If You Put Out Your Hand: new CD

ifyouthumb-15-210x160If You Put Out Your Hand, my new CD/booklet in collaboration with singer and musician Sharron Kraus, is now available to pre-order from Wounded Wolf Press. You can read more about the project and hear a sample track on the Wounded Wolf website. Sharron and I are planning a launch event in Sheffield in May – follow me on Twitter @helentookey1 for updates.


Missel-Child shortlisted for Seamus Heaney Prize

I’m delighted to announce that my poetry collection Missel-Child is one of the five titles shortlisted for this year’s Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry prize for a first collection. Really pleased also to see fellow Carcanet author Caoilinn Hughes on the shortlist for her fantastic collection Gathering Evidence. Click here for the full shortlist and more info.

Read Regional 2015

I’m delighted to be one of the authors selected to take part in New Writing North’s 2015 Read Regional programme, alongside Stephanie Butland, John Wedgwood Clarke, Alan Gibbons, Tim Leach, Lauren Owen, Ellen Phethean, Mary and Bryan Talbot, Debbie Taylor and Robert Williams. Over the next few months there will be events, reading and workshops taking place across the north-east and Yorkshire regions, and I’ll be posting details here of the events I’m taking part in.

You can find out all about Read Regional on the project website, and more specifically about me and my book Missel-Child on the author pages. The book’s published by Carcanet Press in Manchester and can be bought directly from Carcanet’s website – click here.

Some of the events I’ll be doing are joint readings with poet John Wedgwood Clarke – read about John and his brilliant collection Ghost Pot here.

I’m really excited to be taking part in this project and very much looking forward to all the events!


Whitworth Art Gallery reopens this weekend

I’m really excited to be taking part in a fantastic programme of events to celebrate the reopening of the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. Click here for more details about the Whitworth, its new spaces and exhibitions, and the complete programme for the weekend. I’m taking part in a Carcanet poetry event tomorrow (Saturday 14th Feb), 3.30-4.45pm in the Grand Hall – but there’s a whole range of talks, performances, music and other things happening to celebrate the new incarnation of this lovely gallery.

Missel-Child is a London Review Bookshop pick of 2014

I was really chuffed that my collection Missel-Child was selected by London Review Bookshop’s John Clegg as one of his Poetry Picks of the Year. John’s blog piece describes what was clearly the only literary awards event of 2014 worth attending (alas, if only it had existed beyond the bounds of John’s fevered imagination), hosted by ‘a holographic projection of Dylan Thomas voiced by TV’s Tom Hollander’ and speedily descending into delightful chaos.

Not only that, John thoughtfully included my book in the shop’s festive window display, adjacent to a rather superb stuffed pheasant. You can’t get a better Christmas present than that.

book and pheasant

New poetry collection, Missel-Child, coming soon!

My first full-length collection of poetry, titled Missel-Child, is out in January from Carcanet Press, but you can pre-order a copy now, with 10% discount, from Carcanet’s website: click here to go the book’s page, find out more about it, and (if you like the sound of it) pre-order your copy. Here’s what some terrific poets have said about it so far:

Her quiet, precise poems have a genuine eeriness. She has interests in both archaeology and psychology, but knows intuitively that they aren’t separate – that when we dig up the past it’s our own roots we are looking at.
Grevel Lindop
The poems in this collection are written from various perspectives and angles, tackling with virtuosity a range of strategies, voices and themes. But through and under all these runs a binding tune that is both accomplished and haunting […] The diction is unexpected, apt and deeply satisfying, focusing the reader not only on the words chosen, but also on the ghosts and resonances of those that might have been there […] The poems in this collection resonate and ring true, tugging at thoughts and feelings just beyond the fully conscious mind. A beautiful book.
Carola Luther
Missel-Child is an exceptional volume. Some of the subject-matter is ‘found’, some comes from a powerful and intelligent imagination and from keen observation. All is embodied in a language that is sensuous and strong. This highly original book will be returned to over and over again.
Jeffrey Wainwright
I will be planning readings and events to promote the book so if you are interested in signing me up to do a reading or take part in a poetry event, please get in touch.