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School of Geography

Tom Chivers


PhD Student

Twitter: @thisisyogic


PhD project

In the Flow of Things: Encounters with the Mudlarks of the Thames Foreshore



Professor Alastair Owens, School of Geography, QMUL
Dr Edward Legon, School of Business and Management, QMUL
Dr Claire Harris, Museum of London Archaeology
Catherine Gibbs, Museum of London Archaeology



AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award


Academic background

BA in English Language and Literature, University of Oxford, 2001-2004


Professional background

I have been working in publishing and the performing arts for 18 years, alongside my practice as a poet and non-fiction writer.

I am the founder and director of Penned in the Margins, and since 2004 have published over 90 books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, and created numerous theatrical productions, touring shows and innovative arts projects. A member of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio from 2015 to 2023, our books have received major accolades including the Forward Prize, the Hawthornden Prize and the Rathbones Folio Award.

From 2008 to 2011 I was co-director of London Word Festival, for which I was awarded a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Breakthrough Award. I started my career at arts consultancy the hub, and have worked with a variety of cultural organisations including Free Word Centre, where I was Digital Editor from 2011 to 2012. I have been a board member of not-for-profit organisations Inpress Books and The Poetry Book Society.


Research interests

London history, public archaeology, fluvial geomorphology, medieval literature, contemporary poetry, heritage studies, arts management.



As author

London Clay: Journeys into the Deep City (Doubleday/Penguin, 2001)
Dark Islands (Test Centre, 2015)
Flood Drain (Annexe Press, 2014)
How to Build a City (Salt Publishing, 2009)
The Terrors (Nine Arches Press, 2009)

As editor

Marginalia: Ten Years of Poems & Texts from Penned in the Margins, Penned in the Margins, 2014
Mount London: Ascents in the Vertical City, Penned in the Margins, 2014
Adventures in Form: A Compendium of Poetic Forms, Rules & Constraints, Penned in the Margins, 2012
Stress Fractures: Essays on Poetry, Penned in the Margins, 2010
City State: New London Poetry, Penned in the Margins, 2009
Generation Txt, Penned in the Margins, 2006

Poems anthologised in

Poems of London (Everyman, 2021)
Dear World & Everything In It (Bloodaxe Books, 2013)
London: A History in Verse (Harvard University Press, 2012)



Eric Gregory Award, 2011
Paul Hamlyn Foundation Breakthrough Award, 2009


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