James Berry is a Jamaican poet who settled in England in the 1940s. He won the 1981 National Poetry Competition with his poem ‘Fantasy of an African Boy’. He has written several volumes of poetry for children, winning awards along the way such as the Smarties Prize in 1987 for A Thief in the Village and the Signal Poetry Award in 1989 for When I Dance. His latest collection, which draws on material from five previous collections, is A Story I Am In: Selected Poems (Bloodaxe, 2011). He was awarded an OBE in 1990 for services to poetry.