Nell Farrell

Nell Farrell

Nell Farrell grew up in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, and loves sharing her birthplace with D H Lawrence. She has since lived in Hull, France, York and Liverpool but has now lived in Sheffield longer than anywhere else.

She works as Community Participation Officer at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet and as a creative writing tutor.

Her first pamphlet, The Wrong Evangeline, was published by Panshine Press in 2003 and she is one of the authors of Some Girls' Mothers (Route 2009), a collection of six creative non-fiction pieces about mothers and daughters which was accompanied by a national reading tour.

A Drink With Camus After the Match was pubished by Smith/Doorstop in 2011.

Her poems have appeared in three recent anthologies The Sheffield Anthology (Smith/Doorstop 2012), Versions of the North (Five Leaves Press 2013) and CAST: The Poetry Business Book of New Contemporary Poets (Smith Doorstop 2014). She was one of the 14 poets involved in The Animal Gaze, a collaboration between The Poetry Business and The University of Sheffield in 2014.

Her most recent pamphlet Mermaids and Other Devices has just been published (March 2015) by Moormaid Press, a small press based in Macclesfield and run by poet Ailsa Holland. Nell is delighted to be Moormaid’s very first pamphlet, alongside Canal Laureate Jo Bell’s first collection Navigation.


A Drink With Camus After The Match is by turns entertaining, challenging, and moving. Its many memorable poems show a sensitivity to the nuances of everyday language, an intense identification with place, and a wry understanding of character. Nell Farrell is a writer to watch, writing wonderfully well' — Ian Parks

'Whether writing about football or Belgium, allotments, or orang-utans, Nell Farrell shows us the world in moments of compassion and epiphany. This collection positively hums with the stubbornness of life' — Suzanne Batty

I loved Nell Farrell’s feisty mermaids. Her poems are beautifully crafted and inventive, she has some of the best titles I’ve come across and this is a collection with a serious undercurrent and a real depth charge.
Carole Bromley

Nell Farrell is a mermaid whisperer. Mermaids and Other Devices is witty and unsettling, uplifting and weird in equal measure. These fishy visitors give cover to issues of dysmorphia, sexuality, identity without ever precluding fun.
Jo Bell

Nell Farrell deepens and extends themes already present in her earlier work by refracting them through the prism of popular myth. The deftness of expression, the clear eye for image, and facility for a surprising turn of phrase which makes her work so notable, are all here; except this time the whole is connected by a narrative thread. Let this unfold says the speaker in the first poem of this exquisite sequence, inviting the reader to follow where the poems lead, teasing and intriguing, making sense of themselves as the journey progresses.
Ian Parks


For as long as the huntsman took to find
and rip him open, the wolf and I were one.
It was nothing like the death I’d anticipated. 

Flat on my belly, filling up the cage of his ribs
I rode inside, stretching into his bones
which hollowed as I pushed, 

looking through amber eyes
onto a dizzy stretch of twitching feet,
fast heartbeats, the rich scent of available blood. 

When they pulled me free, you’d be forgiven
for thinking I was resurrected
but the world was still and high and silent, 

this one skin not warm enough
the other torn and filled with stones,
hurled into the lake.

Titles by this author

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