Poems by Steven Blyth
Steven Blyth was born in 1968 in Bolton, where he still lives. He studied Literature and Philosophy at Bolton Institute of Higher Education and also Contemporary Poetry as a postgraduate at Manchester University. In 1994 his poetry won a Gregory Award and it has been published in a wide variety of leading magazines. It has also been broadcast on BBC radio. In 1997 he won first prize in the Staple Poetry Competition. He works in local government and edits the literary magazine Prop. He has published two previous collections: The Gox (Redbeck Press, 1996) and Baddy (Peterloo Poets, 1997).
From Reviews of Baddy:
“Baddy has plenty to say about the odder moments of gratification or suffering in everyday life, and says it approachably. It ought to leave readers on the lookout for new, unconventional voices rather uncomfortably impressed . . . There is a lot in the book about words (and relationships and family) failing or threatening the writer. But Blyth manages to be entertaining, even oddly affirmative about it.”
Alan Brownjohn, The Sunday Times
“. . . all but one of Steven Blyth's poems investigate the interiors of a quotidean Britain. Whether detailing infidelity, bereavement or the distances between people, his poems are reticent in a characteristically English manner… there is much to admire in this unfashionably affecting book.”
Stephen Knight, Times Literary Supplement
A kid's funeral on the news. Cameras pan
Along rows of school friends' flowers and cards.
“We will always love you so very much,” one reads.
“So” has been squeezed in. Neater. Different pen.
We guess it's been done by a dad or mum.
“So” - such a soft, small, sibilant word,
Like the sound of our baby's breaths when whispered.
His cot by our bed, we strain to hear them,
Thinking of when they'll blow out birthday candles,
Fill bubbles, or push a paper boat.
We leap up at any spates of strange gurgles.
One of us holds him till the breaths regulate.
Sometimes, then, we hear a question posed:
There's love and strength in your arms - So? So? So?
Price £7.95 per copy post free (£5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: “Paper Boat” by Chris Hart
Publication: SUMMER 2001 (76 pages laminated paperback)