the author

(having seen a vole)



Five years in the making, my new collection - The Magpie Almanack - launches in December 2020.

Containing 75 poems created between 2015 and 2019, this is the very best of what I've written during these years.


As I spent lockdown compiling the book and editing it down from some 500 candidate poems, I realised that, far from having a theme, they covered a very broad spectrum of subjects. So I had the idea of making an encyclopaedia or almanack under several different headings and using the image of a magpie to reflect the serendipitous  nature of what's included - any bright, sparkly subject for poetry.

So I have included autobiographical poems, poems about animals and space and bottoms (only two involving bottoms!), formal and free verse poems and poems in surreal and dada styles.

Working closely with Janice Windle, my publisher at Vole, we have divided the poems into five sections and headed them with classic border art. The beautiful front cover illustration is by Dru Marland - spot the capybara!

Dark Star Photography

How to get one

Just £10

Shipping free

what it looks like

There will be launches



The stone is hard today,

wetted in the rain or
by wind, so much wind.

It doesn’t like to be by fire,

will sometimes split itself

but never where the split

would help.

The stone is cold today,
like a new piece threshed from

the cliff by a sea, so much sea.

It doesn’t warm in my hand,

however much I hold it.

I clap my hands to chip
the ache from them.


The stone is pig today,

fast so I can’t catch it
and brute, so much brute

I can’t hone its tusk.

shout out


As the title suggests, this collection embraces a very wide range of highly eclectic subjects under an equally remarkable set of titles: Kleen-eezy; Interview with a Blemmye; Rearranging my Pants Drawer; Sir Walter Raleigh’s  Cycling Tour of the Americas; Nine Dadaist Views of Mt Fuji.


All treated with bizarre and wry humour as in the poem  Anthology where publications about the ‘anths, small creatures with lisps’ are lined up ‘neatly on bookshelfths’. Beneath the quirky humour there is sometimes sadness as in the poem Naming Them where dead twins are never named, and also anger at the suffering of human beings in such poems as Howling.


I am honoured to have been invited to write this brief endorsement of this collection which, unlike the collections mentioned in Poetry Book Cat –  ‘few poetry books / purr beneath your fingers’ – purrs very loudly indeed. I loved it!


Gill McEvoy



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