I’m a freelance author, journalist and critic, specialising in the arts, books, photography and music, and I recently published a book on global Shakespeare.
I contribute essays, reporting and criticism to The Guardian, The New Yorker online, The Wall Street Journal, The New Statesman, Prospect magazine, The Evening Standard (London), ES Magazine and BBC Culture, as well as a number of other outlets. I cover a wide range of cultural topics and forms, from book and photography reviews to in-depth profile interviews and long reads.
One of my specialist interests is Shakespeare. My most recent book, Worlds Elsewhere: Journeys Around Shakespeare’s Globe, came out in October 2015 in the UK and April 2016 in the US. I’m also the author of The Globe Guide to Shakespeare (formerly the Rough Guide), a handbook for students and theatregoers, published in an updated edition by Profile Books in 2016.
I also make regular appearances on TV and radio. I've written and presented documentaries for BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 3 and the World Service, and have contributed to the BBC's legendary From Our Own Correspondent strand. I also appear as an arts critic and commentator on shows including The Big Questions (BBC 1) and Front Row (BBC Radio 4).
Academic research, teaching and events
Where people are kind enough to have me, I also moonlight as an academic. I studied at Cambridge University, graduating with a double first-class degree in English, and later returned to take an MPhil in Renaissance literature with distinction.
I’ve presented research at international conferences in Paris and Delhi, and taught at institutions including SOAS, King’s College London and Queen Mary, University of London.
In 2014, I was a visiting fellow at the Department for English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick. I’m currently an honorary fellow in the English department of Birkbeck, University of London.
I've given talks at venues including the British Library and the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, and I also travel frequently on educational projects with the British Council, most recently participating in a writing residency on the Trans-Siberian Railway in November 2016.
Before going freelance, I worked on the arts desk at The Guardian from 2005 to 2014, the last three years as theatre editor, commissioning theatre and dance coverage both in print and on the web. Prior to that, I was online arts editor, with a brief that also covered art, classical music, photography and architecture.
And the rest ...
I grew up in Yorkshire, and I’ve lived happily near Hackney Downs in east London since 2007, alongside my running kit, tottering piles of not-quite-read books and not-yet-listened-to CDs, and a racing-green Brompton bicycle.
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>> Photograph © Sarah Lee