Freya Bantiff

2023 Joint Apprentice Poet in Residence

Our Poet in Residence position has gained a reputation for launching the careers of emerging poets in the north of England. This year, the standard of applicants was so high that we took the decision to appoint not one, but two!

Meet Freya Bantiff…

Freya Bantiff is a Sheffield poet who has placed third in the National Poetry Competition. She has won the Bridport Poetry Prize, the Canterbury Poet of the Year competition, the Walter Swan Poetry Prize and the Timothy Corsellis Poetry Prize. A member of Hive Poetry, she was longlisted for the Winchester Poetry Prize, won second prize in the Bedford Poetry Competition, and her poems and stories have been placed in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award, the Mslexia Flash Fiction Competition and the Foyle Young Poet of the Year.

“I’m hugely excited to be taking on the role of Apprentice Poet in Residence at Ilkley Literature Festival – this is a festival that was absolutely integral to me back when I was taking my first baby steps into poetry and I would probably not be writing now if it wasn’t for Ilkley Literature Festival’s competitions and encouragement. I feel so fortunate to have this chance to contribute to the festival, giving some of that same enthusiasm back to others, while being thoroughly immersed in the weird and wonderful world of poetry!”

Sponsored by The Walter Swan Trust

For the first time, the Apprentice Poets in Residence position will be sponsored by the Walter Swan Trust. Niccola Swan, chair of the trust, said:

“The Walter Swan Trust has been really proud to sponsor the poetry prize for a number of years, commemorating Walter’s great support for the Literature Festival when he worked at Ilkley Playhouse. For our final year, we are really pleased to be supporting the post of Apprentice Poet in Residence. This would have been something which Walter would have been really pleased to be involved with. We wish the post-holders a great season with the Literature Festival.”

Meet Freya’s joint apprentice poet in residence, Chris Singleton…