Allie Esiri

Allie Esiri, née Allie Byrne, is a British writer and former stage, film, and television actress. She created iF Poems, an educational poetry app, the accompanying hardback anthology iF: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility, and The Love Book, both an interactive literary app on iOS and Android and a hardback book of best-loved poems, quotations, and letters on the theme of love. Esiri's anthology, published by Pan Macmillan on 8 September 2016, A Poem for Every Night of the Year won the IBW Book award 2017. Esiri's anthology, A Poem for Every Day of the Year was published in hardback and audiobook by Pan Macmillan on 7 September 2017 and her new anthology Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year will be published by Pan Macmillan in hardback, e-book and audiobook on 19 September 2019.

Acting career

Esiri read Modern and Medieval Languages at Cambridge University, where she appeared in numerous productions, including The Winter's Tale directed by Tim Supple and an acclaimed production of Cyrano de Bergerac, directed by Sam Mendes, starring Tom Hollander and which also featured future politician Nick Clegg. Byrne's first major television role was in the Agatha Christie's Poirot adaptation of The Mysterious Affair at Styles in 1990. In 1992 she played Olivia in an English Shakespeare Company production of Twelfth Night directed by Michael Pennington. She later appeared in episodes of The Bill, Goodnight Sweetheart, Men Behaving Badly, A Touch of Frost and Van der Valk. In 1995, she played Lady Kiely in the television movie Sharpe's Battle, alongside Sean Bean and Hugh Fraser, with whom she had previously appeared in the Agatha Christie's Poirot adaptation of The Mysterious Affair at Styles. She played one of the lead parts in the ITV series Call Red. She also appeared in the Merchant Ivory Productions film, Howard's End and the Kenneth Branagh film In the Bleak Midwinter. In 1999 she played Teri Riley in the film Doomwatch: Winter Angel. Other acting credits include Dr Faustus at Greenwich Theatre and Macbeth directed by Michael Bogdanov for the English Shakespeare Company.

''iF Poems'' , ''The Love Book'' , ''A Poem for Every Night of the Year'' , ''A Poem for Every Day of the Year'' and ''Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year''

Byrne stopped acting in 1999 and wrote freelance articles for publications such as American Vogue, The New York Times, and London's Evening Standard ES magazine, and now works in the world of poetry and technology. Under her married name of Allie Esiri she has co-created the successful poetry app, "iF Poems" and edited the hardback anthology "iF, A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility". Allie conceived "iF Poems" as an educational poetry app for children of any age. It was chosen to be in The Sunday Times Best 500 Apps of the year list and in The Spectator's top ten ibooks of the year. It runs on the IOS platform for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Poems are read aloud on the app by Helena Bonham Carter, Bill Nighy, Harry Enfield, and Tom Hiddleston. The apps and the book are illustrated by Natasha Law. Allie has also created "The Love Book App" recommended by Apple and available on both Android and iOS platforms. It has 300 poems, quotes, letters and short stories on the theme of love, read by Helena Bonham Carter, Emma Watson, Damian Lewis, Tom Hiddleston, Helen McCrory and Gina Bellman. The app is illustrated by Kate Moross. There is a hardback book of The Love Book, edited by Allie Esiri, published by Square Peg, an imprint of Random House on 6 February 2014. A new hardback anthology, "A Poem For Every Night of the Year", compiled by and with introductory paragraphs by Allie, was published by Macmillan Children's Books on September 2016. In June 2017, it won the IBW 2017, Best Children's Book at the Independent Bookshop Book Awards and it was the top selling new poetry title of 2016. Allie sat on the advisory board of The Times/The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival 2014-2106, currently sits on the Children's Poetry Summit and is an advisor to the organisation National Poetry Day. She chaired the literary themed Secret Winter Gala for the charity Save the Children from 2013-2015.. Allie Esiri has created poetry shows with readers including Damian Lewis, Helen McCrory, Samuel West and Sophie Turner from Game of Thrones. "A Poem for Every Night of the Year" had a launch event show at the National Theatre on the Olivier stage on 25 November 2016. It was reviewed in The Telegraph. Esiri hosted the show and poems were read by Samuel West, Hattie Morahan, Giles Terera and Kate Duchene. Esiri curated and hosteda similar events at The Hay Festival, Cheltenham Literature Festival, Oxford Literary Festival and Bath Festivals with Tony Robinson, Sophie Turner, Ronni Ancona, Alexander Armstrong, Beatie Edney, Damian Lewis, Helen McCrory, Gina Bellman, Hugh Ross, Nathaniel Parker, Alison Steadman, Samuel West and Harry Enfield. Allie Esiri's latest anthology, A Poem for Every Day of the Year was published by Macmillan on 7 September 2017. The Guardian recently chose it as one of their top ten poetry books. A Poem for Every Day of the Year show at the National Theatre took place on 10 November 2017 - joining Esiri on stage were actors Adjoa Andoh, Simon Russell Beale, Joanna Lumley, Stephen Mangan, Helen McCrory and Samuel West. A Poem for Every Day of the Year was in The Observer, the Times and the New Statesmen books of the year. Esiri curated and hosted an event, Women Poets Through the Ages in November 2018 at the National Theatre with Joanna Lumley, Helen McCrory, Kate Fleetwood, Sheila Atim and Indira Varma. Allie Esiri presents Women Poets Through the Ages was performed at the Bridge theatre in London on April 2019 with Helena Bonham Carter, Helen McCrory and Pippa Bennett-Warner. The audiobook for A Poem for Every Day of the Year has all 366 poems read by Helena Bonham Carter and Simon Russell Beale, with the introductory paragraphs read by Allie Esiri. Allie Esiri's new collection, "Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year" was published in September 2019 in the UK in hardback, e-book and audiobook and will be published in North America in April 2022. The readers for the audiobook include Damian Lewis, Helen McCrory and Simon Russell Beale. The accompanying live shows have featured Diana Quick, Paapa Essiedu and Christopher Eccleston and the cast for the show at the National Theatre is yet to be announced.

Private life

Allie is married to Mark Esiri, a partner in Venrex Investment Management, which he co-founded. They have three children.

Selected television credits