The Equilibrium Line


In its intensity and preoccupation with line and space, the climbing experience is akin to poetry. These poems celebrate climbing in all its forms: indoor walls, hill walks, bouldering on Yorkshire grit, traditional climbs in Derbyshire and North Wales, ice climbs on Ben Nevis, the Alps and further afield. They explore risk, falling and finding balance — on rock, ice, and other places in our lives.

For poetry readers, this collection opens a window into the world of climbing, its joys, risks and motivations. For climbers, it showcases poetry’s power to express and explore why we climb.

David Wilson lives in North Yorkshire. He has climbed extensively in the UK, Alps and further afield, at a standard best described as erratic. Paul Muldoon awarded him the 2015 Poets and Players Prize for his poem ‘Everest’. His debut poetry pamphlet Slope was published in 2016. Prior to writing poetry, David occasionally wrote fiction, both short stories and a novel, which was praised by The Times as a ‘tour de force’.



These poems bring back great memories. And I empathise with the questions some of the poems raise. – Chris Bonington on Slope

From Harrison’s Rocks to Everest, these poems put me back in the moment of being. – Doug Scott