David Attwooll

David Attwooll

David Attwooll lives in Oxford where he works in publishing and plays drums in a street band. His poems have been published in various magazines (including Smith's Knoll, Magma, The Rialto, and The Reader) and a selection is in Carcanet's OxfordPoets 2013 Anthology (published in June 2013).

David was a winner in the 2012 Book & Pamphlet Competition, judged by Simon Armitage.

Read an interview with David at the Poetry School here.

Winner of the 2012/13 International Book & Pamphlet Competition


'I especially like those passages where the sardonic and the poignant are almost impossible to separate or tell apart .... Geographically, linguistically, thematically and stylistically this is a varied and rich collections of poems; Attwooll has a keen eye and a sharp tongue but ultimately (I think) a sympathetic mind.' - Simon Armitage


'The excitement of reading David Attwooll’s poems lies in the poet’s intense relationship to language and the verbal and textual musicianship with which he treats his subject matter. From the Goths, Transylvanians and teenage samurai, escaped from the pages of books, to email spam or jazz, to memories about childhood and place, these poems capture Attwooll’s delight in the world around him.' - Jenny Lewis 


'Where Attwooll writes about specific locations, he really comes into his own. ‘Port Meadow’, about the ancient grazing land which runs along the bank of the Thames in Oxford, highlights what I like best in his work – the way he can use long lines, a conversational tone and a focus on the small detail to build up a visual picture of a place, into which he introduces, and then foregrounds, the human.' - Hilary Menos, Sphinx



Road grinders whine like fighters banking in an old war film
starring posh chaps, plucky cockneys, and one Glaswegian.
The swarm of bulky jackets could be ground crew patching up planes

scrambling off the tarmac.  I can taste the hot asphalt upstairs
where a trombone soundtrack swoops like a boy with arms outstretched,
loops the staves, teasing the contours. I hear

the folded clouds of my brain hum louder than a radio
with static and my father’s war stories of night driving
without lights to find remote airstrips to surface.  I see him

in foggy black and white at unmarked rural crossroads —
trilby, pipe, peering at a flapping map with a torch and thinking
of the tarpaulin fixed where a doodlebug’s motor had cut, dropped

and blown the back off their house when everyone was out; 
his family safe home now ( in ‘Thadit Cottage’ renamed ‘Hadit’ )
behind blackout curtains, the kettle boiling there — his engine still running.

Surfacing (2013)

Titles by this author


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