Empires of Clay

In December 2013 I was awarded a bursary by Cinnamon Press for poet and mentor Caroline Davies, to support the compilation of my first poetry collection. That collection became Empires of Clay.  

The book was published by Cinnamon Press and launched on 8th November 2016 at The Leeds Library in association with The Leeds Big Bookend. A poem from this collection, ‘Jesus Lives’ was highly commended in the Forward Prize 2017. Copies of the collection are available from Cinnamon Press or from me at readings.

“A real force of poetry, mixing dream-like fantasy and cutting, tooth-bared reality”

Wendy Pratt, Northern Soul

Reader comments

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

‘Short in length but wide in scope, Becky Cherriman, something of a rising star on the British poetry scene, deals with a range of issues in this short collection. Syrian war, British austerity, love, rape, parenthood: all are treated with intelligence, skill and a deep sense of pathos, human insight and compassion’

R. H. Tyers

‘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

‘If you aren’t able to get double the pleasure by hearing Becky read, then read them aloud yourself. Not a good read, a fantastic one’ 

Moira Garland



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