Raymond Antrobus, Vahni Capildeo, Paul Farley and Rachel Long confirmed as mentors for the 2021 Rathbones Folio Mentorship programme.

The scheme pairs four outstanding students from disadvantaged backgrounds with four mentors, who are members of The Folio Academy, for one-to-one creative writing tutoring over the course of a year. The Rathbones Folio Mentorships programme was launched in 2018 in partnership with First Story. There is no equivalent mentorship scheme in the UK that offers young writers such sustained one- to-one attention.

Raymond Antrobus was named the Sunday Times/University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year in 2019 and his debut collection The Perseverance won the Rathbones Folio Prize. He was also the recipient of the Ted Hughes Award, a Somerset Maugham Award Born in Hackney in 1986, Antrobus still lives in London, where he works as a writer and teacher. He has led workshops in D/deaf schools across the country, as well as in prisons; and a local school in Hackney has recently named a new building after him.

Vahni Capildeo was born in Trinidad and is now resident in the UK, earned a PhD at Oxford University, studying translation theory and Old Norse, and then completed a research fellowship at Girton College, Cambridge University. Their anthology Measures of Expatriation won the 2016 Forward Prize for Best Collection and was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Their poetry collection also includes No Traveller Returns (2003), Undraining Sea (2009), Dark and Unaccustomed Words (2012),Utter (2013), and Venus as a Bear (2018) which was the Poetry Book Society Summer Choice 2018. Vahni has worked at the Oxford English Dictionary, for Commonwealth Writers, in academia and as a volunteer for the Oxfam Head Office; Oxford Rape Crisis. They have also has held the Judith E. Wilson Poetry Fellowship and the Harper-Wood Studentship at Cambridge, and a Douglas Caster Cultural Fellowship at the University of Leeds.

Paul Farley was born in Liverpool and studied at the Chelsea School of Art. He has published four collections of poetry, and also written non-fiction books, including Edgelands (with Michael Sym- mons Roberts), as well as editing a selection of John Clare’s poetry. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a frequent broadcaster, he has received numerous awards, including Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, the Whitbread Poetry Award and the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. He was the chair of the judges for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2020.

Rachel Long is a poet and leader of Octavia – Poetry Collective for Women of Colour, which is housed at Southbank Centre, London. She was shortlisted for Young Poet Laureate for London in 2014, and awarded the prestigious Jerwood/ Arvon Mentorship 2015, through which she was mentored by poet Caroline Bird. Her debut poetry collection My Darling from the Lions was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.

Read the full press release here.