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“Philip Hancock’s insights are precise and authentic – he is part of the great tradition of writers who capture the true spirit of working class life.”

Ken Loach


Philip Hancock was born in Newchapel, Stoke-on-Trent. He left school at sixteen to serve a City & Guilds craft apprenticeship. Discovered and mentored by poet Michael Laskey, his debut pamphlet Hearing Ourselves Think (Smiths Knoll, 2009) was a Guardian Book of the Year. A second pamphlet Just Help Yourself (Smiths Knoll), appeared in 2016. Jelly Baby, a film-poem, screened at various short film festivals and was published by Areté. City Works Dept. was published by CB editions in 2018. 

​Philip’s work has appeared in Areté, The Forward Book of Poetry 2019 (Faber & Faber), The New Statesman, The North, Nth Position, Magma, Oxford Magazine, Poetry London, The Poetry Paper (Aldeburgh Poetry Festival), The Poetry Review, Prototype (2), The Rialto, Smiths Knoll and The Spectator. A selection of his work also appeared in Oxford Poets 2010 (Carcanet).


CB editions

Recent work

The Poetry Review (Winter 2020)

Prototype Publishing

Wild Court International Poetry Journal


​Arts Council England Writer’s Grant 2019
The Society of Authors: Authors’ Foundation Grant 2019
Arts Council England Writer’s Grant 2016
Hawthornden Fellowship 2016
Smiths Knoll Mentorship 2008
Jerwood / Aldeburgh Seminar 2007
Arts Council England Writer’s Grant: New Writing 2003

​Selected Readings​​

Aldeburgh Poetry Festivals 2019 and 2007
Ambeden Gallery, Hampstead Heath
BBC Radio Stoke
CB1, Cambridge

Festival in a Factory, Stoke-on-Trent 2019
The Groucho Club, Soho
Haringey Libraries: (various, including for National Library Day)
Lauderdale House, Highgate
Ledbury Poetry Festival 2011
The North Staffs Polytechnic, Stoke-on-Trent
Poetry in the Crypt, Islington
Rhythm & Muse, London
Shakespeare & Co, Paris
The Shuffle: Poetry Cafe, Covent Garden (various)
Tall Lighthouse
Torriano Meeting House (various)
Troubadour, Earls Court:

Various, including for New Voices, Magma, Oxford Poets (Carcanet), Smiths Knoll and 50th Annirversary
The Wardrobe, Leeds
Waterstones, Leeds
The Wireless Theatre Company


Areté magazine 51

Areté magazine 37

Useful Links

Areté 55: Six poems
Areté 48: Two poems
Areté 41: Two poems
Areté 38: One poem
Areté 35: Two poems

Philip Hancock Portrait

Photography by Ric Bacon

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