Stephen Payne was born in Merthyr Tydfil and went to school in Stockton-on-Tees. Until recently he was Professor of Human-Centric Systems at the University of Bath, having previously taught in the Universities of Lancaster, Cardiff and Manchester and worked as a researcher at IBM TJ Watson Research Center in New York state.

In 2010 Stephen was awarded the Smiths Knoll Mentorship and spent 12 months being mentored and edited by Joanna Cutts and Michael Laskey. His pamphlet, The Probabilities of Balance, was published by Smiths Knoll in December 2010.

His first collection, Pattern Beyond Chance, was short-listed for the Roland Matthias Prize in 2016.

Stephen lives with his family in Penarth, near Cardiff on the Vale of Glamorgan.