Recent Poetry from the North

I’m looking forward to reading Michael Symmons Roberts’ eighth collection Ransom (Cape). A masterful poet who explores expansive landscapes in his precise and complex work, he offers us a distinctive way of reflecting on the times we’re living through.

Northern Writers’ Awards winner Sarah Wimbush’s pamphlet The Last Dinosaur in Doncaster (Smith|Doorstop) visits South Yorkshire and the people who live there, taking the reader on a powerful, reflective and insightful journey into the recent past. ‘Near Extinction’, a film poem about the Miners’ Strike 1984/5 created by Sarah, can be experienced here.

Jo Brandon is a talented and brilliantly original poet based in West Yorkshire. Her second collection, Cures, is now available from Scarbrough publisher Valley Press. Her poems are charged with life and peopled by a range of memorable characters.

Passerine is the adventurous new collection from poet and spoken-word artist Kirsten Luckins and takes the form of a series of letters written to a single recipient. It’s published by Bad Betty Press.

Ian McMillan has a new pamphlet with the ever-innovative Smith|Doorstop. Yes But What Is This? What Exactly? combines McMillan’s dextrous wordplay and energy with his compassionate powers of observation.

Also from Smith|Doorstop, When I Think of My Body as a Horse is the new book by award-winning poet Wendy Pratt. A gifted and astute poet who never ceases to surprise, she writes poems packed with dazzling and dramatic imagery.

Finally, a couple of highlights from the end of last year. Ourselves (Indigo Dreams), the excellent debut collection by writer and nurse Beda Higgins, explores loss, affection and the nature of caring for others. WN Herbert’s collection, The Wreck of the Fathership (Bloodaxe), was written during the poet’s time as Dundee Makar and explores deeply personal grief alongside wider political and social upheaval.

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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