Helen Mort - Tuesday 24th April

Helen Mort was born in Sheffield in 1985. Her collection 'Division Street' is forthcoming from Chatto & Windus in 2012. She has published two pamphlets with tall-lighthouse press, 'the shape of every box' and 'a pint for the ghost', a Poetry Book Society Choice for Spring 2010.

'...a writer who knows the value of the past, and how to set it against the present to illuminate them both.' Ian McMillan

Five-times winner of the Foyle Young Poets award, she received an Eric Gregory Award from The Society of Authors in 2007 and won the Manchester Young Writer Prize in 2008. In 2010, she became the youngest ever poet in residence at The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere.

'...a name you're likely to hear a lot in the years to come.' Matt Merritt

Tuesday 24th April, The Punter, Open Mic floor spots, books for sale. Doors 7.30pm Readings 8pm. Tickets on the door only, £4/£3.


The lives you have in other people’s dreams
are lives no less. Tonight, for instance
you are kissing the proprietor of SPAR
in a store room dense with half-price oranges.

A school friend has you kneeling
in a layby of a Scottish mountain pass,
grappling with the front tyre of a haulage truck,
the road unrecognisable with rain and gorse.

Though your hair is jet black for disguise,
you are the photographer in your mother’s nightmare,
pointing your camera at her locked front door,
a dark room where the night’s about to stir.

No wonder you wake up bereft:
each morning, you must gather all these lives
back in again and force a lid on them,
or hold them tight, walk carefully downstairs

like the girl you were in your own dream
once, the one who clutched a dozen
long-stem roses to her dress, until they merged
into a bloodstain on her ruined breast.

Helen Mort