By Degrees


Written from Shanghai with a global perspective, By Degrees bears witness to the surreality and devastation of day-to-day life in the midst of a pandemic. Ghastly football matches, Skype funerals, and innumerable candles lit for the dead are recorded with disbelief, with horror, and with heart-rending empathy.

Including original inside cover lino-print artwork by Ellen McLeod.

Read a Sample.

Published October 2021.

What Writers and Critics Think

  • In an unstable world where the news can be suppressed, government accountability can vanish and even language can disappear, these haunting, troubled poems move between tenderness and savage anger, making space for both elegy and satire, for love and despair. This is compelling and arresting work – a masterclass in how the personal is also social, global and political.

    Kim Moore
  • Deft, graceful and devastating, David Tait’s By Degrees is a song of mourning – for our lost last year, for lost friends and family, for lost truth and certainties. A profoundly moving sequence written with virtuoso skill, David draws fear, rage – and moments of exquisite beauty – out from his lament. And it’s so beautiful, and so perfect, it actually hurts.

    Clare Shaw


David Tait’s books include Self-Portrait with The Happiness, shortlisted for The Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and recipient of an Eric Gregory Award, and The AQI, which was shortlisted for The Ledbury Forte Prize. He lives in Shanghai, where he works as a teacher trainer.

Additional information

Dimensions 21 × 14.8 × 0.3 cm

eBook (ePub), Pamphlet


978-1-912196-89-0, 978-1-912196-90-6



Publication Year

October 2021

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