Naomi Foyle was born in London, England, and grew up in Hong Kong, Liverpool and Saskatchewan. She spent the late nineties working in South Korea and travelling in Central America, Asia and Australia, and now lives in Brighton UK, a pebble’s throw from the sea.
Naomi’s debut novel, Seoul Survivors, a cyberchiller set in South Korea, was published by Jo Fletcher Books in February 2013. Her second novel, Astra, the first book in the Gaia Chronicles, an eco-SF quartet set in a post-fossil fuel Mesopotamia, appeared from JFB in 2014, followed by Rook Song (2015), The Blood of the Hoopoe (2016) and Stained Light (2018). The series has earned comparisons to the work of Ursula K. Le Guin and is currently being adapted for a puppet theatre production with Puppet(R)Evolution.
Naomi is also the author of ten poetry pamphlets and three full collections: The Night Pavilion, a 2008 Poetry Society Recommendation and The World Cup (2010) both from Waterloo Press; and the transatlantic publication Adamantine (Red Hen/Pighog Press, 2019). Her tenth pamphlet, Importents, was published by Waterloo Press in July 2021. Her poetry readings include appearances at The Cuisle Festival in Limerick, Tacheles Art House in Berlin and the Babylon Festival for International Cultures and Arts in Babil, Iraq. Originally trained in theatre, she has collaborated with artists, musicians and filmmakers on projects including the prize-winning videopoem Good Definition (2004) and several spoken word CDs. Librettist of the award-winning bouffon opera Hush (Theatre Passe Muraille, Toronto 1990), she has also written a short verse drama, ‘The Strange Wife’, produced by the Bush Theatre in 2011 as part of 66 Books: 21st C Writers Speak to the King James Bible.
Naomi holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Bangor University. Her topic, Venus Victrix: The Warrior Woman in Narrative Verse, propelled her into activism and she now campaigns for a just peace in the Middle East. As the co-ordinator of British Writers In Support of Palestine (BWISP), she is a vocal advocate of BDS – the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. Her essays have appeared in international journals including Critical Muslim and Pulse Media, and for her blog posts about Ukraine she won the 2014 Hryhorii Skovoroda Prize.
Editing / Mentoring Services
Naomi Foyle has edited and mentored twenty four published poetry collections, one novel, and other as yet unpublished novels and collections. As an editor for Waterloo Press (Hove), Survivors Poetry (London), Smokestack Books (Ripon) and Lagan Press (Belfast), she has edited pamphlets and full-length poetry collections including The Privilege of Rain by David Swann (Waterloo Press 2010), short-listed for the 2011 Ted Hughes Award, and Black Cotton (2019) by Sea Sharp, part of LIT UP, Waterloo Press’s new mentoring and publishing scheme for emerging poets of colour. For Smokestack Books she also edited the bilingual anthology A Blade of Grass: New Palestinian Poetry (2017). For Waterloo Press she is currently editing the novel The Children of Grad by Maria Miniailo, translated from Ukranian and Russian by Michael Pursglove.
As a mentor Naomi works with a writer in depth, identifying strengths and weaknesses in the work, giving reading suggestions, and helping the writer to plan a professional approach to editors. As an editor she focuses only on the work on the page. As both mentor and editor Naomi takes a sensitive but thorough approach, respecting the writer’s voice and helping to hone work on the page. For further details of poetry and prose mentoring/editing at an hourly rate (approximately six poems / 3000 words of prose per hour) please contact Naomi here
Edited Poetry Collections
- Dear Deddy-ji by Wajid Hussain (Waterloo Press, forthcoming 2022)
- It is About Love by Jocelyn Jones (Waterloo Press, 2021)
- Screaming Olives by Farid Bitar (Smokestack Books, 2021)
- melt by Sarah Hymas (Waterloo Press, 2020)
*Shortlisted for the 2021 Ledbury Munthe Poetry Prize for Second Collections
- Blood and Water | ọbara na mmiri by Catherine Okoronkwo (Waterloo Press, 2020)
- I Want to Be the One You Think About At Night by Arun Jeetoo (Waterloo Press, 2020)
- Breathe before Thought by Uzmah Ali (Waterloo Press, 2020)
- Black Cotton by Sea Sharp (Waterloo Press, 2019)
- Each Other by Clare Best (Waterloo Press, 2019)
- Blue Wallpaper by Robert Hamberger (Waterloo Press, 2019)
*Shortlisted for the 2020 Polari Prize*
*Includes ‘Unpacking the Books’, Highly Commended in the 2019 Forward Prizes*
- Disappearance without absence/Desapariencia no engaña by Néstor Ponce, translated by Max Ubelaker Andrade (Waterloo Press, 2017)
- Gratitude on the Coast of Death by David Swann (Waterloo Press, 2017)
- A Sure Star in a Moonless Night by Sirrka Turkka, translated by Emily Jeremiah (Waterloo Press 2013)
- The Exile’s House by Ian Parks (Waterloo Press 2012)
- Skying by Steven Matthews (Waterloo Press 2012)
- Tantie Diablesse by Fawzia Kane (Waterloo Press, 2011)
*Longlisted for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature*
- The Privilege of Rain by David Swann (Waterloo Press 2010)
*Shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry*
- Praying for Flow by Sophia Wellbeloved (Waterloo Press 2010)
- Men and Women Alone / Solos y solas by Tamara Kamenszain, translated by Cecilia Rossi (Waterloo Press 2010)
- Selected Poems of Alejandra Pizarnik, translated by Cecilia Rossi (Waterloo Press 2010)
- Selected Poems of Mairtin Crawford (Lagan Press 2005)
Mentored Poetry Collections
- 42 by Clare Hill (Survivors Poetry, 2012) ACE funded
- Host by Sarah Hymas (Waterloo Press, 2010). ACE funded.
- Inkblotting by Joanna Watson (Survivors’ Poetry, 2010) Volunteer.
Naomi Foyle is a shrewd and perceptive editor, able to hone in on a poem’s weaker spots of unclear imagery or muddy thinking, while always respecting the poem’s authorship and individual direction. For Blue Wallpaper we worked collaboratively to reconsider my collection’s shape and sequence, as well as detailed work on lines or stanza order. I improved well over half of the poems in Blue Wallpaper following Naomi’s careful advice, and feel confident that my collection is stronger after her helpful and considerate intervention. Naomi’s editorship is invaluable. ~ Robert Hamberger, author of Blue Wallpaper (Waterloo Press, 2019 shortlisted for the 2020 Polari Prize and A Length of Road (John Murray Originals, 2021)
Thank you so much for your immensely helpful feedback. You’ve given me a great deal to go on, far more than I expected in fact. I’ll be ordering the books you recommended, and will begin working on your advice shortly.” ~ L.M. (author of a 13,000 word short story)
Naomi Foyle is also a professional Tarot card reader.
She ran a market stall in Brighton for thirteen years, and has worked in London (at Mysteries Book Shop and for Cirque du Soleil), Dubai, New York and Goa. Naomi can give readings in person in Brighton or London (for which travel expenses will be charged), or over the telephone/Skype. For more information, please contact Naomi here