You Should've Seen Us
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You Should've Seen Us

32pp  |  978-1-906613-64-8

Price: £6.95

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Paul Mills's latest publication, You Should've Seen Us, brings together the poems he has written in response to footage from the Yorkshire Film Archive, with still photographs from the films.


from 'Coronation Celebrations, Harrogate, 1937'

You could have been part
of the May Queen's retinue, joined the teams of girls
stitching costumes, led at the Junior Maypole.
But No. You liked the fairground best.
Being anywhere and nobody much suited you.


And the crowd –
those left out, or happy to be just herded –
you loved being among them and invisible:
showground fodder. Hotel porters, chambermaids
from houses with high ceilings, married farm labourers,
smell of hay, horses, wool and sweat:
everybody posh gone off to London


During the 50 minute presentation, audiences hear Paul’s poems, spoken by himself and actors. Some are commentaries, others imagined voices of people in North Yorkshire from before, during and after the Second World War, so that a picture emerges of a period of cultural change.

“A wonderfully stirring, thoughtful, and ultimately celebratory body of work that spins out from specific histories into all our families, all our lives.” — Ian McMillan

Recently at Bridlington Poetry Festival, You Should've Seen Us, is currently showing at Ilkley Literature Festival, Sheffield Off The Shelf Book Festival, and Lancaster LitFest. The pamphlet of the text is produced with the help of Arts Council England who supported the project.

For more information about how to view You Should've Seen Us, see the author's website or email


'Mills’ poems are unflinchingly candid in their reflections on family, ecology, and a de-sentimentalized national past. It is when moving around and between some of the most frequent topics of contemporary poetry that Mills is most inspiringly risk-taking. The risk is that such areas are already overly-familiar. Yet the achievement of Mills’ two new publications is that they continually address prevalent – and important – concerns of current poetry in uncompromisingly stark ways.' — James McGrath on Voting For Spring and You Should've Seen Us, from The Manchester Review

More by Paul Mills

  Dinosaur Point
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