Melanie Rees [aka Melanie Neads] is a poet, author and playwright whose play Drowning Aristotle won the City Life Best of Manchester play award. Salford born and bred, her work has been widely anthologised, including in Salford Stories [Bridge House], a collection honouring Shelagh Delaney. Melanie is a winner of the Family Matters poetry competition, has curated a recent edition of Live from Worktown’s Worktown Voices, and her poetry collection with Sarah Miller, Selkie Singing at the Passing Place, was runner-up in Saboteur Awards’ Best Collaborative Work category. She currently has a new play shortlisted with R Creatives and her monologue short, A Man Named Lear, was produced by Act Your Age in 2022. Melanie co-founded the Pavilion Theatre Company in Bolton, was Drama Co-ordinator for the Salford Young Person’s University, is an occasional guest host of Word Central at Manchester Central Library, and has been the special guest poet at the long-established Manchester Poets four times. She is an Associate Lecturer at the University of Salford, a trained counsellor, qualified yoga teacher and award-winning SEN teacher who has also taught and lived in Australia, India, Israel, Poland and the USA – experiences which infuse her work.