Polly Atkin lives in Grasmere. She grew up in Nottingham, then lived in East London for seven years before moving to the North West.

Her debut collection of poetry Basic Nest Architecture was published in February 2017 by Seren, which will be followed in 2021 her second collection ‘Much With Body’, supported by a 2020 Northern Writers Award.

She is working on a memoir exploring place, belonging and chronic illness, supported by the Penguin Random House WriteNow  scheme, and a biography focusing on Dorothy Wordsworth’s later life.

Her doctorate on Romantic legacies and the Lake District was conducted under the AHRC Landscape and Environment project, in collaboration with The Wordsworth Trust and Lancaster University. She has taught English and Creative Writing at QMUL, Lancaster University, and the Universities of Strathclyde and Cumbria.


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.