Maitreyabandhu was born in 1961, in Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire. Initially trained as a nurse at the Walsgrave Hospital, Coventry, he went on to study fine art at Goldsmiths College, London, alongside Sarah Lucas and Damien Hirst. He started attending classes at the London Buddhist Centre (LBC) in 1986, and moved into a residential spiritual community above the LBC in 1987. He was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order in 1990. Since then he has lived and worked at the LBC, teaching Buddhism and meditation. He has written three books on Buddhism, Thicker than Blood: Friendship on the Buddhist Path (2001), Life with Full Attention: A Practical Course in Mindfulness (2009) and The Journey and the Guide: A Practical Course in Enlightenment (2015), all with Windhorse Publications. He founded Poetry East in 2010, a new poetry venue exploring the relationship between spiritual life and poetry, and attracting many of the UKâ€™s foremost poets. Maitreyabandhu has won prizes for his poetry, including the Keats-Shelley Prize, the Basil Bunting Award, and the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize. His debut collection, The Crumb Road (Bloodaxe, 2013) is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation; his new collection Yarn is published by Bloodaxe Books in October 2015.