We are delighted to hear that Fiona Sampson, author of Lyric Cousins, has been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list.

The Honour crowns what Fiona describes as "an astonishing year", in which she has also received the prestigious Slovo Podgrmec Prize for international writers in Bosnia, published two books, The Catch (Penguin) and Lyric Cousins (Edinburgh University Press), given the inaugural Wellcome Trust public lecture on arts and health, and seen new editions of her work published in Romanian, Serbian and Russian.

Fiona has received numerous national and international awards for her writing, and has published twenty-seven books to date. She is at work on a new biography of Mary Shelley to mark the bicentenary of Frankenstein's appearance, and her book about Limestone Country will be published by Little Toller in May.

She is also an internationally-recognised editor, set up the first international poetry festival in Wales, and pioneered the development of writing in health care in the UK.  She now directs the international Poetry Centre at the University of Roehampton.

Fiona said, “I’m truly honoured, and especially grateful for this sign that literature remains of relevance to the wider community - something that I believe passionately. What an encouragement to keep on writing and working!”