The start of a new season can only mean one thing: new northern poetry to look out for. Read these recommendations of poetry collections published in Summer 2022 compiled by our Senior Programme Manager, Will Mackie.
I’d like to start by highlighting a new anthology. More Fiya (Canongate) is edited by the remarkable poet Kayo Chingonyi, an Assistant Professor at Durham Univeristy. This landmark anthology of Black British poetry features an extraordinary range of amazing and inspirational poets including Malika Booker, Jason Allen-Paisant, Rachel Long, Rommi Smith and Degna Stone.
Space Baby (Nine Arches Press) is the second collection by Suzannah Evans and won a Northern Writers’ Award in 2021. This is a bold and ambitious collection that approaches challenging themes about humanity’s relationship with our planet and the damage we continue to do to it. Suzannah Evans’ poems are adventurous, skilled and poignant.
Book of Days by Phoebe Power (Carcanet) is a compelling and meditative account of the poet’s myriad experiences walking the Camino de Santiago and her many fascinating and varied encounters. This long narrative poem is rich with meaning and reflection, and a beautiful, immersive reading experience.
Jo Clement’s eagerly anticipated first collection, Outlandish (Bloodaxe) is tender, energetic and deeply personal. These careful and intelligent poems are full of musicality and sing with the language and culture of Roma communities. This book is a joy to read and lose yourself in.
Towards a General Theory of Love (Bloodaxe) is the fourth collection by Clare Shaw, a much-cherished poet who won a Northern Writers’ Award in 2018. Her searching and magnetic poems hold a clarity of thought as they explore multiple emotional states and perspectives.
Also from Bloodaxe, is Shelling Peas With My Grandma in the Gorgiolands by Sarah Wimbush, a 2019 Northern Writers’ Awards winner. I loved this stunning and substantial collection that enfolds us into the lives and experiences of Roma communities and explores mining heritage in Yorkshire.
Holly Hopkins’ debut collection, The English Summer (Penned in the Margins) is amazingly inventive and imaginative, vibrant and surprising. This collection has been deservedly selected as a PBS Special Commendation.
Lanyard is the twelfth collection by Peter Sansom and is published by Carcanet – it’s full of characteristically warm and reflective poems.
Also from Carcanet is In the Quaker Hotel by Helen Tookey, whose rewarding and engrossing poems are known for their adventurous approach to form.
Rebecca Hurst’s debut collection, The Fox’s Wedding (Emma Press), is accompanied by lovely artwork by Reena Makwana.
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]