New and Recent Poetry from the North: Winter 2023

What better way to slow down and take a breather during a busy December than by curling up with a poetry collection? Senior Programme Manager Will Mackie offers a round-up of recent and upcoming collections by northern poets.

During the colder months, I spend any fleeting cracks in my daily routine drinking tea and reading while our cats laze around on the carpet in triangles of winter sunlight. The focus and concentration poetry demands feels especially enlivening at this time of year and I’m keen to start reading The Go-Away Bird, the fourth collection by Seni Seneviratne, published by Peepal Tree. Seni Seneviratne is an accomplished, highly intelligent and skilled poet whose exquisitely crafted poems explore social, ecological and political territory.

Safety Measures Against the Sea by Northern Writers’ Award winner Katharine Goda is the 24th pamphlet published by Vane Women Press, who celebrated a remarkable 30th year of publishing in 2023. I’d really recommend Katharine Goda’s precise and visual poems.

Open Your Mouth by Jasmine Gray (Broken Sleep Books) is a highly readable and vivid debut pamphlet by an exciting poet who graduated from the Writing Squad and has been anthologised in several publications.

Sarah-Clare Conlon’s latest book, Lune (Red Ceilings Press), is a PBS Winter Selection. Inspired by rivers and seas, these are dextrous and playful poems that feel alive and urgent.

Splashing Pink (Hedgehog) jointly written by Annie Cowell & Sam Szanto is a cross-generational conversation in poetry about parenting. This is an unusual and enjoyable book with an absorbing and reflective quality throughout.

I’m intrigued to learn about The Lives of British Shrews by the excellent poet Steve Ely (Broken Sleep) – this is a long poem sequence exploring the activities of three shrew species.

Lastly, The Process of Poetry, edited by Rosanna McGlone is a collection of 15 interviews focused on the craft of writing poetry. Rosanna McGlone has curated insights from contemporary poets including Kim Moore, Hannah Lowe and Don Paterson. The book is published by the ever-creative and very active Fly on the Wall Press.

If you’re a poet based in the north or a publisher with a new collection or pamphlet by a northern poet and would like to be considered for future versions of this round-up, please get in touch with [email protected].

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