Polly Coles grew up in London and also went to school in Australia. She studied English at Oxford University before becoming a primary school teacher working in in inner-city London. In 1990, she completed a Masters in Anthropology at the LSE, after which she started writing full-time. Polly writes fiction and about art, as well as abridging for BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime and Book of the Week. She was closely involved in the recording of the complete Arkangel Shakespeare for Pacificus Productions and, most recently, has written texts to accompany two exhibitions at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford.