Emma Danes

Emma Danes

Emma Danes has won the Hamish Canham Prize, and the Poetry Society Stanza Poetry Competition, and was Showcase Poet in a 2013 edition of Magma.

Her poems have been published in anthologies and magazines, including CAST: The Poetry Business Book of New Contemporary Poets (Smith/Doorstop), #1Poetryanthology (Vanguardeditions), The Best British Poetry 2011 (Salt), Sylvia is Missing (Flarestack), Buzz (Templar), MagmaPoetry NewsPoetry WalesSmiths Knoll, The North and The Rialto. She lives in Ely with her family.

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


'Emma Danes’ poems are crisp, lucid and illuminating. Their small scale belies their depths and undercurrents of loss, parenthood and aging, and while the writing brings light, the poems are framed within darkness, both literal and existential....
These poems haunt not only with recurring thoughts of death or nightmare, but also with the piercing power of images memorably rendered into words....
Much of this collection draws its energy from a tension between the poet’s desire for compression/precision and her need to disclose something emotive and insightful. The poems unravel in the mind of the reader to occupy larger vistas than their pithy forms suggest. This mixture of sparseness and resonance leaves the reader longing for more...' - Richie McCaffery

'Ordinary words are perfectly placed and lineated... There’s a reticence about the poems, which feel very poised, and the poise adds to their kinaesthetic vividness.' - Fiona Moore

'Images of confinement and release are the deep machinery of these poems... Danes' poems aspire to such easeful beauty but (it's our reward and self-recognition) that they are more conflicted, imply a crookedness.' - Martyn Crucefix, Magma 58


'The sensibility which reveals itself in these poems, when combined with the intellect and the rigorous crafting, result in poetry which lingers in the reader's mind. Emma Danes' voice is one we are sure to hear more of and that is good news for poetry.' — Helen Farish

‘Emma Danes’ poems are delicate and resonant. They take you to one side, whisper something about the world you wish you’d noticed before.’ — Helen Mort

'Dress of Shadows is a particularly accurate and inviting title for this collection, the poems saying one thing, their meanings and inferences lying elsewhere, away from the limelight of the words and their actual subjects. Each poem reads as a worked, crafted and above all measured unit, conscious of the space it occupies on the blank page and the density of its language, tempting the reader to a focal length far beyond its surface. Striking, memorable, confiding and occasionally disturbing poetry penned with a dark ink.'  — Simon Armitage


‘Emma Danes’ poems manage to be both sparse and rich. They operate as tight, imagistic devices for sharing emotional experience. This is a delightful debut, full of poems worth many rereadings.’ — Roddy Lumsden

A & E

They see through my boy, land like peculiar
fish on their monitor the soft dark pad
of blood, the fracture’s delicate fin.

Waiting is an ocean at night. I find him
in its depths, as below an x-ray moon:
gutted, truthful, all his bones turned silver.

Dress of Shadows (2013)

Titles by this author

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