James Caruth

James Caruth

James Caruth was born in Belfast and lived there until 1982 before moving to Cape Town, South Africa. He now lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. His first collection, A Stones Throw, was published by Staple Press in 2007 and a long poem sequence, Dark Peak, was published in pamphlet form by Longbarrow Press in 2008.

Tithes, a sequence of poems based around the South Yorkshire village in which Caruth lives was published in the anthology The Footing by Longbarrow Press in 2012.

He has collaborated with the artist Paul Evans, on the Anthropocene project on the Seven Wonders of the Peak and with artist Joanne Berry on Companion Stones a commission by Arts in The Peak. 

His poem 'The Deposition' won the Sheffield Poetry Prize in 2010.

James was an overall winner in the 2013-14 Book & Pamphlet Competition.


'Set in Belfast and Yorkshire, Italy and Dublin, 'Marking the Lambs' deals with exile and loss in its many forms. Perceptive, generous and, above all, compassionate poems. His poems are accurate reminders of what really matters in our relationships with each other and the natural world.' Jean Sprackland

This gift of understatement is a notable characteristic of Caruth's poetry. Although the poems often have quirky scenarios, there's a sense of mindful control and maturity whether the poet is having dinner with Sharon Olds or dealing with a spider in the bath.

- Maria Taylor, Under The Radar



Let me show you an island
where a door was torn from its hinges
to carry the young fisherman
home to his wake. How, a week after
the boat went down, they brought him
to his mother, knowing the pattern
she knit into his geansai,
like the blue mark she daubed on her lambs
so the island and the world
would know what was hers.


Titles by this author

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