Isley is an American-born, London-based playwright and poet. Her work is concerned with the marginalised and misrepresented. She believes in making the ordinary extraordinary, that the personal is political, and that small stories can have global resonance. She writes plays which place new narratives centre-stage, either by taking a fresh perspective on a story you thought you knew well, or by unearthing untold or mis-told stories.
Isley is a graduate of the Royal Court Young Writers Programme (2012) and Royal Court Invitation Studio Group (2013) and was a Creative Associate of the Soho Theatre Young Company from 2011-2012. Her work has been supported by writing programmes at the National Theatre Studio and Cottesloe Theatre, Hightide Bootcamp, Lyric Hammersmith, the Tricycle, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Ovalhouse, Criterion theatre, and the Orange Tree Theatre.
Isley's monologue What's So Special was performed as part of The Get Out at The Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs (2014). Her play Skin A Cat was awarded Pick Of The Year at Vault Festival 2016 and nominated for four Off West End Awards (Most Promising New Playwright - shortlist, Best New Play, Best Lead Female, Best Director) for its transfer to The Bunker, 2016. Her next play Revolutions is supported by the MGCfutures Bursary and Old Vic Lab. Isley was the 2014 Script6 winner at The Space with Bright Nights and received Special Commendation from the 2012 Soho Young Writers Award for Lomography. Her critically acclaimed debut play Lean enjoyed an extended run at the Tristan Bates Theatre (2013). She was twice-named Champion of Literary Death Match (Norfolk and Norwich Festival and The Book Club, London) and won first place for two Editor's Briefs (IdeasTap) with the poems Sweetbread and The body but hides the heart. Her short play Sleight Of Hand for BAREtruth Theatre's Little Stitches was performed at Theatre503, Arcola theatre and Gate theatre in 2014, her play Tether premiered at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and her European debut Sie Und Wir was performed in German at Werk X, Vienna. Her play Totty, written for Paines Plough and Tamasha's Come To Where I'm From: London, is available for free through the CTWIF app.
Isley is a visiting lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London.