Frances Bingham

Frances Bingham

Sea light by Liz Mathews

Cover image - Sea light by Liz Mathews

Spacewater - cover image

Spacewater - cover image

MOTHERTONGUE - cover image

MOTHERTONGUE - cover image

Frances Bingham,

writer, works at Potters' Yard in north London with her partner Liz Mathews, studio potter and lettering artist.

The Principle of Camouflage is Frances Bingham's most recent novel, from Two Ravens Press (2011). 'A true work of the imagination transporting Prospero's island, and us to wartime Britain on a shining wave of sea images.' (Maureen Duffy)

Journey from Winter: Selected Poems of Valentine Ackland (Carcanet 2008), was edited by Frances Bingham, who also wrote the extended biographical introductions.  The cover image, Spacewater, was by Liz Mathews. Described by Ali Smith as 'Ackland's critical guardian angel' (TLS, 2009), FB has also contributed a chapter about Ackland & Warner to
Critical Essays on Sylvia Townsend Warner (Edwin Mellen Press, 2006), and written a major centenary article on her for The Guardian (20 May 2006).

Other commissioned non-fiction publications include articles on Ackland & Warner, Radclyffe Hall, Bryher & H.D., Colette, Gluck, Romaine Brooks & Natalie Barney, and Music Hall Male Impersonators, as well as book reviews. Her 'impassioned reading' is a trademark of FB's critical approach, 'open-hearted yet still reasonably cold-eyed' (TLS); she writes on 20thC women's literature, especially poetry, mid-century novels and their writers.

Sicilian Avenue, FB's poem about Amy Johnson, was awarded a York Poetry Festival Prize by Michael Donaghy in 1996; her most recently published poem was
Translating Sappho in Chroma (Issue 7, 2008).

As well as poetry FB has published short stories in various anthologies and magazines, including
Double Tongue (Diva Book of Short Stories, 2000), which won the LAMBDA best anthology award,
The Recognition Scene (Long Journey Home, The Women's Press, 2001), and Call Me By My Name (Necrologue, Diva Books, 2003), reviewed in Time Out as 'well-written and imaginative, particularly haunting...'

MOTHERTONGUE (1999) was a joint text/image project; a limited edition book with original artwork by Liz Mathews inspired by Frances Bingham's text, a narrative poem which explores time and memory, gender and identity, inheritance and creation, through the voices of women performers whose different lives are linked by their birthright, a common language.

'Here in the theatre, my heart- and home-land,
where every step I take is seven leagues
nearer to my improbable desires,
I am indeed, a lad unparallel'd'

FB has read/performed her work at literary festivals (most recently the Edinburgh International Book Festival) and other venues including London's Southbank Centre as part of their Literature and Spoken Word programme. She's also read and discussed poetry on Woman's Hour, and contributed to From the Ban to the Booker, the 2008 serial on lesbian literature (both BBC Radio 4).


FB's writer's blogue is at - words, brave writing, impassioned reading, and other sources of solace.




For more on our joint projects and images of
Liz Mathews' work, see

© text Frances Bingham, images Liz Mathews
Website developed by Angela Braun