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Lavinia Greenlaw was born in London in 1962, where she still lives. She worked as a book editor and arts administrator until 1994, and since then has been a freelance writer, reviewer and radio broadcaster. She teaches on the Creative Writing MA Programme at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

In 1990, she received an Eric Gregory Award. Her first poetry collection, Night Photograph, was published by Faber in 1993, and was shortlisted for the Whitbread and Forward Poetry Prizes. The title poem of her second collection, A World Where News Travelled Slowly (Faber 1997), won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. Her third collection , Minsk, was published in September 2003 and has been shortlisted for the Forward Prize. Thoughts of a Night Sea, a collaboration with the artist Garry Fabian Miller, was published in 2002. She received an Arts Council Writer?s Award in 1995 and a Wingate Scholarship in 1997. In 2000, she was awarded a three-year fellowship by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts.

In 2003 she received a Cholmondeley Award.

Her poems have appeared in a number of international journals and have been translated into several languages. In the US, she has published in The New Yorker, Paris Review, American Poet, Grand Street and Literary Imagination. A selection from both books, Nachtaufnahmen, was published in Germany by DuMont in 1998.

Her first novel, Mary George of Allnorthover, was published by Flamingo in March 2001. It has also been published in the Netherlands (De Bezige Bij, May 2001), the United States (Houghton Mifflin, July 2001), Germany (DuMont, August 2001) and published in France as Quand Mary marcha sur l'eau (Joëlle Losfeld, September 2003 ).

She has written two dramas for BBC Radio 4: a drama-documentary Remembering Mum, first broadcast in April 2001, and an adaptation of Frank Huyler's Blood of Strangers: true stories from the emergency room, broadcast in February 2002. Her adaptation of Virginia Woolf's Night and Day as a Radio 4 Classic Serial was first broadcast in July 2003.

Hamelin was performed in Sligo, Dublin and Belfast in September 2003, as an Opera Theatre Company production.

Her work for BBC radio includes arts reviews and commissioned narratives about Arctic midsummer and winter, as well as about the architecture of London Zoo. For television, she has written a sequence of poems about the meaning of numbers for an Equinox documentary, and has taken part in a number of programmes about poetry.

She reviews fiction, poetry and non-fiction for a number of journals including the TLS, The Guardian, The Financial Times and The New York Times. Her essays include ?Unstable Regions: poetry and science?, published in Cultural Babbage, eds. Francis Spufford and Jenny Uglow (Faber 1996) and '' Big Brass Bed: Bob Dylan and Delay'' for Do You, Mr Jones? Bob Dylan with the Poets and the Professors ed. Neil Corcoran, was published by Chatto & Windus in 2002. She wrote a number of entries for the Cambridge Guide to Women?s Writing in English, ed. Lorna Sage (Cambridge University Press 1999).

She was British Council Fellow in Writing at Amherst College Massachusetts in 1995 and has worked on the Tate and Hayward Gallery education programmes, and held residencies in the Science Museum and with a law firm. In 2000, she was reader-in-residence at the Royal Festival Hall.