Patience Agbabi

One of Elif Shafak’s selected writers for the International Literature Showcase


“Patience Agbabi tirelessly innovates a new relationship between the classics and the contemporary. In doing so she shows us the power of words whether they are written on the page or spoken in performance.”

Elif Shafak

Polyvocal poet, lover of formal constraints, film noir, sci-fi

Patience Agbabi is a poet, novelist and Fellow in Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes University. She read English Language and Literature at Oxford and has an MA in Creative Writing from Sussex. She has lectured in Creative Writing at Greenwich, Cardiff and Kent Universities. Her four poetry collections include Telling Tales (Canongate, 2014), a 21st century, multicultural retelling of The Canterbury Tales. This was shortlisted for the 2014 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. She has published two novels for children in The Leap Cycle, a time-travel adventure series: The Infinite (Canongate 2020) and The Time-Thief (Canongate, 2021).

Patience is currently working on the final two novels of The Leap Cycle tetralogy which will appear in 2022 and 2023.

Read a Telegraph interview with Patience

‘Ripe, rollicking and humorous’ – The Times

‘Inventive, risky, serious and fun’ – Jeanette Winterson

‘A compelling collection of story-portraits, at once contemporary and time-honoured. It’s a wonderful achievement’ – Andrew Motion

‘The liveliest versions of Chaucer you’re likely to read’ – Simon Armitage

‘A Canterbury Tales for a multicultural Britain…Chaucer would have been proud’ – Helen Cooper

Praise for The Infinite:

The Infinite is vivid, funny, exciting and inventive. Patience Agbabi has created something fresh and original here, and I look forward very much to what she writes next” – Philip Pullman

“A fascinating, original and smart adventure tale with a rhythmic prose style that leaps off the page into scintillating life. It has a magic all of its own” – Bernardine Evaristo

“Elle is an engaging, self-aware character . . . and the environmental theme will strike a chord with young readers” ― the Guardian

“Highly original . . . Agbabi’s vision of the future is startlingly plausible” ― Observer

Image credit Lyndon Douglas courtesy

I’m excited for my work to reach new, multilingual audiences, inspiring across borders, cultures



  • Telling Tales (Canongate Books, April 2014).
  • Bloodshot Monochrome (Canongate Books, 2008, reprinted 2009).
  • Transformatrix (Canongate Books, 2000, reprinted annually until 2008).
  • R.A.W. (Gecko Press, 1995, reprinted 1997, 1999). Forthcoming pamphlet
  • Emily’s Papers (The Bronte Society, due February 2019).
  • The Infinite (Canongate, 2020)
  • The Time-Thief (Canongate, 2021)

Contact Patience


Telling Tales Blog:

The Leap Cycle:

Twitter: @PatienceAgbabi



Renaissance One: Melanie Abrahams & Rochelle Saunders


Canongate Books Ltd, Edinburgh. Contact Katie Huckstep