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Joe Carrick-Varty

Joe Carrick Varty author photo
Books by this author: More Sky
  • About
  • Reviews
  • Awards
  • Joe Carrick-Varty is a British-Irish poet, writer and founding editor of bath magg. He is the author of two pamphlets of poetry: Somewhere Far (The Poetry Business, 2019) and 54 Questions for the Man Who Sold a Shotgun to My Father (Out-Spoken Press, 2020). His work has appeared in the New Statesman, The Poetry Review and Poetry London. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2022. More Sky is his debut collection.
    'These sparsely written, surreal poems address class, domesticity and cycles of violence with a lightness of touch that allows them to strike surprise blows to the solar plexus... In spite of these darker musings, this is a collection imbued with belief in the imagination's power to heal, and in the strength of alternate endings where, on a sister's graduation, "my dad who never gets to see this/ booms her name and turns every middle class head".'
    Jessica Traynor, Irish Times
    'The poems in More Sky perform as one sustained hymn, socialising the reader around an environment where material class, artefact, image and mood all work to resist each other. Though such a fraught and contradictory space, the psychology of Carrick-Varty’s verse asks us to consider the ways addiction, fatherhood and the longings of a son coalesce to form a deep and ineffable yearning. These are tender, interior poems that contain all the hallmarks of realism while being masterfully set against an image-range both expansive and unhinged. Carrick-Varty has created something wholly individual and inspired with this collection.'
    Anthony Anaxagorou
    'Whatever I expected as I sat to read it for the first time, I failed to anticipate More Sky. How could I have known how complete it would be, how achieved? These poems are loaded with frightening beauties, lines and ideas that inhabit one - rather than merely stopping by for a brief visit - from the moment they're encountered, and together these poems accomplish an even rarer thing: They make a particular, personal story felt by the reader as if lived by the reader, which is better and more difficult than diluting a story by making it universal. More Sky is a debut as strong as any debut I've read in years.'
    Shane McCrae
     'These poems make up a memory system. Each by each, they recover a father-son journey through drink and time. Now brutally, like broken glass under foot. Now gently, like being carried over the jagged edges. Cutting and healing. Joe Carrick-Varty writes with a sharp eye and a strong hand.'
    Jeanette Winterson
    Awards won by Joe Carrick-Varty Short-listed, 2023 The T.S. Eliot Prize
    (More Sky)
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