Ruth Fainlight was born in New York City in 1931. Her first poetry collection, Cages, was published in 1966. Her New & Collected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2010) covers work written over 50 years, drawing on over a dozen books as well as a whole new collection, translations and libretti. Four of those collections were originally published by Bloodaxe, including Sugar-Paper Blue (1997), which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Award.
She has also written four libretti: The Dancer Hotoke (1991), a chamber opera with music by Erika Fox, performed as part of the Royal Opera’s ‘Garden Venture’ in 1991 and shortlisted for the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera; The European Story (based on her poem of the same title, 1993), also commissioned by the Royal Opera House; and Bedlam Britannica, which was commissioned by Channel 4 Television for the series War Cries in 1995; and The Bride in Her Grave. Her translation (with Robert J. Littman) of The Theban Plays by Sophocles (Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone) was published in 2009 in the Johns Hopkins University Press’s New Translations from Antiquity series.
She lives in London, and was married to the writer Alan Sillitoe, with whom she collaborated on an adaptation of Lope de Vega’s play Fuenteovejuna, commissioned by the National Theatre and published as All Citizens Are Soldiers. She has received the Hawthorden Award and the Cholmondeley Award for Poetry, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
– from Inpress Books UK with permission