Publication Date
Publication Status
Out of print
Creative writing & creative writing guides
Trim Size
216 x 135mm

In Their Own Words


In Their Own Words is a celebration of the variousness of contemporary poets living and writing in the UK today. 56 poets talk about their own poetic voices and their work. Essential reading for anybody who cares about poetry.

A backstage peek behind the poetry of some of the best contemporary UK writers. Edited by T.S. Eliot prize winner George Szirtes and Helen Ivory — two of the UK’s most respected poets and teachers.

In Their Own Words is an examination of the voices writing in the UK today – the book addresses multiculturalism, page and stage, and LBG issues, as well as traditional ‘page’ poetry.

This book is not retrospective, it is a representation of the poetry world as a living, breathing developing thing.

Readers will get an insight into the many ways the poetic voice can develop – it’s a behind the scenes look at the poetics of the poetry.

There is nothing currently available quite like it.

Reviews of this Book

‘Helen Ivory is a visually precise poet, with the gift of creating stunning images with an economy of means.’ —James Sutherland-Smith

‘Helen Ivory creates a troubled yet beguiling world rich in irony and disquiet. She possesses a strongly-grounded narrative voice which, combined with her dextrous transformative takes both on reality and on what lies beyond reality’s surface, puts one in mind of the darker side of Stevie Smith who said that poetry “is a strong explosion in the sky”.’ —Penelope Shuttle

‘[of George Szirtes] I can't think of anyone but Louis MacNeice whose work has struck me as having such a combination of sheer verbal energy, contemporary pertinence and acuity, formal legerdemain, imaginative elan and fertile, courageous strangeness.’ —Marilyn Hacker

‘There are none of the adept terza rima or sonnets we might expect from Szirtes here. Instead "a series of narrative cries and thrusts" create a feeling of chaos. Yet his use of language to interrogate language remains as uncomfortably elegant as a Leni Riefenstahl film.’ —Nancy Campbell

‘This engaging collection of poems and verses is best fitted for the younger end of the 8 to 12 age-group. The bset of them take a quirky, sidelong, witty look at the world, expanding on a child’s observation, for example the noise a fridge makes as it digests our offerings ... the whole collection is full off infectious delight in language.’ —Peter Hollindale