Susan Utting

Susan Utting's work has won many awards, including the Peterloo Poetry Prize for Under the Blue Ball. She was selected for The Times newspaper's best love poem prize 2010, was a winner in the Academi Cardiff International and has twice been shortlisted for the Arvon Poetry Prize. 

She was a winner in the 1998 Book & Pamphlet Competition, with her pamphlet Something Small is Missing. And her first full collection, Striptease, was published in 2001 by Smith/Doorstop Books.


'Beyond the attractions of their sensuous diction her finest poems accomplish a strikingly steady focus, both compassionate and uncompromising' — Elizabeth Garrett

'Poets are often praised for knowing what to leave out. Susan Utting knows what to leave in. Ordinary things gain an almost hallucinatory vividness in her richly textured poems. Utting animates life's brittle edges and her poems carry unforced emotional weight.' — Moniza Alvi

'Her poems accomplish a strikingly steady focus, both compassionate and uncompromising in its observation of the human experience. In the silence after the poem’s last line it is this which remains to haunt the reader.'  — Elizabeth Garrett

'These poems shimmy in the mind long after closing the cover.' — Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch

'Her poems are musical, magical and have a clarity which goes straight to the heart.' — Adrian Mitchell


The memory of orange is more neon-tangerine 
than retro chic would have it; back then 
it zinged, went psychedelic next to purple, 
hurt your eyes like Riley's zigzags and those 
op-art monochromes made cool by Quant,
Courrèges's blinding white,The Knack and 
dash-bright Mondrian. And there was Marilyn 
in every colour on the chart and then some, 
narrowing her eyes at you, like after-image 
after after-image.And now you have to stare 
at the light, or knuckle rub your eyes to see 
the froth and spangle turn jazz to a vision thing, 
to get that dazzle, all the dayglo shimmer, 
the back-then shock of flaming orange.

— From 'Striptease'

Titles by this author


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