Ed Reiss

Ed Reiss

Ed Reiss lives and works in Bradford.

Your Sort was shortlisted for the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize 2011. "Ka’aba' (from the same collection) was highly commended in the 2011 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem, and republished in the Forward Book of Poetry anthology


‘Reiss is not easy to classify — always a good sign’ — Helena Nelson

‘Like all the best poems, Ed Reiss’s poems are things-in-themselves independent of their maker, new happenings in the world’ — Chris Preddle

'He can be flippant and funny — "Take my boss, Slobber McJab / auditing my attitude, / telling me to turn that frown upside down" — but also deadly serious — "It's blow-back time, a multi-polar world / of fault-line conflicts. Someone told me so, / a friend who once flipped burgers. / Now he slices and dices credit risk" — often within a few lines of the same poem" — Keith Richmond, The Tribune

'Ed Reiss’s first book-length collection, Your Sort, is a wonderful addition to a body of English humorous writing that started with Edward Lear, and Lewis Carroll and ends up in the Mighty Boosh having come via the Goon Show, but also the warm ‘Englishness’ of Men from the Ministry, and Round the Horne.' — Ian Pople, Manchester Review  


Push the door – tinkling bell –
and you’re in the puzzle 
of its atmosphere: a mustiness 
of pet-food, sawdust, straw and compost, 
lifted by a reek of paraffin.

The woolly dog lifts its head
from the deal-board floor and barks. 
The budgerigar cheeps and a sly man 
slips into the shop, or his wife
blunders (startled armadillo!) 

through the frosted door. 
They linger 
with a dusting of resentment.

In the jumble, turn the wobbly stand, 
absorb the pictures: plump radishes, 
hearty lettuces, clustered asters. 
And nasturtiums – dark green leaves
accentuating blazing-orange flowers. 

Packets of rattly seed. A few coins 
and they’re yours – yours to grow 
their rambling greenery, to snap and chew 
their peppery leaves, relish colours, 
touch the trophy of soft flowers.

Titles by this author

  Now Then
Now Then

  Your Sort
Your Sort

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