The Singing & Dancing: Collected Poems


Surprisingly, though writing poems of great humanity, fluency and elegance, Ann Atkinson never tried to publish a full collection. Many poets who knew her felt she should, but Ann was always too busy, too giving, too modest, perhaps even fearful of committing to the value of her own work. At last, this book remedies that.

Ann died in 2012, but in these pages we breathe again her lightness and grace, her musicality, the way her dancing line – like that of the fisherman’s on the Derwent, the tightrope walker’s wire, her chalkings in the childhood yard – involves a sense of seemingly effortless balance and harmony.


Ann Atkinson grew up on Teesside but for over thirty-five years made her home in the Derbyshire Peak District. Not only a warm and generous teacher of writing, she was also the editor of poetry magazine Staple and held both the Poet Laureateship of the Peak District and the Derbyshire Poet Laureateship. She was an accomplished pianist as well as a poet and worked as a writer in collaboration with several musicians including the Brodsky Quartet. Her pamphlet Drawing Water was published in 2010 by Smith|Doorstop and her collected poems, The Singing and Dancing, was published by Smith|Doorsotp in 2015. Ann passed away in 2012.

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