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Hannah Lowe by Lealle Bissessar

Borderliner – Hannah Lowe

Hannah Lowe was born in Essex in 1976 to a white English mother and Afro-Chinese Jamaican father. Broadly, Lowe’s work is concerned with migration histories, multicultural London and the complex legacies of the British Empire. Her first poetry collection, Chick (Bloodaxe, 2013), blended these political concerns with a deeply personal and elegiac commemoration of her father, and won the Michael Murphy Memorial Award for Best First Collection. Her second collection, Chan (Bloodaxe, 2016) is about the life and untimely death of her father’s cousin, the jazz saxophonist, Joe Harriott, and in Ormonde (Hercules Editions, 2014), she excavates the story of the SS Ormonde, on which her father migrated to Britain.  The Neighbourhood (Outspoken Press, 2019) explores how communities respond to the pressures of austerity, gentrification and deportation. Lowe’s memoir, Long Time No See (Periscope, 2015) was Radio 4’s Book of the Week. She has also been Poet-in-Residence at Keats House, and a writer on the Colonial Countryside Project.