (2005) Score!, Bloodaxe Books: Tarset.

Wardle, Sarah, (2003) Fields Away, Bloodaxe Books: Tarset. [shortlisted for the 2004 Forward Prize for Best First Collection]

Poems published in newspapers, journals and magazines since 1997, including in:

Evening Standard

The Guardian

The Herald (Glasgow)

The Independent

The Independent on Sunday

The Interpreter’s House

The Liberal

The London Magazine


The Mayor’s Annual Report, 2006-2007



Oxford Magazine

Oxford Today

PN Review

Poetry News

Poetry Review (over twenty poems published here)*

Read This Magazine

South Bank Poetry

The Spectator


The Times Higher Education Supplement

The Times Literary Supplement (over a dozen poems published here over a decade)

*Won Poetry Review’s New Poet of the Year Award, 1999.

Anthologies in which Sarah's had work include:

Szirtes, George, ed., (2011) Ten Poems About London, Candlestick Press: Nottingham.

Baron, Michael, Croft, Andy, and Swann, Jenny, eds., (2010) The Night Shift, Five Leaves: Nottingham.

Salzman, Eva, and Wack, Amy, eds., (2008) Women’s Work: Modern Women Poets Writing in English, Seren: Bridgend.

Turnbull, John, Satterlee, Thom, and Raab, Alon, eds., (2008) The Global Game: Writers on Soccer, University of NebraskaPress: Lincoln NE.

Oldfield, Sybil, and Shaw, Gwenyth, eds., (2007) The Old Familiar Faces: Poems on the Experience of Ageing, Oldfield & Shaw: Lewes.

Schneider, M., and Wood, D., eds., (2006) Images of Women, Arrowhead: Darlington.

The Poetry Society, ed., (2004) Poetry on a Plate, Salt: Cambridge.

Astley, Neil, ed., (2004) Being Alive, Bloodaxe Books: Tarset.

Stothard, Peter, ed., (2003) The Forward Book of Poetry 2004, Forward: London.

Astley, Neil, ed., (2003) Bloodaxe Poems of the Year 2003, Bloodaxe Books: Tarset.

Forbes, Peter, ed., (2003) We Have Come Through, Bloodaxe Books: Tarset.

Oswald, Alice, Oswald, Peter, and Woof, Robert, eds., (2002) ‘Earth has not any thing to shew more fair’, Shakespeare’s Globe & The Wordsworth Trust: London.

Lumsden, Roddy, and Ironside, Hamish, eds., (2001) Anvil New Poets 3, Anvil: London.

Book reviews and papers:

Chapter, ‘Lyric Voice: ‘the music of being human’’ in ed. Norgate, S, Poetry and Voice (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012).

On Julia Copus, The World’s Two Smallest Humans; Beverley Bie Brahic, White Sheets; Gerry McGrath, Rooster; David Herd, All Just; in Poetry Review (2012) Vol. 102:4, Winter.

On John Donne’s ‘The Flea’ on Birkbeck website’s Writers’ Hub: Poets Reading Poets.

On A Choosing: Selected Poems, Liz Lochead; A Story I Am In: Selected Poems, James Berry; Selected Poems, Christopher Reid; in Poetry Review (2012) Vol. 102:1, Spring.

On Hare, Hugh Dunkerley; in The London Magazine, Dec 2011/Jan 2012.

On Profit and Loss, Leontia Flynn; Claiming Kindred, D.M. Black; Close Quarters, Justin Quinn; Imaginary Menagarie, Ailbhe Darcy; Speech Lessons, John Montague; in Poetry Review (2011) Vol. 101:4, Winter.

On Paper, Scissors, Stone, Kit Fan; Swallow, Claire Potter; Sidereal, Rachael Boast; in Poetry Review (2011) Vol. 101: 3, Autumn.

On You, John Haynes; in New Welsh Review (2011) Summer.

On Family Values, Wendy Cope; in The Guardian (2011), 23 April.

On The Mirabelles, Annie Freud; in The Guardian. (2011), 19 February.

On Leaving Fingerprints, Imtiaz Dharker; The Water Table,Philip Gross; Ornament of Asia, Alice Kavounas; Picasso, I Want My Face Back, Grace Nichols: Watering Can, Caroline Bird; in Poetry Review (2010) Vol. 100:1, Spring.

On The Tethers, Carrie Etter; in New Welsh Review (2010),Vol. 88, Summer.

On Long-Haul Travellers, Sheenagh Pugh; The Treekeeper’s Tale, Pascale Petit; in New Welsh Review (2009), Vol. 84, Summer.

On The Hat, Selima Hill; Gloria: Selected Poems, Selima Hill; in Poetry Review (2008), Vol. 98:3, Autumn.

On Very: New and Selected Poems, Annemarie Austin; Pure Lizard, Sujata Bhatt; Singing in the Dark, Alison Brackenbury; From me to you: Love Poems, U.A. Fanthorpe and R.V. Bailey; in Poetry Review (2008), Vol. 98:2, Summer.

On Windrush Songs, James Berry; Beasts of Nalunga, Jack Mapanje; The Barking Thing, Suzanne Batty; Local Honey, Robert Saxton; in Poetry Review (2007/8), Vol. 97:4, Winter. ‘Judgement and Development: the creative rewards of critical awareness’, published conference paper in the National Association of Writers in Education’s Writing in Education, No. 38, Spring, 2006.

