Polly Atkin lives in Grasmere. She grew up in Nottingham, then lived in East London for seven years before moving to the North West. She has taught English Literature and Creative Writing at QMUL, Lancaster University, the University of Cumbria, and most recently at the University of Strathclyde.

Her debut collection of poetry Basic Nest Architecture was published in February 2017 by Seren.

She is a Penguin Random House WriteNow mentee in 2018, being supported in writing a non-fiction book on chronic illness, place and belonging.


In 2014 she was diagnosed with one of the  Ehlers Danlos Syndromes (EDS) – hereditary connective tissue disorders. In 2015 she was also diagnosed with Genetic Haemochromatosis, a hereditary metabolic disorder which leads to a toxic accumulation of iron in the body. See Being Mutant for more on both conditions and her experience of living with them.