Somewhere Far
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Somewhere Far

Price: £5

Winner of the 2017/18 New Poets Prize

Judged by Kayo Chingonyi


Somewhere Far is not a place. The poems explore the traumas of growing up too early; of encountering an adult world of loss, of addiction, of absence, of mental illness, all the while trying to make sense of a future. Permanently out of kilter, the poems reveal more than their speakers know.




The syntactical precision here demonstrates a care and attention to the weight and balance of each line that is laudable but when wedded to feeling, as it is here, technical excellence rises above mere flair in to something very special. These are assured and beguiling poems. – Kayo Chingonyi

A moose, a giant turtle, a parrot, a snail, sparrows, a couple of grizzly bears are among the creatures which enter Joe Carrick-Varty’s observant, vivid poems, but the book’s most powerful and recurring presence is possibly the poet’s father: when he asks him, in In Amber, ‘did you feel it too?’, readers will know the answer. These touching, carefully made poems have an eye for things that happen once, and which resonate once he has set them down on the page. Somewhere Far is an auspicious debut. – John McAuliffe




Joe is a writer based in Manchester whose poetry and reviews have appeared in PN Review, The North, The Dark Horse and elsewhere. In January 2018, he was named one of Eyewear’s Best New British and Irish Poets. He is a graduate of the Centre for New Writing. Having recently acquired a very (very very) overgrown allotment, he divides his time between the library and the Southern Allotments Society.




Somewhere Far

from Somewhere Far


Walking back from nursery

down Cornmarket to the shop on Ship Street,

You wait out here now and then a pen,

one of those little blue ones,

draw me something nice,

betting slips, twenty of them.


And when I’d finished the first batch

out you came with more,

Very nice and I like that one,

maybe a Refresher or two.

Men passing on the step

smiled or nodded or shuffled


but mostly they said nothing

because I was as much a part of that place

as any of the footballers on the walls,

or the fruit machines, or the

commentators, or the screens

where you would stand


when you thought I couldn’t see,

Don’t come in, you mustn’t come in,

tapping your foot, hands in pockets,

face turned up at the horses

making their way from left to right

across the green light of somewhere

far from here.

More by Joe Carrick-Varty

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