On The Prodigal, Derek Walcott; School of the Arts, Mark Doty; Stolen Love Behaviour, John Stammers; To a Fault, Nick Laird; Vanishing Points: New Modernist Poems, ed. Rod Mengham and John Kinsella; in The Observer (2005), 20 March.

On Creative Writing in Health and Social Care, ed. Fiona Sampson, and Creative Writing with Child and Adult Victims of Abuse, ed Jacki Pritchard and Eric Sainsbury; in the National Association of Writers in Education’s Writing in Education (2005), Spring.

‘Why Study Living Writers?’ an essay for Living Writers in the Curriculum: A Good Practice Guide, ed. Vicki Bertram and Andrew Maunder (2005), for the English Subject Centre at Royal Holloway.

Conference paper on ‘Inspiration at the interface: corporate responsibility and the ethics of equal diversity’ for Middlesex University Business School’s International Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility, National Liberal Club, June, 2005.

‘Past Master Choice’ on Emily Bronte in Orbis, 131.

On Anabranch, Andrew Zawacki; In the Salt Marsh, Nancy Willard; The Soho Leopard, Ruth Padel; in PN Review (2005).

On Being Alive, ed. Neil Astley; in The Observer (2004), 28 November.

On The Universal Home Doctor, Simon Armitage; Walking the Animals, Carola Luther; In the Wake of Home, Christian McEwen; Walking out of the World, Matthew Mead; in PN Review (2004), 161.

On The Burial at Thebes (new translation of Antigone) Seamus Heaney; The Shadow Knows, Adrian Mitchell; Heavy Water: A Poem for Chernobyl, Mario Petrucci; Selected Poems, 1963-2003, Charles Simic; Snow Water, Michael Longley; The Soho Leopard, Ruth Padel; Notes from the Divided Country; Suji Kwock Kim; Newborn, Kate Clanchy; round-up of new poetry in The Observer (2004), 8 August.

Conference paper on ‘The writer as critic’ for the National Association of Writers in Education Conference, York, October, 2004.

Article on Tottenham Hotspur writing residency in the National Association of Writers in Education’s Writing in Education, Summer 2004.

Article on ‘Poetry and football’ in The Times Higher Education Supplement (2004), 25 June.

‘Reflections on Memory and Identity’, published conference paper in the National Association of Writers in Education’s Writing in Education, Summer 2004.

On The Singing, C.K. Williams; In the Country of Birds, James Sutherland-Smith; The Book of Stones, Adam Schwartzman; The Now of Snow, June Hall; Hare Soup, Dorothy Molloy; in The Observer (2004), 28 March.

On Public Property, Andrew Motion, in The Observer (2002), 15 September.

On New Poetry: On Love and War, Vernon Scannell; The Light Trap, John Burnside; Source, Mark Doty; The Beauty of the Husband, Anne Carson; Marriage, David Harsent; The Little Book of Judas, Brendan Kennelly; Mr and Mrs Scotland are Dead, Kathleen Jamie; in The Observer (2002), 2 June.

On Collected Poems, Kathleen Raine, in Times Literary Supplement (2002), March 29

On Cohabitation, Kate Bingham; At Home in the Dark, Greta Stoddart; in Poetry Review (2002).

Article in ‘Close-up’ series in Poetry News (2002).

On Dragons, Matthew Francis, in Poetry Review (2001/2002), Winter.

On Supernatural Love: Poems 1976-2000, Gjertrud Schnackenburg, in Poetry Review (2001/2002), Winter.

On Stravaigin, Liz Niven; Dead Redhead,Tracey Herd; Cowboy Hat, Peter Knaggs; in PN Review (2001), Nov.

On Celtic Cadence: Misery Hill, David Wheatley; Thumb’s Width, John Redmond; The Nowhere Birds, Caitriona O’Reilly; in Thumbscrew (2001), Autumn.

On The Back and the Front of It, Connie Bensley, Poetry Review (2000/2001) Winter.

On The Asylum Dance, John Burnside, in Times Literary Supplement (2001) Feb 9

On The Book of Love, Roddy Lumsden, in Poetry Review (2000), Summer.

On The Man in the White Suit, Nick Drake, in Poetry Review (1999/2000), Winter.

Print reviews of Sarah's work include in:

The Glasgow Herald (2003); Tribune (2003); The Sunday Telegraph (2003) ; Mslexia (2003); The TLS (2003); The Evening Standard (2004); The Guardian (2004); The Independent (2004); The Ham and High (2005); Poetry Review (2006); The Guardian (2009); The Sunday Times (2009); Poetry Review (2009); The TLS (2009); Poetry London (2009); The British Journal of Psychiatry (2010).

Festivals, Broadcasts, Filmpoems:

Sarah has read at leading literary festivals from the Cheltenham Festival of Literature through the Guildford Book Festival and Manchester Poetry Festival to the Hay Festival of Literature. Other speaker events include the University of London's Institute of English Literary London Conference and the Institute of Public Policy Research Festival of Englishness. She has broadcast her work on radio and television, including on BBC News, BBC World Service and BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, and on Sky Television, as well as done international broadcasts in Ireland, Australia and the USA. As well as others having made filmpoetry using her work, Sarah wrote a filmpoem, A Poetry Political Broadcast (2010), which was produced and directed by Benjamin Johns and stars Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville.