Twelve Slanted Poems for Christmas


Now let us present to you . . . contemporary scenes of domestic gothic; of family tenderness and detachment; of a green jelly tsunami engulfing a tinseled high street. It snows, bankers gorge on chocolate coins and the Salvation Army fights to play in time.This is not the advertised Christmas.

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Twelve shiny new poems from Moniza Alvi, Carrie Etter, WN Herbert, Andrea Holland, Ira Lightman, Bobby Parker, Bethany W Pope, Penelope Shuttle, George Szirtes, Tim Turnbull, Julia Webb and Luke Wright.

TWELVE: Slanted Poems for Christmas, edited by IS&T’s Helen Ivory and Kate Birch.



‘This pamphlet is a beautiful thing. I spent a long time looking at and touching it before reading the poems, and now is sits on my coffee table so I can look at it everyday. The cover image is a photograph of an assemblage by co-editor Helen Ivory – a slanted image of a Christmas angel with a blackbird’s wings, its cloth arms, with one hand missing, stitched to a doll’s head and shoulders. The endpapers are gorgeous, too, but on to the poems…’

Maria C McCarthy on Amazon


‘Slanted is by no means cheerless, but it is thought-provoking. It’s probably not the gift to buy for anyone who likes saccharine sentiment, but if you know someone who appreciates contemporary poetry and likes to be challenged and stimulated, you couldn’t do better for them than to slip this under the tree with a ribbon round it.’

Angela Topping, concluding her considered piece in Sabotage Reviews


‘Just read this pamphlet of new poems from some great UK poets. It does what it says on the gothic Christmas wrapper – it presents you Christmas from twisted slants. If you like dark, odd and the skewered, it’s damn worth the read. It ‘s just twelve poems but the depth of them leaves you feeling you’ve eaten something red and meaty. It strips Christmas down to its turkey bones. It made me feel I’d read a special yet distinctly un-Christmassy affair. Another thing it does is inspires you to write something distinctly un-Christmassy about Christmas. A new muse:  always a grand thing.’

Vera Clark  ABC Tales


‘I’ve been slow getting into the Xmas spirit this year, but have been Slanted more into the mood by this seasonal pamphlet anthology from Ink, Sweat and Tears press. The twelve poems offer an impressive range of styles and variety of slanted festive narratives/viewpoints.

My favourites on initial readings might be different another year, another time, in another mood. But I particularly admired Luke Wright’s moving, ironic ‘Watch’, which says so much in so few crafted words. Moniza Alvi’s ‘Angels’ portrays the reality of Christmas for the elderly and ill, with striking opening and closing images. Andrea Holland’s ‘Spent’ is also full of beautiful details with a cracking, satisfying ending. And finally, the striking imagery and humour of George Szirtes’s sonnet ‘The Norwich Version’ of The Twelve Days of Christmas. This was a particularly fine closing poem for me personally, as its punchline is exactly what the Droitwich Arts Network chairman joked about doing for last year’s Twelve Days of Christmas art in shop windows project!’

Sarah James Blog (08/12/2013)


‘My copy arrived in the post, my Christmas present to myself. It’s beautiful, quirky, magical, an antidote to all the seasonal schmaltz. That’s the poems; the book itself is a quality product, and excellent value. Seriously, buy 2 copies. A poethief will ‘borrow’ one, for sure.’

Breda Wall Ryan (via Facebook 2013)


‘Just wanted to say how much I’ve loved it since it popped through my door! So beautifully produced and the perfect antedote to Christmas fatigue. Great to see a subject spun so freshly. Have read and re-read and re-read again.’

Zelda Chappel (via Facebook 2013)


I’ve just bought this and I adore it! I had the odd feeling that it could have my emotions about Christmas on my behalf and save me having to bother with them. I realise that makes little sense. Perhaps I’m saying it’s cathartic? Whatever I’m saying, it’s brilliant and you’d be a very silly billy not to have a copy to go with your mince pies.

Louisa Campbell (via Facebook 2016)


Bought, and highly recommended’

Chrissie Cuthbertson (via Facebook 2016)