Milena Williamson is a PhD candidate, studying poetry at The Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen's University Belfast. Her creative PhD is an archival exploration of her father's journals, photographs, reports and poems from 1966-1967, during which time he was a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War.
In 2021, she received an Eric Gregory Award for an as of yet unpublished manuscript, The Red Trapeze. She was also featured in New Irish Writing in the Irish Independent. She was the winner of the 2018 Mairtín Crawford Poetry Award and the 2020 Streetcake Magazine experimental writing prize in poetry.
Milena has a complete poetry manuscript about Bridget Cleary, which is ready to be published. In 2018, she received an award for this project from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and in 2020, she was awarded mentoring from Words Ireland. These poems have appeared in Blackbox Manifold, The Honest Ulsterman, Abridged, Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal and Banshee.
She is an editor for The Open Ear, one of the literary journals of the Seamus Heaney Centre. She also edited Jake Hawkey's debut poetry chapbook Breeze Block, published by Lumpen Press.
Milena is from Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. In 2017, she graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio with a BA in English literature and creative writing.