Thank you for visiting my website.

I was born in London but grew up 
mostly in Ethiopia, where my father
worked at the British Embassy in
Addis Ababa. 

I have been writing poems off and
on since I was about 12 years old.
Many  years later I won first prize in
the Poetry London competition 2001
and second prize in Chroma 2006.  

My poems have been published
in some great UK poetry magasines 
such as Ambit, Envoi, Magma,
Modern Poetry in Translation,
Poetry London, Rialto, Seam,
Smiths Knoll, Stand, The North,
The Wolf and Wasafiri. 

I am delighted to be a new
trustee of the Poetry Society
and Anglo-Ethiopian Society.

I'm also thrilled to be included
in Enitharmon's 50th anniversary
celebration, The Heart's Granary,
published in Dec 2017. 
 

My second poetry collection, Ethiopia Boy, based around a series of praise shouts and laments for my wonderful childhood friend Abebe, was published by Carcanet/Oxford Poets in February 2013.You can find out more about my search for Abebe on the Carcanet blog: carcanetblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/chris-beckett-looking-for-abebe-cooks.html  The beautiful cover image on the book is called Crossing the Water, by Isao Miura.

I have also translated poems by some fascinating Ethiopian poets such as Bewketu Seyoum, Zewdu Milikit, Bedilu Wakjira and Alemu Tebeje, often working with the poets themselves, also with Fasika Ayelew, a wonderful Addis-based poet. Some of these translations have appeared in Modern Poetry in Translation and Poetry Review. A pamphlet of Bewketu Seyoum's poems in Amharic and English, In Search of Fat, was published by Flipped Eye in June 2012.

I have also recently started TAMRAT Books together with Alemu Tebeje, to publish some great contemporary Ethiopian poets in English and Amharic. Our first book, Just a Nobody, by Hama Tuma, was launched at Keats House in Oct 2017 and is available on the website: tamratbooks.weebly.com/

I am also collaborating with my partner, the Japanese painter and sculptor 
Isao Miura, on an exciting multi-media project based on Matsuo Basho's haibun masterpiece The Narrow Road to the Deep North. The book of our show in the Poetry Café in Covent Garden in 2015, Sketches from the Poem Road, was short-listed for the Ted Hughes Award. More details are available on the News page and on our project website: afterbasho.weebly.com/

Good news!!   My translation of Alemu Tebeje's lovely poem, Greetings to the People of Europe!  (first published in MPT last year) has been chosen by the American artist Jenny Holzer to be projected on public buildings in Aarhus, Denmark, as part of its European City of Culture celebrations.  And also at MASS MoCA outside Boston USA from 27 May through June 2017 and on Blenheim Palace outside Oxford in October 2017!