Poet & tutor, agent & project manager.
Having completed the M.A. in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) with Distinction and received the Janet Beer Prize, Caroline works freelance as a published poet and tutor, agent and project manager.
She runs The Hawkridge Agency where she handles well-established UK poets’ readings and engagements, manages and promotes innovative literary projects, and provides top writers and radio producers with logistics and research.
“without either laughing or fainting, [Caroline] responded to my plea for help with such enthusiasm, optimism and managerial panache that I now shudder to think how things might have turned out without her assistance.”
Simon Armitage, Walking Home (Faber)
“we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Caroline Hawkridge. Caroline took our barely-formed plans and list of names and transformed them into itineraries. She told us who had what where. She got us through doors.”
Paul Farley & Michael Symmons Roberts, Deaths of the Poets (Cape)
Previously, Caroline wrote Understanding Endometriosis (Optima, Little Brown, Vermillion), the first British book on this then little-known women’s health problem.
The book was well reviewed in The Lancet, New Scientist and Nursing Times. Caroline appeared on Channel 4, Granada Television, Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour (three times!), Radio 2’s Steve Wright in the Afternoon and in the national and regional press. The book went into a second edition and stayed in print for 18 years.
“excellent book… since it is…about how women with endometriosis feel, the doctors who treat them might also learn a thing or two.”
The Menopause, HRT and You (Penguin) was the first menopause book to include stories from women who have had an early menopause or lack hormones for genetic or intersex reasons.
Poet & tutor
Caroline’s poem Peregrine was nominated by The Dark Horse for the Forward Prize Best Single Poem and became Featured Poem on the magazine’s website:
“If Hughes and Jeffers are to some extent behind this, Hawkridge’s city-centre, webcammed peregrines are, finally, entirely her own, made vivid by thrilling and unexpected details and a bravura use of language (‘rufous’, ‘quatrefoil’, ‘finial’, ‘flymphs’) and surprising facts: the falcon’s ‘lower lid rises to close’ in sleep, while natural and technological imagery are brilliantly interchangeable.”
Gerry Cambridge, The Dark Horse
Peregrine also appeared on Derby Cathedral Peregrine Project’s blog.
Caroline’s poems have won Mslexia’s Villanelle Poetry Challenge and been double winner of the Moorland Plant Poetry competition, Runner-up (£250) in Cheshire Prize for Literature, Highly Commended in the Torbay, York and Magma competitions and shortlisted for the Overton Prize.
“This is brilliant nature writing enriched by found material and the clash of nature and technology.”
Feedback from Overton Prize, 2016
Cockerel was Featured Poem on The Interpreter’s House website and subsequently anthologised by Candlestick Press. Her work has also been published in magazines such as Mslexia, Shearsman and Magma.
Caroline also tutors the fabulous Keele Poets at Silverdale (see Gallery). She has taught adult education creative writing courses at Sir John Deane’s College and for the Open University and Keele University.
Caroline was poet-in-residence at the NHS National Aspergillosis Centre (NAC), University Hospital of South Manchester, which treats patients with fungal disease of the lungs. Her work with the NAC support group was featured in The Guardian, the PAN journal’s special edition on fungi and read by the actor Rupert Everett at the international launch of GAFFI at the House of Commons.
To help raise awareness, Caroline programmed Open the Windows: Poetry & Medicine, the first joint reading by Forward Prize-shortlisted poet Rebecca Goss and Denise Bundred. This performance juxtaposed the poetic voices of a mother/patient and doctor, and premiered music celebrating ‘breath’ by Chris Davies and creative voice specialist Beth Allen. The NAC commissioned the music and hosted the event with Manchester Literature Festival at Manchester Museum. Click & scroll down for the video.
Open the Windows was fully booked, highly rated by the audience and reviewed as ‘remarkable’. 14.5% of the audience had never been to a live literature event before. The case study was presented as a poster at the 5th International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine, Royal Society of Medicine.
Caroline loves community projects. She set up Simon Armitage’s walk along the Pennine Way as a modern troubadour for his bestselling book Walking Home (2012) – and then ran Simon’s companion walk along the northern SW Coast Path to Land’s End and the Scillies for his new bestseller Walking Away (2015). Imagine the fun of bartering everything needed for Simon’s walks in return for poetry with communities en route!
After working on Fourpenny Circus (2009), Caroline promoted former Cheshire Poet Laureate Joy Winkler’s verse/dramas TOWN (2013) and Joy’s second hit Lightning under their Skirts (2017) which sold out at 8 out of 10 rural touring arts venues.
Before establishing her own agency, Caroline ran MMU’s Words on Film festival. She volunteered her media skills and spare time extensively to help launch and/or develop audiences for Poets & Players (2004-11) and Zest! (2005-09).
Please Note: There is more than one Caroline Hawkridge in the UK.