Steven Waling

Steven Waling is a poet and reviewer. He was born in 1958 in Accrington, and is based in Manchester.

He is published widely, including the collections Calling Myself On The Phone (Smith/Doorstop, 2003), Travelator (Salt, 2007), Captured Yes (Knives Forks & Spoons) and Hello GCHQ. His poems have been published online and in magazines.

Steven has worked as a teacher of creative writing, as a mentor to African writers via the British Council's Crossing Borders project) and has read his poems from Manchester to Johannesburg in everything from libraries to bars to offices.


'Steven Waling’s marvellous poems inhabit the awkward corners of everyday lives. He has a keen awareness of life’s absurdities, uncovered in poems that are by turn lyrical and surreal, poignant and full of edgy wit.' — Amanda Dalton

'I’ve greatly admired Steven Waling’s poetry since ‘The Smiths’ were in the charts. It might seem strange in these strange days to claim a poet’s work to be enlightening as well as enjoyable but I’d say this is particularly of Steven Waling’s. And the manner in which it enlightens is precision: of perception, of language, of social morality. This is his first major collection; it is a substantial and valuable book.' — David Morley


Isn’t nature wonderful? To be always
available, open all hours like an all-night
garage that sells milk and bread.
But to drive all this way
not even to glimpse the coast of France:
though last night’s wine and conversation
could be said to make up for it.

After several false starts, the day
settles on sunlight, the early
morning walk. Cliffs, beach
and the shut-down arcades hibernate:
dormice waiting for changes in the promise
of rain. An indolent temple in the rocks
and a fishing boat

leaving the harbour. This is England
South-East, speaking its language of property,
where gales take their winter holidays;
while the artists’ community of St. Ives
moves by night mysteriously from Cornwall
to this house where breakfast is about
to be served: fruit juice, cereal,
two slices of toast and marmalade.


(from The North 10)

Titles by this author

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