Literature festival welcomes student poet

CREATIVE WRITING student Mark Pajak has been announced as the 2016 Apprentice Poet in Residence for Ilkley Literature Festival.

Mark, who is currently in the second year of an MA in Creative Writing at the Manchester Writing School, was born in Merseyside. His work has been published in The North, Magma and The Rialto, been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, highly commended in the Buzzwords Cheltenham Poetry Competition and The Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition. His first pamphlet Spitting Distance has been selected as a Laureate’s Choice and will be published with smith|doorstop in late 2016.

As Apprentice Poet in Residence, Mark will shadow this year’s Poet in Residence, Guardian First Book award winner and former Apprentice Poet himself, Andrew McMillan. Mark will also spend time at Festival events as well as staging his own.

Mark said: “I feel incredibly honoured to have received this award. It’s given me a burst of confidence and a want to work all the harder.”

Full details of Mark’s events will be in the Festival programme, which is announced in August.