Cover design by Adam Craig

EMPIRES OF CLAY, Becky’s first full poetry collection was published by Cinnamon Press in November 2016.  The book includes ‘Jesus Lives’, a poem highly commended in the Forward Prizes 2017.

‘These vividly imagined, lexically startling and ambitious poems range widely – from the personal and domestic to the philosophical and cosmic, incorporating Nietszche, Barbara Hepworth and ‘the bins at Waitrose’. Cherriman’s earthy erotic, mythmaking imagination is at work on every page – these poems flash with magic and are lit with subversive carnality.’ (Steve Ely).

‘Becky  Cherriman portrays, in precise detail and with vivid imagery, the daily challenges faced by women. These poems deal with love, loss and redemption. They draw on fairy tales and contemporary art for inspiration and provide unexpected glimpses of people’s lives, from the girl who ‘had lived with the wolves’ to the mother trying to do her best by serving a ‘Eucharist of grain and fruit’ (Caroline Davies).

Order here.

Cover by Teika Bellamy. Photograph by Jane Cardie

Poetry pamphlet ECHOLOCATION was released on 17th February 2016 with Mother’s Milk Books and was longlisted
in the 2016 Saboteur Awards.

‘Becky Cherriman’s ECHOLOCATION is a stridently assured body of work that negotiates the tethers binding mother and child. Infertility, fostering and single motherhood are encountered and marked by those elements of love that exist within the interstices of domestic spaces and everyday life. (Carolyn Jess-Cooke)

‘An impressive first pamphlet which does not succumb to mawkish sentimentality, ECHOLOCATION displays
some startling and original imagery.’ (Michael Brown)

Order your copy here or purchase the PDF.

Current Writing Projects

  • Words on Skin – In the skins they wear, poets walk the less travelled path to explore ‘the things that can’t be said’. In the wake of the Windrush scandal, Brexit, the refugee crisis and hostile environment policy, this collective speak truths about intersectionality, the effect of racism and the repercussions of colonialism on their lives. Through spoken word, contemporary thought, song, jazz, movement, and percussion, this show is a calling to reflect on the things that stain our skin with Michelle Scally Clarke, Sai Murray, Richard Bostock, Cherie Taylor Battiste, Ricky Venel Stone and Julie Easley. The show was awarded a microcommission by the Ilkley Literature Festival and premiered on 12th October as part of the festival.
  • Second poetry collection
  • A novel

Magazines, Anthologies and Web Publications

Word On The Street, photo by Maria Spadafora

Sample Poem

Jesus Lives

Jesus has treacly eyes and lives in my granny’s spare room.
When we come to visit, this is where we sleep.
There’s panelling on the walls, a tottering wardrobe
and a mahogany bed, corrugated at the foot. It’s huge.
Put it this way, the BFG has nothing on this bed.

My sister says Jesus’s eyes are evil. 
I say he’s sad because we don’t believe in him
but jump just as high at the stair’s sudden crack.

It’s Granny, juggling lumpy hot water bottles;
she leans on feather pillows, offers talcum-kissed cheeks.
Then, the chime of a ghost bell! 
Granny’s dead school mistress ringing for her
as she returns downstairs for ginger beer.

We go back to considering Jesus
who thinks he’s being helpful by watching over us
at night. Our limbs petrify.

Still, when sleep steals her, I seek out
the answers in those treacly eyes.

 ‘Jesus Lives’, first published in Empires of Clay, was highly commended for The Forward Prize 2017. Olivia Jessuk contacted me to ask me about the poem and responded with these beautiful drawings.  

Olivia Jessuk is a 19 year-old English Literature student from Leeds. She is currently co-writing a creative writing magazine with her course-mates comprising of her own poetry, set for publication this summer –
Find her on instagram.com/oliviajessuk/