Maria Isakova-Bennett lives in Liverpool where she works on a number of art and writing projects, and for North End Writers and Mersey Care. She has an MA (distinction) in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, a Masters degree in Education from Liverpool University, and postgraduate qualifications in Fine Art and Art History. She has poetry and reviews widely published in the UK and Ireland, wrote and performed ‘The Ferry on the Mersey’ in partnership with the BBC, as their Merseyside poet for the 2016 National Poetry Day festival, and appeared in Eyewear’s anthology of The Best New British and Irish Poets, 2016. Over the past year, Maria has been highly commended for her own and collaborative work in several pamphlet competitions, and has been shortlisted and placed in several International Competitions including Bridport, Keats-Shelley, Cinnamon Prizes, Plough and Mslexia. Maria was highly commended by John Glenday in the Wigtown Poetry Competition, has been awarded first prize in the Ver Open Poetry Award, and commended last year by Andrew McMillan in the same competition. Maria collaborates with poet Michael Brown on projects in galleries on Merseyside and they have recently launched a limited edition stitched poetry journal, Coast to Coast to Coast.