Former HC creative director Ben North dies

Former HC creative director Ben North dies

Ben North, the poet and former creative director at HarperCollins, has passed away aged 49 following treatment for brain tumours.

North, who stepped back from his role in 2017 following the first diagnosis, revealed on social media in August that he had entered palliative care, resulting in an outpouring of support from former colleagues.

On 18th October, his wife, Lana, whom North met at HarperCollins and married in 2015, tweeted that he had died.

She wrote: “I am heartbroken to tell you that our beloved Ben died early this morning, as I held his hand and told him how loved he was.

“Thank you for your incredible support throughout this journey. How less bright the world will be without him. How lucky we were to have him.”

Since leaving HarperCollins, North published a private chapbook of poetry called Slow Then Fast, which raised over £2,000 for The Brain Tumour Charity. This was followed by the independently published Thirty-Three Poems: Some of Which Are About Death. His work earned a place on the 2018 Bridport Poetry Prize shortlist.

First joining HarperCollins in 2002, North went on to work closely with teams in creating The Borough Press and HQ imprints alongside the look of HarperCollins' London office at The News Building.

He worked with authors including Derek Landy, Nathan Filer, Hilary Mantel, Nigel Slater, Chris Evans and Alan Carr. Before joining HarperCollins, he was creative executive at Penguin for nearly five years.

Among those sharing tributes at the weekend was HQ executive publisher Lisa Milton, who called him an “extraordinary man”.

HarperCollins UK c.e.o. Charlie Redmayne said: "We were incredibly sad to learn that our wonderful colleague Ben North died yesterday morning. As many in the industry will know for the last few years he had been battling a series of brain tumours and he did so with enormous courage right to the end. 
"Ben was a huge creative force in our business — around our books, our marketing and even the environment in which we work. When we moved to London Bridge it was his vision that helped us create such a wonderful, and in many ways traditional publishing space within the News Building.
"In his last years, whilst battling this terrible disease he produced some of his finest work — culminating in the publication of his collection of poetry, Thirty-three Poems: Some Of Which Are About Death, which will live on as an important part of his legacy.
"Our thoughts are with his wife, Lana, his family and his many, many friends."