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Eleanor Brown was born in 1969, and grew up in Scotland. After reading English Literature at York University, she became a menial in the Banqueting Department of a Cambridge hotel, and then a Pizza Express waitress. She later travelled in France, where she lived for a while in a convent; after working as a barmaid in a North London pub for several years, she served time as a legal secretary before taking up her present post of Writing Fellow at the University of Strathclyde. In 1997 her first collection Maiden Speech was shortlisted for the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and her new version of Sophocles' play Philoctetes was staged by Inigo at the Cockpit Theatre in London. Eleanor Brown was one of the five young poets in Bloodaxe's 1997 New Blood promotion.