Polly Atkin lives in Grasmere. She grew up in Nottingham, then lived in East London for seven years before moving North West.
She writes poetry and nonfiction.
Her debut collection of poetry Basic Nest Architecture was published in February 2017 by Seren, which was followed in October 2021 by her second collection Much With Body, supported by a 2020 Northern Writers Award. Her first nonfiction book, Recovering Dorothy: The Hidden Life of Dorothy Wordsworth, which explores Dorothy’s later life and disability, was published by Saraband in November 2021.
She has also written a hybrid memoir exploring place, belonging and chronic illness, supported by the second year of the Penguin Random House WriteNow scheme.
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.