----> who

----> work

----> contact

----> links

Robert Selby
----> news

My poem 'Home from Greece' was published on The London Magazine's website on 23 May. 'Chevening', from my sequence of the same name, is forthcoming in the magazine's Aug/Sept issue.

The poem 'The Big Guns' from my 'East of Ipswich' sequence is forthcoming in The Spectator. Four poems from the sequence ('In God's Prevenient Grace', 'Elysium', 'Tournai' and 'Wilf') were published in Ambit 221, Summer 2015.

My poem 'Scotland 12 Ireland 8' was published in Oxford Poetry XVI.i, Winter 2015/16.

'Matilda Tennyson Recalls Encountering Arthur Hallam's Ghost' was published in the November 2015 issue of the Tennyson Research Bulletin, and 'The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders' in The Next Review Vol. 3, No. 4, Feb/March 2016.

My review of Andrew McMillan's Physical appeared in the TLS, No. 5880, December 11 2015. My review of Philip Gross's Love Songs of Carbon is forthcoming in the same newspaper.

My review of AWOL by John Fuller and Andrew Wynn Owen appeared in The Next Review, Vol. 3, No. 4, February/March 2016. My review of Jamie McKendrick's Selected Poems is forthcoming in the same magazine.

A profile I wrote of James Brookes for Wild Court is online here; my report on Wild Court's launch event is online at Booksmoke here. My review of Bernard O'Donoghue's Seasons of Cullen Church is forthcoming on the Wild Court website. Finally, my Ambit review of Andrew Motion's Peace Talks is online here.

Mick Imlah: Selected Prose, edited by me and André Naffis-Sahely and published by Peter Lang, was launched on 22 September at University College London.

The volume has thus far been reviewed by the Times Literary Supplement (No. 5890, February 19 2016), the Scottish Review of Books, Ambit, by Bernard O'Donoghue in Oxford Poetry (XV.III, Summer 2015), by Seamus Perry in the Tennyson Research Bulletin (Vol. 10, No. 4, November 2015), and The Next Review (Vol. 3, No. 1).

A piece André and I wrote about Imlah and the book is up on the Faber & Faber website, and extracts of the book are available on the Scottish Poetry Library and Wild Court websites.

A podcast of me discussing the book with The Next Review's editor, Patrick Davidson Roberts, is available here. The Selected Prose was LRB Bookshop Book of the Day on 2 October.

more comments . . .

Days of Roses

The anthology, featuring five of my poems and the poems of others from the regular reading event, is now available to buy.

Link to Amazon / Buy

The unauthorised use of any work without permission from the author is strictly prohibited
----> sample of work
This poem appeared in Ambit No. 216, Spring 2014

The hazel is ablaze with catkins.
The elms nod their heads in a blue realm.
Below, daffodils kiss down the knoll
to the kissing gate, the brown field beyond
exact, freshly tidied by tractor.
You are standing in it,
your face turned up to the new sun,
the tartan scarf - Clan Barclay? The
irrepressible Quakers of Aberdeenshire? -
so yellow around you
on its last outing for,
fingers-crossed, more than a wee while.


You think you saw firecrests in the elms
so why don't we go and see?
I follow, and my delight
at having you with me
I mask as a possible sighting.
When you lean in to borrow my sightline
up my outstretched arm and finger
the weight against my shoulder
is one of a possible future,
balanced precariously
as a sweet-wrapper snagged in a tree.


Even here has a coffee franchise.
You sip from a big mug
held in both hands
while I look anywhere but at your eyes.
Steam rises to mock-Tudor beams.
The light of afternoon and the smell of beans.
Your legs are pointed towards me,
which I read somewhere means you like me,
or don't, I can't remember.
I shake a sachet of sugar,
as if wisdom might talk from within.
How do I get beyond birds and coffee?
How do I tell you I know you were ill,
I've seen a photo of you
when you were stick-thin?

[The Firecrests]