I am John Wilson. My family come from the North East of England, but I have lived around London and the South East for many years now. I’m lucky, because in my work for a long time I have been able to use BSL professionally everyday, and to work in many areas of the arts. I’ve done lots of different kinds of work in BSL. I have acted and directed in the theatre (we won a prize at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe a few years ago). I have translated plays by Shakepeare into BSL (and also some of the Bible). Most recently I have been leading guided tours and making presentations in BSL for some big art galleries, including the Tate Modern and Tate Britain, the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. I have always been close to animals – I once worked as a zoo keeper – because I understand what it feels like when no-one really understands what you are trying to say. My poetry draws on imagery from the natural world which mean a lot to me. I love the US and I am really looking forward to coming to the poetry festival and being inspired by the people I meet.