Adelle Stripe was born in York in 1976 and grew up in Tadcaster. She is a novelist, poet and journalist.
Her debut novel, Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile (Fleet), was a fictionalised biography based on the life and work of Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar. It was shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize and Portico Prize for Literature. The Observer described it as “a beautiful period piece of 1980s Britain, as funny and sad as anything by Dunbar herself.” The book uses fact and fiction alongside imagined letters and diary entries, creating a portrait of the writer and her struggles with alcoholism, the pressures of motherhood and London’s theatre establishment. It was adapted for the stage in 2019 by Lisa Holdsworth and Freedom Studios and received widespread critical acclaim.
From 2008-2012, Stripe published three short collections of poetry with small press publisher Blackheath Books. The final edition in the trilogy, Dark Corners of the Land, was named Poetry Book of the Year by 3:AM Magazine. The collection included a prose poem, ‘Big Weekend’, which was based on a group of young men at a wake, and appeared on ‘Cock of the North’, a track by electronica producers Smagghe & Cross. A later poem, ‘The Humber Star’, was commissioned by musician John Grant for his North Atlantic Flux festival at Hull 2017. The poem told the story of a distant relative who lost her husband in the Great Storm of Dogger Bank in the 19th century, and traced his final voyage from Spurn Point peninsula.
Her poetry, memoir and essays have appeared in anthologies including Excavate: The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall, Common People: An Anthology of Working-Class Writers, and Spring: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons. She has also written introductions for Gordon Burn’s Alma Cogan and Akiko Yosano’s Sweet is the Taste of Tears. In 2019 she published Sweating Tears with Fat White Family on Rough Trade Books. It was one of the Irish Times’ Books of the Year.
As a lecturer, she has taught at Manchester Writing School, Leeds Trinity University and York St John University. She is an MA graduate from Manchester University’s Centre for New Writing and was awarded a PhD by the University of Huddersfield in 2017. Stripe has received support from the K Blundell Trust, the Authors’ Foundation and Arts Council England.
Her writing on music, film and theatre has appeared in The Quietus, New Statesman and Yorkshire Post. Stripe’s recent (and forthcoming) work is rooted in the nonfiction novel form and explores working-class culture, untold histories of the north, popular music, and small-town life. She is currently writing a music biography for White Rabbit Books and working on a second novel.
She lives in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire.
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