What I’m reading

These are the Hands: edited by Deborah Alma and Dr Katie Amiel

I can’t think of a more timely collection of poems than this one – launched online at the end of March 2020, in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, just at the moment when all of us have become so starkly aware of our dependence on the NHS, and of the courage and dedication of those who work for it. Most of these poems were written by NHS staff, and I love that each poet’s role in the NHS is provided next to their names. The quality of the writing is superb, and the perspectives offered are both moving and unique.


Girl by Rebecca Goss

A stunning collection of poems exploring and celebrating female identity from a range of perspectives. The striking cover image is Iris, an oil painting by Alison Watt, whose work inspires several of the poems in Girl.


The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus

This is one of the boldest, most inspiring first collections I’ve read. I was particularly moved by Antrobus’s response to Ted Hughes’ Deaf School. The ‘Notes’ section at the back was really helpful in enhancing my understanding of some of the poems which explore aspects of D/deaf history.