Our friend and colleague, Chris Meade, passed away last Thursday at the age of 65
Chris chaired the discussion panel at the very first NMWP in 2010, and since then has been our lead sponsor, donating the if:book UK New Media Writing Prize, and the Dot Award, which he created in honour of his mother, Dorothy. He has been our chair at every awards evening since 2010 and has been an unfailing supporter and colleague in all of our 12 years.
Without Chris, the New Media Writing Prize would not have got past year one. We will miss him hugely.
For those of you who didn’t know Chris, he was director of if:book UK, his own ‘think and do tank’, a hub of creativity. He held a PhD in Digital Writing from Bath Spa University, for www.nearlyology.net. Modern Poetry in Translation recently published this article about him. Chris was involved with MPT for over a decade, first as a trustee, then as Chair of the Board from 2016 to 2021.
Chris wrote songs which he performed with The Ifso Band. Chris was Director of Booktrust from 2000 – 2007, and Director of the Poetry Society from 1994-2000, where he set up the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden, and the Poetry Places project, described by Andrew Motion as “a modern miracle”. Chris was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Chair of Modern Poetry in Translation, the author of The Thoughts of Betty Spital (Penguin 1989) and a past winner of the George Orwell award for his play We Two Boys.
In 2015 he became a member of Academy Inegales, working with 11 musicians, composers and collaborators. An incredibly creative and active man.
We’d like to dedicate the New Media Writing Prize 2021 awards event to Chris and his family.
22nd June 1956 — 13th January 2022