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Writer, Linguist & Publisher

About Isabel


At the London Book Fair, March 2019

Isabel at the London Book Fair, March 2019

Isabel del Rio is a writer and linguist.  Born in Madrid, she has spent most of her life in London.  She has published fiction, poetry and language learning material in both English and Spanish.  Her genres are literary fiction, sci-fi, noir and dystopia.  Her books include 'La duda', shortlisted for two literary awards in Spain, the bilingual 'Zero Negative–Cero negativo' and the poetry collection 'Ciudad del interior'.  Her latest collections of short stories are 'Paradise & Hell' and 'Una muerte incidental', and her latest poetry books are “Ataraxy”, "Madrid, Madrid, Madrid" and "Punto de fuga". She recently launched the fantasy novel 'El tiempo que falta', which has taken almost two decades in the making and was repeteadly rejected, and the sci-fi series 'Planet in Peril'.  An established performance poet, she is also the co-founder of Friends of Alice Publishing.  


As a bilingual writer, she is committed to writing in her two languages: Spanish is her language of nostalgia, memory and exile, whereas English is her language of action, freedom and dissent.  

As a language practitioner, Isabel has extensive experience in most language-related fields:  writing and scriptwriting; journalism and broadcasting; documentary, literary and technical translation; lexicography and terminology; tutoring in writing and translation; and also taking part in readings, performances and voice-overs (she is a member of EQUITY). She has worked as a full-time journalist and broadcaster for the BBC World Service (Spanish Section), where she was a producer and presenter of the weekly Arts programmes, among other duties.  She has also been a full-time translator, reviser, and terminologist for the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a United Nations specialized agency with HQ in London.


 A graduate of Universidad Complutense in Madrid, with a five-year degree, Isabel is also a Fellow of both the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL) and the Institute of Translation & Interpreting (ITI), as well as a member of other professional organizations relating to language and literature, including the Society of Authors (the writers' union in the UK).  Other qualifications include the 'Writers' Foundation Certificate' for screenwriting, as awarded by Raindance.


She regularly takes part in performance poetry events, readings and presentations in various venues, including the South Bank, the British Library, the Cervantes Institute, the Poetry Café, and Europe House. Her writing has appeared in several anthologies, including 'Los cuentos que cuentan' and 'The Dedalus Book of Spanish Fantasy', and in online publications, and her work has been translated.  Her forthcoming projects include a spy thriller in English, a new poetry book in Spanish, and a memoir in both.


Isabel is also a visual poet on Instagram; the images included in this website are all mostly by her. 




Isabel del Rio - Lcda. UCM, FITI, FCIoL, SoA, TA, AITC, ACE, ASETRAD, AETER, English PEN, NAWE, EQUITY, ISO 17100:2015 Qualified status