Selected Poems: Allison McVety


I like the way good food and diction go together so clearly. Geographically [these poems] excel, and in so many other directions too. The poems are different to what one normally gets in English, the issues far bigger, as in “Dhimmi Under Sharia Law” (A Lawyer’s Poem) and in many others that one may benefit from. Such excellent poems show how different customs can nevertheless blend, especially in, “We Speak English Now.” I also very much like, “That I May Know You:” “Let me visit your houise/and eat something/of what is on your table/hear you and know/some of your language.” — Alan Sillitoe

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Allison McVety’s poems have appeared in The GuardianPoetry LondonPoetry ReviewThe Huffington PostThe Spectator and The Times, have been broadcast on BBC radio and anthologised in Forward Poems of the Decade 2002-2011 and The Best British Poetry 2013.

The Night Trotsky Came to Stay (Smith|Doorstop) was shortlisted for the Forward First Collection Prize. A second, Miming Happiness, featuring work shortlisted for the Manchester Metropolitan Poetry Prize, was published in 2010 and a third, Lighthouses in 2014.

Allison has read at StAnza, Ledbury and Aldeburgh Poetry Festivals and at Cheltenham Literature Festival and was recorded for Poetry International 2014. In 2011 she won the National Poetry Competition.

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