Julia Deakin was born in Nuneaton and worked her way north via the Potteries,
Manchester and York to Huddersfield where she began writing poems – under slight duress (but Peter Sansom’s guidance) on a poetry MA taken to extend her reading and literary theory. Previously published as a feature writer and reviewer, her poems soon found popular and critical acclaim. One was read at Lynda Bellingham’s funeral and (re-)published in several online newspapers. Two have featured on Poetry Please and many others won competitions. ‘Crafted, tender poems, written with passion and purpose,’ said Simon Armitage of her first collection, Without a Dog (Graft, 2008). Anne Stevenson ‘read it straight through at a single sitting’ enjoying its ‘mature wit and wisdom’. ‘Real linguistic inventiveness’ said Ian McMillan. ‘Bold, irreverent and wickedly funny,’ said Alison Brackenbury of her Poetry Business Competition winner, The Half-Mile-High-Club.
Michael Symmons Roberts describes her second book, Eleven Wonders (Graft 2012) as ‘powerful, assured, elegant. Her formal skill and inventiveness make this a rich and eclectic collection. Those who, like me, have admired her individual poems in the past, will be struck by their cumulative strength and range, and this book deserves to win her many new readers.’
Sleepless offers ideas you’ll wish you’d had, poems you’ll wish you’d written. Deakin, humorous and chilling by turns, skewers modern life with a sharp mind, lamenting the route to our demise with a wistful heart. Read it and weep. – Dawn Gorman, Writing in Education2019