Liz Dunbar - Black Country poet

For anyone born in the Black Country, Liz Berry is a poet, literally speaking their language. Liz was born in Sedgley (1980), went to school locally, did a degree course at University in Edinburgh, where she studied the English language with a special interest in accents. She also earned an MA in Creative Writing. Her love of words and poetry came from parents who enjoyed poetry, took her and her sister to Poetry Festivals and encouraged them to write from an early age.

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Liz’s passion for words is keeping the Black Country dialect alive through the colloquialisms she uses in her verse. The dialect is important to Liz because over the years it has been much maligned but she says is something worth cherishing and celebrating, after all, when a dialect or language disappears from any kind of use, it is usually gone forever.

Many popular Black Country poems are humorous or tell stories of the area’s history.  Liz Berry’s poetry speaks more about emotions, relationships and thoughts. Dialects and accents create a rich and colourful backdrop to our lives and Liz is certainly an important part of the bigger picture.

Liz Berry has won many prizes including:

The Eric Gregory Award in 2009.

The Poetry London competition in 2012 for the poem Bird

the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2014

the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize,

the Somerset Maugham Award

the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2018.[8]


Find out more about Liz by visiting her website using the button below


Watch Liz reading her poem Birmingham Roller and a longer poetry reding  through clicking on the buttons below.