‘compelling … skilful’ – Poetry Review

Ann Sansom is a poet, playwright, and writing tutor.   She is a director of The Poetry Business and editor of The North magazine.

She has taught in schools around the world, in universities and colleges.  She has run a women’s writing group for over 30 years, and been visiting lecturer at numerous universities, including Exeter, Leeds and Oxford.

She has led workshops in hospitals, prisons, on trains, in art galleries, for singing groups, artists and travellers, working with poets of all ages and at all stages of their writing lives.


“compelling . . . skilful” Poetry Review

Ann Sansom is a poet, playwright, and writing tutor.

She has published six collections of poetry; had work published in several Forward/Faber anthologies, Russian Vogue and a range of other publications; and has written and directed plays for stage and radio.

She worked with The British Film Institute on a series of commissioned film-related poems; developed a screenplay for a further series of short films; and wrote and directed numerous stage plays for the Doncaster YWCA.

Ann is a regular tutor for WEA, the Poetry Society, and the Arvon Foundation, and has taught at Oxford, Leeds, Sheffield Hallam and Exeter universities. She regularly works in schools and tutors at school writing residentials, teaching children of all ages and abilities, and has run a women’s writing workshop for more than 30 years.

Ann is also a director of The Poetry Business, which publishes The North magazine and Smith/Doorstop books.


  • 2003 – Author’s Foundation Award from the Society of Authors
  • 1998 – Arts Council Literature Award
  • 1994 – YHA bursary for Irish poetry translation


Ann has led writing workshops in schools, hospitals, prisons, on trains, in art galleries, for singing groups, artists and travellers, with ages ranging from primary school to people in their nineties. More than anything, she enjoys working with beginning writers and watching them grow in confidence and ability.

Poetry Society

Ann has been a regular tutor for the Poetry Society for ten years, and is a tutor for the Poetry Society’s masterclass, poetryclass, where she works with teachers to improve the teaching of creative writing in schools and universities. She established a flagship project at Exeter University, working with newly qualified teachers and their mentors to encourage and enable teachers of creative writing.

Ann’s analysis of this residency is included in the Poetry Society’s online teaching resource, ‘Poetry Class‘ and used as a model for poetry tutoring. The resource is intended for use by teachers and PGCE students to inspire an interest in poetry in their younger pupils.

Ann also taught the ‘Poetry Places: Heartbeat’ songwriting group in 2000.

Arvon Foundation

Ann is a regular tutor for the Arvon Foundation and has run courses in all four centres over the last 25 years. She has worked with a variety of other tutors, and attended as a guest reader on numerous occasions. Ann has taught school groups and open courses, working with students of all ages and levels of ability.

Women’s Writing

Ann was the Doncaster Women’s Centre librarian for many years, and ran a WEA-funded weekly writers’ workshop there.

She has led a women’s writing workshop for over 30 years, publishing (and editing) three anthologies by the group.

In Schools

Ann has led workshops in hundreds of schools over the last twenty years. She taught in schools in collaboration with the Aldeburgh Poetry Trust in 1994, 1995, 1998 and 2000, and in Bedford schools with the Poetry Society in 1999. She also worked in Birmingham schools in 2002 in collaboration with the Jubilee Trust.

Ann co-tutored ‘The School Train Project’ in 1998, 1999 and 2001, taking classes of school children on train journeys and leading workshops along the way. The finished poems were co-edited by Ann and published in a small press anthology.

Ann worked with the sculptor Victoria Brailsford during 2000-01 as part of the Year of the Artist residency with Sheffield ‘Off the Shelf’ Festival. The project involved working with school students in Glen Howe Park (a sculpture park) and writing poetry inspired by the grounds.

In 2006, Ann taught staff and students at Lambra High School, Punjab, India, as part of the Manchester Literary Festival. The finished poems have been published in a special text messaging service, Anywhereblogs.

In Universities

Ann has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Oxford since 2002, and has taught and given occasional readings and talks at the Leeds University School of Education since 1992. Ann has also taught at The University of Exeter and supervised poetry and short story undergraduates at Sheffield Hallam University.

In Prisons

Ann has led writing workshops for staff and prisoners at HMP Lindholme (2000) and HMP Armley (2002).

Other Workshops

As part of the 2002 CityPoems project, Ann held workshops in Leeds for hearing-impaired students at Allerton Grange, staff and men at HMP Armley, members of Burmantofts Senior Action and staff at First Direct and the city art gallery. The finished poems formed a ‘biography of the city’ and were presented at various ‘Poetry Points’ around Leeds city centre and made accessible to the public by text message.

Ann led a weekly writers’ workshop in the Huddersfield City Library between 1991 and 1995 as a part of Kirklees Community Writing Programme. She also held workshops in Derbyshire libraries, hospitals and residential homes during October 1999 (in collaboration with the Poetry Society) and in Bury Museum & Art Gallery in June 2000.

During 2002, Ann tutored a weekly writers’ workshop for women in Sheffield Women’s Cultural Club.


Ann Sansom is available for readings, workshops, tutoring, and arts consultancy. She is based in Sheffield but will take any opportunity to travel.

To discuss a booking, contact Ann using the form below.

Ann’s back catalogue is available from Bloodaxe and Amazon.