Chris Ifso, a.k.a. Chris Meade, is a writer of fiction, songs, digital literature, plays, blogs, articles and poetry. In 2018 he was awarded a PhD in Creative (Digital) Writing by Bath Spa University. In 2008 he founded if:book UK, a charitable company exploring the future of the book and digital possibilities for literature. working with Bob Stein’s New York based Institute for the Future of the Book.
In 2009 his magical musical digital novella In Search of Lost Tim was described by the Independent on Sunday as “a jeu d’esprit and, just possibly, the future of fiction.”
In 2012 he was a participant in Tino Sehgal’s These Associations at Tate Turbine Hall. Chris became a founder member of Academy Inegales in 2016 working with a diverse ensemble of fantastic musicians co-ordinated by Peter Wiegold of Brunel University, and in 2017 he performed as Dryden in Purcell’s King Arthur at Wilton’s Music Hall with Murray Lachlan Young and Notes Inegales.
In 1999 with Cindy Oswin he wrote two episodes of The Twerlies, a sitcom based on Betty Spital’s radical pensioners. The first script was created with support from Writers’ Republic, an agency founded by comedian Linda Smith and her partner Warren Lakin. The BBC optioned this and commissioned a second episode. By the time that was completed, a new Head of BBC 1 was in place and the show was never made… but nearly.
Chris worked for twenty years as a literature development worker, first as Community Arts Worker and Director of the Opening The Book Festival in Sheffield, then running Imagination Services in Birmingham Library Services before becoming Director of The Poetry Society from 1994-2000, and CEO of Booktrust (2000-2007). Chris is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and has an M.A. in Creative Writing & New Media from De Montfort University. He has performed performance poetry on the Edinburgh Fringe, made literary public art with artists Snug & Outdoor, was commissioned to write a sitcom for BBC 1 which was nearly produced, has taught on digital literature at the Arvon Foundation and given talks and workshops on the future of the book at conferences around the world. Sometimes he has drawn cartoon strips, and for six years ran an annual digital project with mentored writers on the Jerwood Arvon Scheme.
Chris is currently Chair of Modern Poetry In Translation. He performs his writing and songs with Chris & The Ifso. In 2019 he was given a place on Schmiede, a 10-day maker festival in Hallein, Austria, where he made ‘Nearly Smith’, a performance and zine.