Ruth Padel 




First Cell english

Translations: de

to poem

Revelation english

Translations: de

to poem

Allele english

Translations: de

to poem

Where Clavicle and Wishbone Fuse english

Translations: de

to poem

Nocturne english

Translations: de

to poem

Lodestone english

Translations: de

to poem

The Ampullae of Lorenzini english

Translations: de

to poem

Ruth Padel 

photo ©
* 08.05.1946, London, United Kingdom
lives in: London, United Kingdom

Ruth Padel, born in London in 1947, studied Classics at Oxford, Paris and Berlin, and has taught at many universities, including Ancient Greek at Oxford, Opera at Princeton, Myth in Buenos Aires, as well teaching horse-riding in Berlin.

In 1985 she left the academies to become a full time writer. Before becoming that, she lived for several years in Greece, worked as a Greek scholar and sung in an Istanbul nightclub. Music and performance were always major aspects to her life, from playing viola to choir-singing and music journalism.

 photo ©
Ruth Padel has written six collections of poetry, several shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot or Whitbread Prize. 

She won the National Poetry Competition, discussed contemporary poetry each week in her column in the newspaper 'Independent on Sunday', and published two books about reading modern poetry, most recently The Poem and the Journey.

Other non-fiction includes I'm A Man, about rock music and Greek myth, and Tigers in Red Weather, a nature book and travel memoir about the years she spent searching for tigers in Asian jungles, and The Mara Crossing, a meditation on migration and immigration.

She was Chair of the Poetry Society from 2004 to 2006 and in 2009, for the Poetry Society’s Centenary, she is to be one of the judges of the National Poetry Competition.

Related to her ancestry, Padel is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Zoological Society of London, and wrote Darwin, A Life in Poems on her great great grandfather Charles Darwin.

  • Alibi

    The Many Press, 1985

  • Summer Snow

    London: Hutchinson, 1990

  • Angel

    Tarset: Bloodaxe Books, 1993

  • In and Out of the Mind

    Greek Images of the Tragic Self

    Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1994

  • Fusewire

    London: Chatto & Windus, 1996

  • Rembrandt Would Have Loved You


    London: Chatto & Windus, 1998

  • I'm a Man: Sex, Gods and Rock 'n' Roll

    Faber & Faber, 2000

  • Voodoo Shop

    London: Chatto & Windus, 2002

  • 52 Ways Of Looking At A Poem

    or How Reading Modern Poetry Can Change Your Life

    London: Chatto & Windus, 2004

  • The Soho Leopard

    London: Chatto & Windus, 2004

  • The Poem and the Journey

    60 Poems for the Journey of Life

    London: Chatto & Windus, 2008

  • Darwin: A Life in Poems

    London: Chatto & Windus, 2009

  • Silent Letters of the Alphabet

    Newcastle/Bloodaxe Poetry Lectures

    Bloodaxe Books, 2010

  • Sir Walter Ralegh

    (Poet to Poet edition)

    Poems selected by Ruth Padel

    Faber & Faber, 2010

  • Where the Serpent Lives


    London: Little, Brown, 2010

  • The Mara Crossing

    London: Chatto & Windus, 2012

  • Learning to Make an Oud in Nazareth

    London: Chatto & Windus, 2014

  • Tidings

    A Christmas Journey

    London: Chatto & Windus, 2016

  • Tigers In Red Weather

    A Quest for the Last Wild Tigers

    London: Walker & Co, 2006

  • 1996 Winner of the Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition

  • 2004 Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors

  • Arts Council of England Writers’ Award

  • British Council Darwin Now Research Award for her novel 'Where the Serpent Lives'