Carmen Marcus is a published author, poet, creative facilitator, and mentor. Daughter of a Yorkshire fisherman and Irish chef her writing brings together the practical and the magical. Her debut novel How Saints Die was published by Vintage in 2018, won New Writing North’s Northern Promise Award and was long listed for the Desmond Elliott Prize. Daisy Johnson describes it as a ‘glorious, beautiful sea shanty of a book.’
Carmen was names as a BBC Radio 3 The Verb’s New Voice and her poetry has been commissioned by BBC Radio, The Royal Festival Hall, The South Bank Centre, Durham Book Festival and Apples and Snakes.
Carmen is currently writing her debut full length play And the Earth Opened up Under Her in collaboration with Pilot Theatre, as one of the recipients of the New Play Commission Scheme created by the WRITER’S GUILD OF GREAT BRITAIN. And the Earth is a working class re-telling of the Persephone and Demeter myth where a mother goes to hell and back for her daughters.
She is also developing her second novel which combines her obsession with the sea and sisters.
In October 2022 Carmen received a scholarship to begin a creative practice PHD on oral storytelling. This work will gather the stories of fishermen and their families and examine the way in which storied places are protected by the tales told about them.
Carmen has been a guest lecturer at the Universities of Leicester, Northumbria and Teesside and has been invited to speak by Penguin Random House, The Working Class Writer’s Festival and the Northern Writers’ Conference.
Having made the journey from council estate to the bookshelves Carmen is dedicated to supporting working class writers to tell their stories.
She strives in her work to live up to the words of her first and most influential critic, her primary school teacher, ‘weird, minus one house-point.’
Follow her @kalamene