Claire Armitstead, is Associate Editor, Culture, for the Guardian. Over a twenty-five year career with the paper she has been a theatre critic, arts editor and literary editor. She presents the Guardian books podcast and she is a trustee of the writers’ charity English PEN, which campaigns for and supports freedom of expression. She has recently edited an anthology of fiction, poetry and non-fiction writing about contemporary London, called Tales Of Two Londons: Stories From A Fractured City.
Claire was born in south London and spent her early years in northern Nigeria. She went on to read English at Oxford and initially worked as a trainee reporter in South Wales, covering the Welsh valleys during the miners’ strike, before joining the Hampstead & Highgate Express as a theatre critic and sub-editor. She then moved to the Financial Times, and subsequently to the Guardian, where she has worked as arts editor, literary editor, head of books and most recently, Associate Editor (Culture). She also leads workshops and chairs literary events in the UK and around the world.